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The Cars 4 Causes Blog.

Dec 11 2009

The Spirit of Donating Begins When Children Give, Too

Category: Cars 4 Causes news,Charity NewsPatti Kennedy @ 12:13 pm

Earlier this week I watched the spirit of charity emerge in a group of sixth graders, and it was worth all the presents under the tree to me. One was my child, the others were friends, and all took part in wrapping gifts for children in need.

The kids, Tyler, Logan and Carley, and moms, Sandy, Patti and Stephanie, all felt the joy that comes from volunteering time, efforts and resources.

The kids, Tyler, Logan and Carley, and moms, Sandy, Patti and Stephanie, all felt the joy that comes from volunteering time, efforts and resources.

The gift program, run by the Ventura County Rescue Mission, is called “The Great Toy Giveaway,” and it’s been going on for over 15 years. The Mission gives away about 3,500 new toys during the holidays, spreading the joy amongst 800-900 families, all of them low-income or families on assistance. The program is funded by the Peter C. Foy Foundation, along with toy donations from Toys 4 Tots and other, local toy drives.

As a mom, I was amazed at the sensitivity and the efforts of all of the volunteer children who came to wrap presents.

But here’s what made my heart burst with an overwhelming joy: The kids with us looked at the piles of gifts all around us as we were wrapping, and said, “This is not enough.” They wanted to give more and they wanted to do more.

We moms encouraged that seed of charity, of course; the next day, we took the kids shopping for presents they wanted to give to the kids at the Ventura County Rescue Mission. And we all went back again to wrap more gifts.

In my work here at Cars 4 Causes® The Charity That Gives To Charities®, I’m surrounded every day by the generosity of people giving through their car donation, yet I am still amazed at the human ability to give so much – and thrilled to see this spirit taking root in my child.

The volunteer kids moved fast, putting spirit and energy into wrapping gifts for needy children.

The volunteer kids were a blur, moving fast, putting spirit and energy into wrapping gifts for needy children.

Jonathan Leeper, the Ventura County Rescue Mission volunteer coordinator, tells me that he has children volunteering along with their parents all year long. The kids help serve meals. (The Mission serves 700-900 meals every day.) And the children help clean up the dining room after meals.

The holiday gift-wrapping is one of the most touching for the children, as they see how they can directly help other children who are just like themselves – but not so fortunate.

How wonderful it is to see the growth of charity in the next generation!

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Nov 24 2009

Car Donations Feed the Homeless this Thanksgiving

Category: Charity News,Charity PartnersPatti Kennedy @ 11:55 am

As we gather for our families’ Thanksgiving dinners this week, we can’t help but think about those who are living in the streets of our own cities and towns. How can we help? Many caring people donate time at shelters, donate food, and volunteer to deliver food to homes or serve Thanksgiving dinner at shelters.

Car donations can help families in need, too. By choosing the charity that benefits from your car donation, you can directly help those in need in your community. Here at Cars 4 Causes®, we’re warmed at this time of year by the donations that we see being made in support of help for those in need of the basic necessities – food, clothing and shelter. We have many such charities on our current list of charities, and — if you don’t see the one you want your car donation to benefit — we are happy to add new charities. In fact, we do. Every day.

Here are just three of the many generous organizations that provide food and shelter.

Central Downtown Food Basket logoThe Central Downtown Food Basket in Sacramento, Calif., feeds seniors and low-income residents of the community all year long. They serve nearly 700 seniors and 1,500 families every month and do their best to provide healthful food. The group also provides warm clothing and hygiene product to those who need them.

FoodBank of Santa Barbara CountyThe Foodbank of Santa Barbara County helps provide food to those in need by working through a network of hunger-relief charities and community resources in the county. The Foodbank works to eliminate hunger on the local level by providing food and education through collaboration with others.

McHenry HouseThe McHenry House provides shelter to homeless families in transition to self-sufficiency in Tracy, Calif., and the surrounding area. In addition to temporary housing, the McHenry House provides counseling, guidance, employment referrals, financial planning assistance, medical care and addiction treatment and educational assistance for the children.

There are many ways to donate our time, money and resources. Donating a car is just one. But we’re happy to say that it can be a valuable one that provides funds to the organizations that help those most in need – not just during the holiday season, but all year long. So what are you waiting for? Donate car today!

Happy Thanksgiving. And thank you for giving!

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Nov 11 2009

Car Donation Makes Volunteering Possible

Donating a car, volunteering time and donating to a charity – all are wonderfully generous acts. We are so continually awed by the generosity of volunteers. For all these reasons, we were pleased recently to meet a volunteer who gives endless hours of his time and expertise to charity. He also, until recently, donated the use of his car.

