1998 Food Truck Donated to Rhode Island Community Food Bank

Guest Blogger: Jacqueline Martel

This year we had a very interesting donation of a 1988 Chevrolet Food Truck! This unique donation was from the Rhode Island School of Design, a local prestigious art college. The donation generated a substantial sum of support for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have the biggest hearts!

Rhode Island Community Food Bank

The Rhode Island School of Design had one of the most unique forms of donation towards the food bank, a food truck itself! What better way to promote the depletion of widespread hunger than by recycling the source of food sales?

Rhode Island Community Food BankRhode Island Community Food Bank

This truck helped feed countless hungry college students as a food truck, and thousands of hungry Rhode Islanders as a vehicle donation! 

Rhode Island Community Food Bank

The RI Community Food Bank was established in 1982. They strive to distribute millions of pounds of food through donations for those in need. In order to meet the high demand for food donations, the RI Food Bank solicits donations from the public as well as purveyors in the food industry such as supermarkets and local growers. With its spacious facility and willing staff, the food bank distributes about 200,000 of food to its donors each week through its 155 member agencies.

Aside from monetary donations, the food bank is always accepting nutritious, non-perishable food items. Their network of agencies delivers these donations to Rhode Islanders in need.

For every dollar donated, the RI Food Bank has the ability to acquire three meals for someone in need.

They are also accepting vehicle donations year round!

It doesn’t have to be a food truck to help feed those in need! We can accept vehicles of just about any size or condition.

If you want to make a donation, please visit our website or call us at 877-957-2277.



Generous Vehicle Donation to James L. Maher Center

Maher Center Vehicle Donation

We recently had the great pleasure to personally present funds from a vehicle donation, to a charity that is near and dear to the family at ARS, The James L. Maher Center.  This is an organization that is based right here in Middletown, RI. Its focus is to support individuals with developmental disabilities by helping them to increase their independence, self-esteem, productivity, integration and participation in their communities.  It is very special to us for a number of reasons. We have been so fortunate to work with 2 of the men from this organization. They work with us 3 days a week and are wonderful to work with.

We also take part in one of their services, Blossoms, where fresh flowers are delivered by one of their participants to our staff weekly.  It brightens our office and our days to see beautiful flowers on our desks. The proceeds for this program go right back into helping to support the Maher Center’s activities.

A member of our local community recently donated her vehicle to the Maher Center, a 2006 Lexus.  This vehicle sold at a nearby auction and we were very happy with the results of the sale that we were able to present to the Maher Center.  We presented the proceeds check to the CEO of the James L. Maher Center, Rose Morton, along with Deb Gardener (Director of Program Operations), Willow Hoaglund, and Tammy Mojkowski.  Two of their program participants and their direct support provider Mike were also on hand when the proceeds were presented. The funds will be used to help support the operation of their group homes, to help maintain their transportation fleet, and provide training and support throughout their various vocational, educational and therapeutic services.

We are very thankful for this generous donation to a wonderful organization, and for all of the donations we receive.  If you are interested in more information about the James L. Maher Center or in ways you can support them, please visit their website at www.mahercenter.org.  If you are interested in donating your vehicle, or reading about some of our other donations, please visit www.cardonationwizard.com or contact one of our car donation representatives today at (877) 957-2277. 


Where Does Your Donated Car Go? Learn About Auto Auctions…

Donated car goes to auction in RI

Ocean State Auto Auction on a bright clear day

One of the ways that Car Donation Wizard processes donated vehicles is by selling them to licensed dealers at wholesale auctions across the country. The proceeds from each vehicle sale are forwarded to the donor’s charity of choice. The donor then gets the ability to deduct the sale price of the vehicle from their taxes.

To get a better idea of this process we attended one of these auctions in person to show you in detail just how it all works.

The auction we chose to attend was Ocean State Auto Auction right nearby in our home state of Rhode Island. Ocean State Auto Auction is the only wholesale auto auction in the small state of Rhode Island. They facilitate the sale of thousands of vehicles each year.

where does your donated car go?

