New Year’s 2016: Looking Forward, Looking Back

by Rina Gestetner

Since fewer than 1 in 10 of us are expected to achieve our New Year’s resolution, I propose that we start a new trend instead: New Year’s introspection. Remembering why we’re doing what we’re doing, in the hope for rejuvenation and a fresh new year. A promise of thoughts and only that.

Looking back at the past year as an employee at a nonprofit can go in two directions: we can look at the work we’ve done as tasks that were crossed off our list, or we can look at that same work as accomplishments that are changing lives. Every day brought with it frustration, every week yielded impossible deadlines, and every month had late nights at work. But a year passed means thousands of kids attending school, spending their summers in a positive atmosphere, receiving guidance from their mentors, and shaping into our future success stories.

This year, I’m spending New Year’s putting this all in perspective so that next week, when I want to just go home and crawl under my covers, maybe it’ll cross my mind that Kars4Kids is headed somewhere- and we’re headed there fast. new years

Re-purposing Old Cars for New Uses

Re-purposing old items for new uses is age old. In today’s world where new products are constantly being produced recycling and finding new uses for old items is both purposeful and interesting.

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!

Kids Love Kars for Kids Jingle

The Kars for Kids jingle has its fair share of infamy. In this post we explore how the young generation of kids really enjoy the 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!

17 Interesting Facts about Cars

Making the Everyday Use of Cars More Fun & Interesting

huge parking lot

There is so much talk about cars, driving, safety and many other topics revolving around our commutes, travels and day to day driving. What about some interesting and less known facts about cars and driving?

  1. Where does the term dashboard really come from? The original term evolved from placing a wooden board in back of the horses in front of the carriage to prevent mud from splattering up from the horses’ feet and wheels.
  2. Did you know that holding the remote car key fob to your head doubles the range because a human skull acts as an amplifier? Sounds funny to me as well but it looks like others believe in this also… Try it!
  3. Toyota skull amplifier tweet

  4. Cars are the most recycled product in the world. Approximately 95% of retired cars are recycled. About 27 million cars are recycled each year.
  5. An average car has 30K parts – most of them are recyclable.
  6. The longest duration of owning and driving one car is 82 years. The owner was a gentleman by the name of Allen Swift. His dad bought him a Piccidilly-P1 Roadster by Rolls Royce as a graduation gift in 1928 for $10,900 (worth $141,700 in 2010).
  7. There are 1 billion cars currently in use on planet earth.
  8. In 2013 65,140,268 cars were produced averaging 178,466 cars produced a day.
  9. There are more cars than people in the world (not necessarily in use). Most cars manufactured are not sold and are disposed of in various lots around the world. More cars are made than are sold.
  10. The “New car smell” which many of us love, is made up of a combination of various volatile compounds (possibly dangerous to inhale).
  11. Cruise control was invented in 1948 by Ralph Teetor. His idea came out of frustration from riding with his lawyer who kept slowing the car and speeding up during the drive.
  12. Irv Gordon drove his 1966 Volvo P1800 over a period of 47 years totaling in 3 million miles.
  13. It takes Ford’s Dearborn plant 6 hours to build an F-150 truck.
    Ford’s robots who install windshields are named Bumper & Blinker. Ford Plant Tour
  14. The first automobile accident ever, occurred in Ohio City, Ohio nearby Cleveland. In 1891 James William Lambert’s car hit a tree root causing the car to swerve out of control and crash into a hitching post. Injuries thankfully were minor.
  15. Electric cars have very little if no sound. Per the NHTSA this presents danger both to blind people and children. The natural engine sound approaching alerts them to a vehicle approach. Nissan is working a special beautiful sound reminiscent of the flying cars in “Blade Runner”. Other automakers are doing similar projects to create sound for their electric cars. Fascinating, no?
  16. Car Radio Banned? When the car radio was introduced, some states wanted to ban it since it can be a distraction while driving.
  17. Volkswagen, introduced in 1937 by Hitler as the People’s Car (originally named in German Volkswagenwerk), owns Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, and Skoda.
    General Motors owns Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC.
    Toyota owns Lexus, Scion, Daihatsu, and Hino Motors.
  18. In 2013 free petrol AKA gasoline was given out in Sydney, Australia as part of a campaign promoting a gasoline called E10.

