Vehicle Donation Process Explained – Part VII by Kars for Kids

Clarifying the fine points of a car donation to a charity

cash - Kars for Kids

So where does the money actually go?

This is probably the second most if not the most favorite question potential donors ask Kars4Kids when they call to find out information about donating their car. Pretty valid question I’d say. People just don’t give things away just like that. This is especially the case with regard to solicitors and especially to big pieces of property likes homes, land, or any type of vehicle.

Some car donors or any charitable donors have been burned or duped in the past by various charities. There are scandals out the window in the legal offices around the country. Scams are rampant at charities and businesses alike. These people whether they’ve been victims of these incidents or not don’t want to be the next one to experience a scam.

People we talk to often find it incredulous when people simply call and just hand over a legally owned piece of property with all of its potential ramifications that can occur. An ad on the radio or a classified ad in their local circular or even a TV commercial should never be the determining factor whether one will purchase a product or contribute to a charity.

Those that do ask that question “so where does the money go” are doing their due diligence and being responsible about their finances, about their reputations, and about their lives.

One specific point to share with a caller is what percentage of the donation actually goes to the charity and to its intended purpose. There are many charities who enlist the services of outside fundraisers who will advertise and pick up their vehicle donation and share a percentage of the funds with the charity. The rest obviously goes to the fundraiser as their service charge. Many would be shocked and possibly horrified to learn that according to the Attorney General of California, as little as 19% actually goes to the charity. Now mind you, the charity also has its own administration, its own workers and expenses. So a very minute percentage ends up in actual programs or needy people’s hands.

Kars for Kids is very proud of its ability to do all of those fundraising operations on its own. They eliminate the potential huge sums that fall into the pockets of third party fundraisers.

Our customer service agents are prepared to answer any question that is posed. One question that they’re all 100% sure of is that 100% is handled by the charity and not by a third party.

* That’s not to say that Kars for Kids does not have its own administrative costs. Not having a third party involved greatly reduces those “fees”.

Prayers for Carter & Conner Continue – But Not Alone

Kars for Kids Donates SUV to Carter & Conner’s Family

2004 GMC Yukon XL

We’re expecting!

Joy! Anticipation!

Excitement and planning!

That’s what parents and extended family members feel in these moments when a new baby, a brand new human life will join their family. Each doctor’s visit is exciting. Names are discussed, baby clothes, strollers, and other paraphernalia is looked into.

If a family encounters even a small disruption in a normal pregnancy, the anxiety levels immediately go through the roof. When a 1/200,000 case comes up to a family that is financially strapped this can spell disaster. Emotions run really high. To whom does the anxiety fraught parent turn? The medical expenses, the trips to the hospital, the various prognoses, and more, are what this family faces. When various groups, charities, and individuals come and offer some help, moral support, advice, or financial aid this can help this family stay together and survive this challenge.

Mother Michelle Brantley and father Michelle’s fiancé Bryan Mirabal were surprised yet excited when they found out that they were expecting. The excitement became a source of concern and worry when they heard that Michelle was pregnant with twins which were conjoined. They were informed that there’s a 25 percent chance of survival, 40-60 percent is stillbirth, while only 35 percent survive past day one.

To help this family a bunch of organizations rallied for the family. A Facebook page was set up called “Prayers for Carter & Conner”. Among the efforts to help the family, Kars for Kids was contacted to provide a family vehicle for the Mirabals. Arrangements were made and Kars for Kids Spokesperson and Representative David Geberer drove 14 hours from Kars4Kids corporate offices located in Lakewood, NJ to personally present a 2004 Yukon XL to the Mirabals. The hand-off took place together with the devoted hospital staff of Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

See some nice pictures of the event here..

Every non-profit has its criteria for where there funding goes and how. Kars for Kids allocates the funds from each car donation towards educational and extra-curricular activities for Jewish children’s programs throughout the year. When a story such as Carter & Conner’s comes about, Kars for Kids decided to go beyond their normal fund allocation and hand delivered this car to help this family in a challenging period of their lives.

Kars for Kids wishes Carter & Conner, the parents Michelle & Bryan, the devoted hospital staff, and all of the various individuals and organizations behind this outpouring of help and love that everyone should be healthy, successful and safe.

Click on the link to find out how you can help Carter & Conner.

See this aired on The Doctors TV Show

Re-purposing Old Cars for New Uses

Donating Cars is one way to Re-Purpose. Here are some Very Interesting Other Uses

Working with cars on a regular basis exposes me to a world of knowledge unto itself. Much of the car world is involved with the mechanics, the inner workings, and the engineering to which I claim to have no knowledge of. However as with each industry there are always those unique parts which can be just fascinating.