Ivan receives a car donation from Cars 4 Causes (R)

Ivan receives a car donation from Cars 4 Causes (R)

Ivan is one of the behind-the-scenes people who make many of the youth programs, major events and Sunday services happen for the AGAPE International Spiritual Center in Culver City, Calif. He designs sets for the group’s events. He makes great use of fabrics, which helps keep costs down.  He finds the fabrics, picks them up, takes them to get fire-proofed, and then creates beautiful sets out of them.

A bonus of his efforts: he inspires other volunteers of all ages to help create the sets. And the result: beautiful, collaborative works of art that inspire the moment and also create a sense of community for one and all.

Donated Car Replaces Used-Up Vehicle

As we mentioned above, Ivan donated the services of his car as well as his own time and efforts. But then his 1984 Plymouth hit the 180,000 marker on the odometer, and it began to cost more and more in repairs. Not only was Ivan buried in repair costs, but he also could not afford to replace the vehicle. Fortunately, AGAPE contacted Cars 4 Causes® and through the Cars 4 Causes® Car Giveaway Program, we were able to find a donated car for Ivan.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of most not-for-profit organizations – from social and health services to environmental causes to religious groups – and we were pleased to be able to help one volunteer continue to give to his cause.

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Oct 22 2009

Education Gets a Helping Hand from Car Donations

Category: Cars 4 Causes,Charity News,Charity PartnersLorraine @ 9:50 am

Fundraising for education is dear to the heart of Cars 4 Causes®. As most of our car donators, friends and fans now know, our first efforts were all about raising funds for schools. Our story began in the classroom and then branched out into so many worthwhile directions that we became known as “The Charity That Gives To Charities(R).”

We have been amazed by the many charities that serve people and causes around the world and proud to be partnered with so many of them. There are many that provide help to schools and fill other educational needs. You’ll find several on our webpage listing of charities.  We think they’re all terrific, and here are a few examples:

Donating Cars to Education

youth-science-centerThe Youth Science Center helps kids explore and learn to love science and math, with exhibits, interactive learning programs, and hands-on learning experiences. The Center offers math, science and technology classes for students grades K-8, all with the goal of improving math and science education.

What's In Your Lunch BoxWhat’s In Your Lunch Box is a collaboration of doctors, professionals, interns and students who provide support to families living with autism. The organization hosts interactive education and training workshops on diet and nutrition, adaptive physical exercise and advocacy, all designed to help families manage and overcome the unique challenges and barriers of feeding children on the Autism Spectrum.

Harley SchoolHarley School is a Rochester, New York, independent private school for children from the nursery through Grade 12. Harley School focuses on nurturing the unique strengths of each student, while striving to foster a love of learning, creative imagination and a desire for intellectual achievement.

These are three very different charities with one thing in common that touches every parent’s heart: they all exist to help our children. So do the many other educational institutions and organizations listed in our list of charities. Take a look, and see the many ways a car donation can make a difference in a child’s life.

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Oct 15 2009

Donate an Old Car to Save the Planet

Category: Cars 4 Causes,Charity NewsLorraine @ 7:57 am

We love cars, from classic cars to new hybrid cars, and even more, we love how those cars, when donated to charity, can help those in need. As part of today’s national Blog Action Day on climate change, too, we’ve been pondering the role that car donation can play in cleaning up the environment.

We think car donations can play a big role and a multi-dimensional one in helping to clean up the planet.

When a car donor calls Cars 4 Causes® wanting to donate an old car that’s spewing and sputtering fumes into the air – one that cannot pass a smog test, one that is a high polluter – then a whole chain of events is set in motion. We pick up the car, which gets it off the road; we feel good about that because we’ve removed a source of pollution.

The car donor chooses a charity to benefit from the donation. And maybe she chooses one of the many environmental organizations on our supported charities list. Maybe not. There are many ways to help the environment, and some of these are by bringing relief to people threatened by climate-related disasters such as famine, flooding, and drought.

Recycle, Reduce, Reuse

We scrap and recycle the old donated car. Some of its parts get salvaged and reused. The bulk of it gets recycled, turning up later in faucets, doorknobs, refrigerators, washing machines, bicycles, and of course, in new (more environmentally friendly) vehicles. The process of recycling a vehicle is another link in the chain that does its part in reducing the human impact on our environment.

Charities Doing Their Part to Clean Up the Environment

Most of the car donations (and other vehicle donations too) that come to Cars 4 Causes® are still viable transportation. But we realized early in our life as “The Charity That Gives To Charities(R)” that part of our work would be dealing with cars that were simply not roadworthy. We set up our Clean Air Program® to take care of this segment of car donations.

We’ve recycled thousands of cars off the roads over the years, and as we blog-action-dayponder this day when bloggers throughout the world are thinking about climate change and humanity’s role in it, we know our efforts are just a small piece of a larger global consciousness. We’re delighted that so many people around the world are pondering our planet along with us today. So what are you waiting for? Donate car today!

Our small, individual efforts add up; together, we can make a huge difference.

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