Kern County Fair Showcases Car Themed Kid’s Playhouses

Here at Car Donation Wizard, we obviously love all things car themed. That’s why when we saw that Habitat for Humanity’s Cars for Homes program was building TWO car themed playhouses at the Kern County Fair in Bakersfield, CA, we were thrilled.

The idea started with two great plans, one resembling a Ford “Woody” complete with a beachy surf board on top and one tie-dye painted VW Minibus.

Car Donation to Cars for Homes - Ford

Cars for Homes in Bakersfield, CA

The annual Kern County Fair happens in Bakersfield, California for a full week and a half of fun, food, livestock, entertainment, and live playhouse building! As the 48th largest fair in the U.S. they can expect up to 300,000 visitors to pass by booths like Habitat for Humanity’s!

Building at the Kern County Fair with Cars for Homes

Volunteers were spotted in Jan Eliot (Stone Soup comic artist) designed Cars for Homes t-shirts.

Cars for Homes helps build playhouses

Bakersfield area volunteers helped construct the two playhouses over the course of the fair. It was the hope of Habitat for Humanity – Golden Empire that the playhouses would attract the attention of fair goers and help raise awareness of the Cars for Homes program. Cars for Homes is Habitat’s vehicle donation program. They provide a simple and effective way to donate a car or other vehicle and have it help in Habitat’s mission to end poverty housing. Once the playhouses are complete, at the end of the fair, Habitat plans to donate them to a children’s home in the area.

A few days later the playhouses were really coming together:

Donate a Ford Woody Car

Donate a car to Cars for Homes



Start your car donation online now


How To Find a Charity That Accepts Vehicle Donations

It’s no secret that the proceeds from your car donation can help a charitable organization do more great work. What is a secret is how much those organizations receive from your vehicle donation. How do you avoid getting taken for a ride? How do you avoid proceeds funding the wrong places or people? The answer is: do your research and ask the right questions. Ask how much the charity receives from your donation. If your charity returns anything less than 70% of the gross proceeds back to the charity, you’re not donating as much as you could be back to the charity. Car Donation Wizard and the amazing charitable partners we work with, return 80% of every gross dollar back to the charitable organization. That means the money is going where it supposed to; to important missions and causes that truly make the world a better place.

For helping finding a great charity, consider browsing by cause:

List of charities that accept car donations that help children

List of charities that accept car donations to aid in animal rescue and well-being

List of charities that accept car donations to end hunger

List of charities that accept car donations to aid in religious outreach and missions

List of charities that accept car donations that support the arts

List of charities that accept car donations to benefit the military and veterans

List of charities that accept car donations to support public radio and television

List of charities that accept car donations to aid in medical research and disease treatment

Questions? Don’t hesitate to call us. We have answers at 855-957-2277.


Just How Easy Is Car Donation to Charity?

If you’ve got questions on the vehicle donation process, we’ve got answers. Vehicle donation is as simple as submitting a vehicle contribution form via the web OR over the phone (877-709-2277), whichever is convenient for you. It takes just a few minutes and some basic information about the vehicle you choose to donate. Before you know it your car donation will be one of the many reasons you bring a smile to a family in need.

Once your contribution form is complete you can simply return the required forms to our processing center. Your vehicle information is then assessed and we remarket your vehicle to get the highest possible return. You will be contacted by one of our fast and courteous towing facilities closest to your area where arrangements are then made to schedule a pickup. We stay in contact with you, the donor, throughout this process.  Once your vehicle is picked up and sold, you will promptly receive a receipt stating your deduction amount. This receipt can be used in conjunction with your income tax. We strive to bring the best customer service and make this process as smooth as possible.

For more information on our charitable partners visit our charities page.

Other Posts You Might Like:

Everything You Need to Know About Car Donation

Keeping Your Donation Information Safe

Vehicle Donation Sleight of Hand? When the Donation Company Runs the Auction

How do you know that your donated vehicle will be sold for the best price possible? Good question—and it’s hard to figure out the answer sometimes.

To sort through the issues, Car Talk recently spoke with Joe Hearn, the President and CEO of Advanced Remarketing Services (ARS), the company that handles the title transfer and sale of each vehicle that comes in through Car Talk Vehicle Donation Services.

Here’s a glimpse behind the scenes—and a few things every donor should consider before offering to donate a vehicle… and every charity should mull over, before selecting a vehicle donation partner.

Joe Hearn, President & CEO of Advanced Remarketing Services, answers questions about how donated vehicles are sold.

Car Talk: How do vehicle donation companies sell the cars they receive?

