Donate a vehicle and help build a home

Maybe you’d love to donate some of your time to Habitat for Humanity because you believe in the work they do, building affordable homes for low-income families, but you don’t have enough time to spare. On the other hand, maybe you have a used vehicle that you need to part with. In that case, both you and Habitat for Humanity are in luck.

Their national “Cars for Homes” program has created a win-win situation, with Habitat for Humanity able to accept donations of cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, RVs and other vehicles. They then sell the vehicles through automobile auctions, recyclers or salvage yards to raise money that helps in the construction of homes.

Funds generated from the sale of the vehicles benefits the local Habitat where the donation is made.

Since Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit organization, it may be possible for donors to claim deductions on their income tax returns, if they itemize. In general, donors can deduct the fair market value of any car up to $499. If it sells for more than $500, the full price can be deducted.

Every vehicle donated will go towards eliminating substandard housing in local communities.

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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.

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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?

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Time is Running Out on the NJ Cars for Homes Matching Grant

If you are considering a trade in on your car, boat, motorcycle or RV, now you can also have the satisfaction of making a donation to the work of your local New Jersey Habitat for Humanity, but time is of the essence.

Local NJ Habitat’s has been awarded a matching donation grant of up to $25,000 from Habitat’s Cars for Homes™program. This means that the cash value of vehicles donated to these affiliates before September 1, 2011, will be matched with donations from the parent organization. Morris Habitat’s Executive Director, Blair Bravo, states that “we are so close to meeting our goal that just a few more donations will make all the difference for us.”

The money raised goes to support building affordable, energy efficient homes. In counties across the country, hundreds of volunteers partner with families in need to donate their time help to promote and build decent affordable housing. As of June 2011 one Habitat affiliate, in Morris County, NJ had completed 46 homes in 14 different municipalities in 2 counties.

People who donate a vehicle may be able to claim the deduction on their 2011 income tax return. Consult your tax adviser or the IRS for details.

One of the program donors, Jan, told Habitat International, “You guys did a great job with my car donation. The process took less time than getting my morning coffee! Helping a charity felt great and the tax deduction ended up being bigger than I expected.”

 

Watch our video on car donation to Habitat for Humanity below!

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Donate a Car…Build a Home

Maybe you’d love to donate some of your time to Habitat for Humanity because you believe in the work they do, building affordable homes for low-income families, but you don’t have enough time to spare. On the other hand, maybe you have a used vehicle that you need to part with. In that case, both you and Habitat for Humanity are in luck.

Their national “Cars for Homes” program has created a win-win situation, with Habitat for Humanity able to accept donations of cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, RVs and other vehicles. They then sell the vehicles through automobile auctions, recyclers or salvage yards to raise money that helps in the construction of homes, said Maureen Clary, executive director of Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West.

Funds generated from the sale of the vehicles benefits the local Habitat where the donation is made. The Cars for Homes program began in fall 2003 in the Seattle area, and since that time the sales have raised over $10.5 million dollars for families in need.

“We have always had individuals donate cars, boats and RVs,” Clary said. “However, our affiliate would have to handle the pickup, do the title transfer, and attempt to resell the donated items locally. This program makes it much easier on both the donor and HFHSTW as the recipient.”

Since Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit organization, it may be possible for donors to claim deductions on their income tax returns, if they itemize. In general, donors can deduct the fair market value of any car up to $499. If it sells for more than $500, the full price can be deducted.

The kicker is, “The tax deduction is often more than what they could sell the vehicle for,” Clary said, “and they know that their donation will go towards eliminating substandard housing in local communities.

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