Recycling is a big part of our organization’s activity and personality. We receive all sorts of vehicles from cars to go-carts, from boats to motorcycles and even lawn mowers. Business vehicles and recreational mobiles are all part of Kars for Kids donation repertoire. These vehicles go to fund lots and lots of educational programs. They go to be physically recycled to create new sheets of metal which will be a part of the manufacture of all sorts of products including more new cars. These cars kind of take on lives of their own.

There is however, a whole new world which revolves around cars bringing recycling to a new level. There are car aficionados in the world that will not just buy a cool car and tinker with it. They will take an old classic or vintage car and create new creations literally out of the pieces of the car. You name it, they’ve used it in some new piece of furniture or useful item for someone’s life. Be it a bed, wheel barrow, or lamp these cars go to a different car heaven where they serve a new purpose and a very fun and vintage one at that.

Most of us go shopping in the stylish department stores for our household needs. When we need a new car, our old car (which is likely to not even be so old) goes to be traded in. being creative and using the current resources that is physically in our hands now doesn’t even cross most of our minds. For many of us, we can’t afford the time or creativity it takes to recycle our old items. We can however, admire the resourcefulness of those who can afford the time and money, who do have the skills to take something old and seemingly useless and re-purpose it for a new life and use. Creativity is to be admired. It’s something Kars for Kids believes in and works on instilling into the educational programs.

Maybe Kars4Kids should really be named Kreativity for Kids? Whatta ya think?

This is absolutely a great short video almost documentary like about re-purposing old cars. Enjoy!

Childhood Mentoring – Kars for Kids Programs

sports mentoring - kars for kids mentoring - kars4kids mentor - kars for kids

A mentor
Comes into my life
Pays attention to me
Is consistent
A supplement to my family

A mentor
Listens to me
Is with me in my struggles
Helps me figure life out
A welcome friend

A mentor
Helps me think
Guides me patiently
Is there through good and bad times
Never judges me

A mentor
Tells me I can do it
I can accomplish
I can overcome
I can live without a mentor

A mentor
Encourages me often
Helps me up when I stumble
Teaches me skills
Empowers me

A mentor
Tells me that I’m growing up
I can become great without him
Tells me he’s always there for me
Lets go of the apron strings

I’m growing up. Thank you for showing me how.

Attached to your car? You’re not Alone

Reflections from Kars for Kids on Car Attachment

'77 Chevy Caprice  - Kars for Kids '69 Ford Torino

A car

A piece of metal – lots of gears and electronics
A piece of metal – I use for my needs.
A piece of metal -takes me from point A to point B.
A car

Make and model –
What color is your car?
I’m proud of my car.
Engine’s a V8 – powerful.
A car

I feel safe there.
A place where I can sit quietly with myself.
A place where I feel pride.
A part of my identity.
A car

Something’s ticking.
Something’s leaking.
It’s got a scratch – a bang.
I’m upset.
A car

My family joins me in the car.
We go on pleasure trips in the car.
We have meaningful conversations in the car.
The car has taken us to happy occasions and sad ones.
A car

The car’s gettin’ old.
It’s breaking down and costly to fix.
I compare my car with newer models.
Should I get a new car?
A car

A car becomes part of our family.
A safe haven; we share a lot together.
Hard to part with.
At the end of the day it’s just….
A car.

Kids Love Kars for Kids Jingle

Marketing to the Children

kars for kids jingle

When a corporation or organization performs marketing strategies to gain consumers, clients, donors and ultimately traffic into their stores or websites many things and demographics are taken into the equation. Consumer behavior, buyer psychology, what makes people tick, what touches on their emotions, and values are just part of what goes into marketing plans.

Many may wonder how companies are able to reach kids at various stages encouraging them to buy or pester their parents to buy for them. How many parents will go on certain vacations, purchase certain school supplies, go on certain outings, buy specific toys, and eat at specific restaurants because of their child’s needs?
Marketers across the globe will study with the aid of psychologists, anthropologists, surveys, consumer habits and lots more to specifically target children in their advertisements. How many TV commercials will you see children (very cute ones) featured?

What made me think of this is how many parents reach out to us on Twitter, or on the phone sharing with us that one of the reasons they decided to donate a car was because of their own kids. Either it was the kids in the commercial along with our mission which struck that emotion to help more kids or that their own kids were actually driving them crazy singing the “infamous” Kars for Kids Jingle all the time.

Case in point. I’m going to bring three separate examples of how the Kars4Kids jingle can be really catchy even for young children. As young as infants even!

Kars for Kids – Year 2014 – A Reflection

A Year of Charity, Accomplishments, and Fun

Kars for Kids 2014

Many like to know what Kars for Kids actually does. Here’s a brief outline of the year 2014 for you. It’s exciting to see things that took off, seeing the impact, and recalling lots of memories.

Activities for Kids Back in January it was freezing and even sub-zero weather in many parts of the country. We came up with some fun, creative and even educational activities to do when not in school. Did you ever see a bottle of water freeze with just a tap of a finger?