An old Corvette in very good shape attracted a bit of attention

These vehicles are not just donated cars. Actually, the majority of vehicles processed through Ocean State are former lease cars, former utility cars, bank repossessions, recreational vehicles, dealer sales, and insurance loss cars. The insurance loss vehicles, for example, consist of cars that were involved in some sort of accident, and that the owners chose to relinquish rather than repair. The insurance company then sells the vehicle to licensed dealers, who in turn either fix them for resale or part them out.

Ocean State does not ever technically own these vehicles. They are merely facilitating the sale of them. But they do so by attracting a wide range of buyers that come to buy the vehicles in their huge auction garage. Ocean State makes a profit by charging fees for buying and selling the vehicles.

All of the vehicles are stored outdoors in a massive lot. They are all inventoried and numbered. Chalk marks on the windshield denote the stock number and mileage.

cars donated to charity may enter the auto auction

Vehicles in the lot waiting to be auctioned

The auction itself takes place in a massive indoor garage with multiple “lanes” lettered in alphabetical order. There are garage doors at each end of the vehicle lanes for the vehicles to drive through. Inside, each lane is devoted to several categories of vehicles. One or more Ocean State employees are assigned to oversee each lane.

Before the sale, attendants prep the vehicles and line them up to the garage door in their respective lanes. Typically a preparation will consist of washing and detailing the vehicle, charging the battery or other quick minor adjustments to get the vehicles ready to go.

Donated VW Jetta to Car Talk Vehicle Donation Program

A 1999 Volkswagen Jetta GLX VR6 is headed into the garage lane to be auctioned. The vehicle was donated to Car Talk

When the auction starts, the vehicles up for sale are driven into the garage. Cars that aren’t running are pushed in from behind by padded trucks. The vehicles then pause for brief buyer inspection. Prospective buyers have a chance to look the car over, examine any body flaws, and open the doors and look inside the interior. Diagnostic tools are not allowed. But there is really no point to that at a dealer-only auction. These vehicles are sold as-is, so it is implied they may have problems and the dealers are fully aware and prepared. The big picture is what influences buyers’ decisions: year, make, model mileage and condition. Most important is whether the vehicle runs and drive or not. The auction does certify and stand behind certain vehicles that are running with no major issues, so if the buyer does buy a vehicle that seems misrepresented, they can return it. But most of the time, that’s not an issue. These buyers know exactly what they want.

Donated Jaguar to Car Talk

A potential buyer inspects the interior of a 1997 Jaguar XK8 convertible generously donated to Car Talk

Bidding starts right away and only lasts a couple of minutes. Each lane has a tall bidding podium where the announcer is seated to accept bids. Buyers will subtly indicate they want to place a bid, usually with a non-verbal form of body communication: a raised hand, an arm motion, a nod of their head. The highest bidder wins. Not all cars are sold automatically, however. If there is an especially valuable or high-interest vehicle, off-site sellers will most likely review the high bid later and decide to accept or not. If the bid is approved on site, and if winners can provide payment on site and have temporary license plates to put on the vehicle, they can drive the cars home the same day.

Auctioneer of donated vehicles

Ocean State employees hard at work at the auctioneer podium

How is my donated car sold at an auto auction?

This sign lights up to indicate important information to buyers about the vehicle

Once the bidding is completed, the vehicle is then driven out the other end of the garage and back into the lot. Workers on deck mop the lane after the vehicles drive through to keep the area clean and tidy. The next car is then driven through, and the whole process starts over again, until the auction ends for that day. Typical auctions last a few hours.

So there you have it: an exclusive look into the hectic, fast-paced world of wholesale auto auctions, where your generous vehicle donation is processed. Your donated car is just one of many vehicles, but it’s still given special treatment and a chance to raise as much money as possible for a great cause.

For more information on how and who to donate to, visit www.cardonationwizard.com.

auto auction donated car sales