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!

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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



The Life Cycle of Recycled Building Materials

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Young Habitat for Humanity volunteers work to deconstruct a home in Raleigh, N.C. Photo: Jillian Cain/Habitat for Humanity of Wake County

Last April, Sarah Proctor and her husband Dick decided to tear down the home they shared in Raleigh, N.C. for more than 25 years. While the couple loved the neighborhood, their 1928 home was falling into disrepair and becoming increasingly difficult to live in as their needs changed with age.

“We’re at the age and stage where we wanted a first-floor bedroom,” Sarah Proctor remembered. “Everything in [the old home] was upstairs. No insulation, no central air…Architecturally, we wanted a better living house for us.”

After resolving to tear down the old house and start from scratch, the Proctors were faced with a dilemma: How to demolish the home that meant so much to them and what to do with the remaining materials.

The couple started where most of us would; they called a local contractor to come by with a bulldozer and give them an estimate. But the young Proctor generation had different ideas.

“To be honest our children are greener than we are, and they’re always urging us to do greener things,” Proctor said with a laugh and a quintessential Southern twang.

With encouragement from their 20-something children, the Proctors contacted a friend on the board of Habitat for Humanity of Wake County – the local affiliate serving Raleigh and surrounding neighborhoods – and asked about its deconstruction program. Within weeks, Habitat volunteers were hard at work in the family’s home – painstakingly disassembling components and salvaging materials for reuse in the community.

“We looked at it from all kinds of angles, financial angles as well, and hands-down deconstruction won in every category,” she said. “It worked in the building schedule, and there was a financial tax break about it. It was a win-win all the way around.”

As work on the Proctors’ new house began, the couple found comfort in the fact that pieces of the home in which they raised their children would find a second life in another family’s dwelling – providing a setting for a whole new wave of cherished memories.

Why choose deconstruction?

Building-related projects in the U.S. generate an estimated 164 million tons of construction and demolition (C&D) material every year, according to the EPA. At a typical demolition site, emphasis is placed on removing the structure as quickly and cheaply as possible. As a result, a mere 40 percent of C&D material is reused, recycled or sent to waste-to-energy facilities, while 60 percent is sent to C&D landfills, the agency said.

But by choosing deconstruction as an alternative means to manage tossed building materials, families like the Proctors are beginning to change all that. So, what exactly is deconstruction, and how can it benefit the environment and local communities?

“Deconstruction is the dismantling of buildings to maximize the reuse and recycling of building materials in a cost-effective manner, turning much of what is traditionally considered demolition waste into a valuable resource,” the EPA said.

Preventing useful materials from heading to the landfill carries obvious environmental benefits, such as shrinking the C&D waste stream and reducing the need for virgin materials in new construction. But deconstructing homes in partnership with charitable organizations like Habitat for Humanity can also make a world of difference for local families in need, as reclaimed materials find their way into neighbors’ homes while funding other community projects.

“People want to feel good about what they’re doing,” said Joel Lubell, who has been the deconstruction manager at Habitat for Humanity of Wake County for more than eight years. “So we come in, we can give them a fair quote, they get to work with Habitat and they get a tax deduction.”

“All that said, it kind of becomes a win-win-win situation: The homeowner wins, Habitat wins and the community at-large wins for having that stuff not piled into the landfill and also having it available for sale at our ReStore.”


Other posts you might like:

How Efficient is Vehicle Recycling?

When is it time to donate your car?


Video: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Haiti

Car Donation Wizard is lucky enough to be able to lend a hang on amazing projects like the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Haiti, which took place this past November 5-12, 2011 in Léogâne, Hait. Organized with Habitat for Humanity International, four hundred volunteers including Executive Director Marcia Rundle of Habitat’s Cars for Homes and President of Car Donation Wizard, Joseph Hearn, were able to volunteer on this incredible project. This is the 28th year that former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, have given a week of their time to build homes and raise awareness of the need for affordable housing.

Léogâne — 18 miles from Port au Prince — is considered to be the epicenter of the January 2010 earthquake. Volunteers from all over the world joined the former president and his wife to build one hundred homes in  just five days. The development will provide five hundred homeless Haiti residents with new housing.

Cars for Homes vehicle donation program proudly sponsored the creation of the latrines for this Léogâne site. Each home will have it’s own ventilated latrine with elevated composting toilets and exterior drains, which will collect water for bucket showers. It is hopeful that this will aid in one of Haiti’s biggest problems, which is clean water and sanitation.

View the video on Car Donation Wizard’s YouTube channel.

To find more Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Projects visit


Happy World Habitat Day!

In recognition of World Habitat Day 2011, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates are hosting hundreds of events to address the need for decent housing around the world. World Habitat Day, observed today, Oct. 3, is designated each year by the United Nations as a time to reflect on the dire need for adequate shelter.

Habitat for Humanity’s 500,000th house built, rehabilitated or repaired worldwide will be dedicated in Maai Mahiu, Kenya, on World Habitat Day, Oct. 3rd. (c)Habitat for Humanity/Steffan Hacker

“It’s such a perfect fit for Habitat for Humanity to emphasize the observance of World Habitat Day,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “With 1.6 billion people around the world living in inadequate shelter, we want to make it clear that housing challenges affect everyone, and it will take participation by all sectors of society to find solutions. We are pleased to see so many Habitat for Humanity organizations around the globe making special efforts to raise awareness for affordable housing issues and engaging others in furthering our mission to build homes, communities and hope.”

On World Habitat Day, Habitat for Humanity International will dedicate its 500,000th house built or rehabilitated around the world in Maai Mahiu, Kenya, and raise walls on its 500,001st house in Paterson, New Jersey.

Habitat will continue its observance of World Habitat Day with Build Hope: A World Habitat Day Event Recognizing Humanitarian Leadership, which will bring together friends of Habitat for Humanity, government officials, congressional representatives, and corporate and philanthropic leaders to focus attention on World Habitat Day and spotlight Habitat’s disaster response and rebuilding efforts in Haiti. The event also will highlight Habitat’s 28th annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, taking place in Léogâne, Haiti, Nov. 5-12.

In recognition of World Habitat Day, Habitat for Humanity International will unveil its 2012 Shelter Report in Washington, D.C., held in conjunction with a Brookings Institution event. The report entitled “Build Hope: Housing Cities after a Disaster” focuses on the critical need for disaster planning and long-term recovery particularly in urban and developing areas with large populations.

Visit to see a list of Habitat for Humanity World Habitat Day events.


About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate a vehicle or to volunteer, please visit