Joe: Most companies sell the vehicles through just one or two routes, such as an auction or a dismantler—that’s because many of the current vehicle donation vendors started out as auction houses and launched new subsidiaries that now handle donated cars. Vehicle donation is a means for them to get more cars into their system.

Car Talk: It’s another way for them to acquire cars?

Joe: Exactly. And, of course, they pocket more money that way. How do I know? I used to work for one of them! I worked for one of the largest auction houses in the country—they’re behind one of the more recent vehicle donation vendors in public broadcasting, too. (I’ll be polite, though, and not mention their name!)

Car Talk: So, we get a glimpse behind the scenes. What was it like working for them?

Joe: It was difficult because it’s hard for any one company to be good at a lot of things. Auction houses are very good at rounding up buyers and running their own auctions. But it’s very difficult to be good at taking care of donors or assuring top sale price when that’s just not your primary business.

They want their cars to go to their auction. So, only under very rare circumstances would they ever pull a donated car and sell it on eBay, for example. I found that frustrating. It’s not to the advantage of either the charity or the donor. However, it’s great for the vendor. He can collect fees from both the charity and the buyer!

There are pricing games that some other companies play too, that make the fees to the charity look lower.

Car Talk: Can you share an example?

Joe: Well, you might get an auction report that will show you how much the buyer bid on a vehicle. But it won’t show you the true sale price, because the buyer is mentally calculating his auction costs into his bid.

Car Talk: How is that a game?

Joe: Because the costs still come out of the purchase price of the vehicle. But the charity never sees that cost. It’s obscured. A service like ours shows you the true sale price, and all the fees.

When you compare the true costs, our overall fees are lower and revenue collected is higher. Their overall returns are substantially lower.

Car Talk: How’s a donor to know if the company through which they’re donating is profiting both ways, and may be not getting top dollar for their gift?

Joe: Call and ask questions! Ask plenty of questions until you’re entirely satisfied. For example, “How will my vehicle be sold?” Ask if they’re owned or managed by an auction company. That’s a pretty good indication that the program primarily benefits the auction company.

To be frank, this is one of the main reasons we started ARS. I saw this happening first hand and I didn’t care for it. I wanted an organization that worked for the charity’s best interests, period.

ARS recommends calling the company you donate your car through to find out how your vehicle sale will be handled.

Read the full article

Forgotten Mirco Car: 1990 Daihatsu Charade

By: Sam Andrews

Daihatsu is the oldest Japanese manufacturer of automobiles, although they may be least known in the United States.

There were only two Daihatsu vehicles ever sold here: the Rocky, a micro SUV, and the Charade, a micro sedan and hatchback.

Daihatsu has used the Charade nameplate continuously since 1977, but only the third generation was sold here from 1988 to 1992. This is a 1990 Charade sedan.

If the name seems unusual for a car, it’s because it was translated from Japanese and resulted in a less-than-ideal word in English. Typically, any name that has any remotely negative connotation (“This car is just a charade!”) is not a good name for a car, especially if it can be turned into jokes. But it was kept until Daihatsu pulled out of the US market in 1992.

The Charade was powered by either a tiny 3-cylinder engine or a slightly more powerful four cylinder engine. Fortunately, this cute gold example has the 16-valve four cylinder.

As far as compact Japanese cars go, the Charade is typically styled from the era, with smooth corners, unpainted plastic bumpers and quirky cut-off rear wheel wells. The c-pillar is more upright than the a-pillar. The name “Charade” is proudly written in large lettering between the taillights. Basically, it fit right alongside any other entry-level front-wheel drive car at the time.

Why was Daihatsu’s presence here so brief, then? A lot of small factors, starting with the “Charade” name. They were also priced slightly higher than the competition, there were few dealerships, and the weak three-cylinder engine made these cars poor performers. In 1989, only around 15,000 were sold, low number for an affordable economy car.

Still, the fact that there was no one big catalyst made the Daihatsu a mysterious little brand that just came and went.

Fortunately, we have this generously donated example to Habitat for Humanity’s Cars for Homes program to remind us.

Car donations drive our mission’s success

By Krysta Morgenthaler, Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley vice president of development and communications

Honk your horn if you love Habitat!

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we’re honking our horns to thank our generous donors for making Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley the top affiliate in the nation for revenue generated through car donations. Vehicle donors in our service area area have generously contributed more than $600,000 through car donations. That’s enough to build a dozen Habitat homes or provide material for 60 Habitat roofs or buy 20 million nails.

The Habitat for Humanity Cars for Homes Program is an easy way for donors to make a huge impact on the local Habitat mission in their surrounding communities. In 2010, our affiliate worked with Cars for Homes to launch the Partnership Project, which provided a $100,000 challenge grant to match all car donations dollar for dollar. Donors from across the area responded generously by exceeding the $100,000 goal in just nine months!