I find that these interesting car facts actually enhance my drive and are just fun to know. There is so much history to cars – and new laws, stories and other tidbits are developed all the time. If any of you have some interesting stories or tidbits please share them. I’d love to hear!

Some Thoughts About Donating a Car

A Customer Service Rep Shares Some Experiences

So many people that call me up at Kars4Kids to donate their vehicles aren’t just going through the motions of getting rid of and donating their cars. For many what goes through their minds is the good deed, tax deduction or vacation voucher. But for others and there are many like those, when they choose to donate their car, they frequently are very sentimentally attached to their car and are giving away something that is a part of themselves. Check out these two tweets.

Hard to donate a car Donating a car is hard

Taking good care of your car requires maintenance, foresight and devotion. It’s almost like a real relationship. You can kind of develop this emotional bond with your automobile. You take care of it; it in turn takes you where you need to go. Many people say with great pride, Ayy, that’s my ‘87 Oldsmobile. She’s served me very well all these years, taking me to work, funerals, sad occasions, family vacations and other nostalgic places. People have their traditional car maintenance reserved for over the weekend. They tinker and probe to make sure their car is in tip top shape. They wash it with care and then it sparkles in the sunlight.

There are all of these well known tips to making sure your car lives out its full lifetime.

• Read the user manual. They built it; they know best.

• Take it for oil changes periodically; although there are those that claim that today’s oil requires much less changing than previously. Oil today can extend from between 5-10k miles. Much different than what everyone says to get that 3k checkup. Oil has stronger properties these days. In any case, take good care of your car regardless.

• I’ve previously mentioned some of these tips in regard to saving on gasoline. Don’t gun the engine, let your car ease into the drive, try not to drive very fast and overuse the brakes.

• Check the filters, and fluids regularly along with getting your wheel rotations and other tips as well.

It’s interesting, but like I mentioned people actually develop a relationship with their mode of transportation.

Take a look at a tweet we discovered recently.

Kars for Kids cute image

I thought of 2 things here when I saw the tweet. There’s the same car with the same couple many years later. Now, I don’t know if this image was doctored or photoshopped in any way. My point is, cars need care – relationships need care. If your car is precious to you, you really can develop those sentimental feelings to it. People have a really hard time parting with their car.

Relationships whether with our friends, colleagues and especially those most near and dear to us; ourselves, spouses, parents, siblings and children need lots of oil changes, maintenance, reading the user guide well, care and devotion. I recently read an article on the 4 personalities necessary for building a business from Lolly Daskal. A business needs vision and accountability from its leader. It requires the one who actually makes sure things get done. It receives constructive critique from someone she calls the devil’s advocate and most importantly has an advocate, a mentor, someone who serves as an objective resource to help you thrive and grow; someone who will be there for you in the good times and in those rough moments. To be successful and to ensure things last,those are the relationships we need; whether it be a car, a business, your colleague, boss, or most importantly your children, your spouse and yourself.

So go ahead, take care of your car, get its full value before calling me at Kars4Kids or your local dealer; but more importantly, take care of yourself and those closest to you.

Rude Awakening For A Repeat DUI Offender

The Blaze reported yesterday on a brilliant and elaborate prank with a very good purpose. Tom Mabe, a popular comedian and YouTube prankster pulled off the trick to try and scare a friend of his out of drinking and driving.

Tom has a friend who has been arrested five times for drinking and driving, so when he saw his friend passed out in his truck he knew it was time to send him a strong message.

Using an elaborate setup designed to look like a hospital room, they convinced him that he had been in an accident after drinking and driving and was just waking up from a 10 year coma.

This is how it went down:

Please. Pretty please. Don’t drink and drive. We don’t need your car that badly.

National Cat Day

Today is National Cat Day believe it or not.

We tried very hard to resist our cat posting impulses, but to no avail.

Especially because you simply need to see this hilarious photo of our cat in our parking lot in our recently donated fire truck (more about that).


What are you doing?! What does he think he is going to find in there?

No worries folks, this truck is not currently running, so no harm can come to this silly little feline.