Kars for Kids Jingle Infamy  As always our jingle generates much feedback and we try our best to keep the fun and sometimes crazy conversations going. One jingle fan tweeted that he’d love to make a t-shirt depicting someone hearing the Kars for Kids jingle and proceeding to hang himself. Pretty dramatic huh? Kars4Kids decided to go along with this fun and sent a specially made t-shirt to Nate and we had a very happy camper.

One morning an exasperated yet fun-loving mother of a few little chirpy kids tweeted Kars for Kids that her day started off with a breakfast table competition who can sing the Kars for Kids jingle better or louder. We responded in kind with our own with our puppets! We even threw Jimmie Fallon into that mix as well for a few more laughs.

We were very excited this fall to present our very first TV version of the Kars4Kids commercial on stations across the country.

Charity Work In March Kars4Kids had the opportunity to join together with America Responds with Love in sponsoring pillows and books to Safe Place of Austin, TX. These items will help provide some comfort to children from abusive and traumatic atmospheres.

As the summer came rolling to an end it was time for school preparation. Kars for Kids along with Senator Gustavo Rivera of Bronx, NY distributed free school supplies, uniforms, and backpacks emblazoned with the Kars4Kids logo assisting over a thousand children from all ethnicities for their upcoming academic year.

April Fools Day Kars4Kids joined hundreds of other corporations around the world with a winning April Fools prank. We designed a completely new website along with live customer service and online chat service for anyone to donate their kids! Thousands of people around the country heard with shock when the infamous jingle was changed for the first time in our organization’s history! People took a double take when they actually paused briefly to contemplate the message of the commercial. We had lots of online visitors, callers, and emails from excited fans who had a nice comic respite on a regular work day with all of this April 1st fun.

The message behind this stunt was for parents across all cultures to contemplate the impact that all of the electronic devices have on kids. Attention communicates love, importance, and esteem to each child. Sitting together on the couch, a trip to the grocery store together, or a baseball catch together can be a world of a difference for a child.

Mother’s Day In preparation for Mother’s day Kars for Kids dedicated a campaign to share expressions of love and likeness to one’s mother. A $200 certificate from StubHub was offered as a raffle prize for one winner to be able to take their mom out and spend some time together.

Our referrers One day we were delighted to get a referral from none other than the U.S. Postal Service. One of their clerks saw our large amounts of mail and referred us to someone who expressed a desire to get rid of their car. Even in the upper echelons of the U.S. government as high up as President Obama himself has showed support for Kars for Kids.

Safety for Kids Throughout the spring and summer we feverishly worked round the clock to combat a vital and tragic cause that needed a lot of attention in the United States. That is the unfortunate and tragic recurrence of Forgotten Baby Syndrome by being left behind alone in cars. The Kars4Kids Safety App was designed to provide a free reminder to anyone in childcare to install this free app on their smart phones which will automatically sound an alarm when the car is shut off.

The free app was installed all over and posters and flyers decorated the halls and bulletin boards of childcare centers, pediatric offices, and hospitals across the US.

CelebritiesLate in June we were honored when the famous musician Frankie Muniz decided to donate the van that he used to transport his musical equipment to Kars4Kids! We were very grateful and out came our famous puppets with a clutch little show and expression of gratitude to the celebrity.

During the summer the tragic news that the iconic movie star and comedian Robin Williams passed away. Robin Williams was not only a source of joy to millions of Americans and those all over the world; he was a source of joy and pride to Kars for Kids. In fact he actually performed our jingle on one of his comedy shows on television.

Towards the end of the year Saturday Night Live featured a hysterical mock interview between “Charlie Rose” and two “psychologists” who creatively came up with the various controversial torture techniques employed by the CIA on terrorists. The psychologists were very happy to provide their techniques including those they’ve employed for various companies and even non-profits around the country. The clincher was their live rendition of the infamous Kars for Kids jingle! Kars for Kids loved this and decided to respond in kind with a parody of its own. Boy that was fun.

During the year, 1,500 mentor partnerships worked together on weekly basis whether over the phone, skype, or in person. Over 1,000 kids both boys and girls attended our summer programs in TheZone. Throughout the fall and winter months each weekend at about 40 locations were gatherings of learning, relaxation, mentorship, and fun with over 1,000 children both boys and girls attending. For the children and their families 6,000 holiday packages were sent out 3-4 times over the course of the year. Additionally, there were about 8 various weekend and holiday retreats which had both campers and families in attendance totaling in about 4,500 during the course of year.

All in all Kars4Kids really had a great, successful, and fun year of 2014! We couldn’t have done this without the support of our devoted donors across the United States. The importance of education, graduation, and emotional health resonates throughout our dialogue with our various donors. We hope that this coming year 2015 will be an even more successful year, with more graduations, more kids learning well, and of course lots of health, happiness, and fun for us all!