The vehicle donations helped fund the construction of a home for Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley’s 250th family served, Teebe and Ande Nerayo. The donations raised through the Partnership Project also funded the renovation of two homes as part of our affiliate’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Car donations at Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley continue to play a major role in the success of our mission by funding, on average, two homes per year.

The next time you have a junker sitting in your driveway or would rather put your old car to work than put more work into it, think about the impact your car could have on a local family in your community.

Find out more about Cars for Homes today!

Read More

Interview with the CEO of Car Donation Wizard

Our Partner, Car Talk, recently sat down with Car Donation Wizard’s CEO, Joseph Hearn to discuss the vehicle donation space. Check out the article below!

The Many Ways Car Talk Sells Your Car

Last week, Car Talk talked with Joe Hearn, the CEO of Advanced Remarketing Services, the company that handles the sale of each donated vehicle that comes in through our vehicle donation program. Joe pointed out that not everything in the vehicle donation world is as it seems: Some companies that handle donations also run used-vehicle auctions, and may not have the donor’s or charity’s interest first in every case. (You can read that discussion, here.)

But, what happens when a car is donated to Car Talk? Here’s the scoop!

CEO of Car Donation Wizard

Joe Hearn, CEO of Advanced Remarketing Services, walks us through the vehicle donation process.

Car Talk: So, how does ARS sell a donated car?

Joe: Well, after working for these other companies, I wanted to make sure our sales were focused on the charity, not on making the most for the company handling the processing. So, I think of us as being totally oriented toward the donor, not the transaction. It’s a different mindset.

Because we’re not owned by an auction company, we’re totally liberated to take full advantage of every resale opportunity. We sell through over 500 different auctions nationally and about 1,500 direct buyers—these are dealers and dismantlers. In most markets we can get competing bids for our cars – not just a price from one auction house. That’s really important when it comes to getting the most for each vehicle.

Auctions take place anywhere from twice a week to twice a month, depending on the location, our direct sales take place all day, every day.

When a high-value car comes in, we’ll sometimes sell it directly on eBay or through another channel. Because we can’t be at every location at every moment, we use a variety of vehicle inspection services. They’ll check out the car, and take photos for us, as a first step.

All of these advantages make a big difference. In some markets, we are getting 15 percent to 20 percent more for vehicles than the larger “captured” auction houses.

Read more

You might also like:

Info about car donation

Car Talk: A Colorful Miata


Car Donation Helps Fight Back Against Cancer

New Report Tracks Growing Population of Cancer Survivors in the US

A first-ever report by the American Cancer Society – in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute – estimates there are 13.7 million cancer survivors alive in the US today, and that number will grow to almost 18 million by 2022. This includes everyone who’s ever had cancer, from the time of diagnosis for the rest of their life. The report, “Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts & Figures,” and an accompanying journal article in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians were released Thursday.

Read the full article here

It’s easy to donate a used car or other vehicle to the fight against cancer:

  • Simply complete our easy to use car donation form with basic information about you, your vehicle and where your vehicle’s pick-up location.
  • Once you have completed the form, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with information about how to properly transfer your title over.
  • Once our processing center receives your title, they can schedule the pickup of your vehicle in as little as 24 hours!

Other Posts You Might Like:

Spotlight on the American Cancer Society’s Car Donation Program

Inspirational Donors from the American Cancer Society

A Collection of Donated Cars in Honor of the Olympics

We’re pretty excited about the 2012 London Olympics over here at Car Donation Wizard. We send our sincerest wishes out to all the athletes competing in hopes that they all have  safe and exciting performances.

In honor of the opening ceremonies tonight, we thought we’d share a few Olympic ring colored cars. Did you know that the five rings of the Olympic logo represent five continents coming together in healthy competition? Those five parts of the world being: the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Both the Americas are regarded as a single continent, while Antarctica is not taken into consideration (sorry Antarctica!).

donate a car to cars for a cure

Our blue ring: 1978 Ford F150 donated in Tucson, AZ to the American Cancer Society

donate a car to habitat

Our yellow ring: 2004 Nissan Sentra donated in Seattle, WA to Habitat for Humanity Cars for Homes™

donate a car to disabled american veterans

Our black ring: 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser donated in Los Angeles, CA to Disabled American Veterans

donate a car to cars for homes

Our green ring: 1995 Land Rover Discovery donated in Boston, MA to Habitat for Humanity Cars for Homes™

donate a car to car talk

Our red ring: 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis donated in Sharon, VA to Car Talk