The Virtues of Giving

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

Giving is as much of a blessing to the giver as it is to the receiver.

Please bear in mind, that’s not why we do it. We give because we see someone who needs a lending hand or because we remember being in a tough spot ourselves at one time or another. We offer our jackets to those shivering in the rain, spare our last dollar for someone who looks especially hungry, or let a neighbor borrow our shovel every once and a while. We even allow people to merge in front of us on the highway (as much as we don’t want to do it), not because we have to, but because it feels good. It’s a blessing to receive, but it’s a blessing to give, too.

Giving means having. What a gift it is to have what we have, even if it’s not much. Giving aids us in bonding with those around us and creates community and fellowship within our networks. Giving is freeing — literally and figuratively. To give is to let go of something you don’t use anymore and give it new life. It is cleansing to let things go, especially those things we don’t need anymore. 

Above all, giving is transformative. You transform the physical object you are giving from an unused, unappreciated item to a lifeline for someone else. When you give to someone, you change their lives. If not the trajectory of the whole thing, you are at least transforming their moment, trial, or tribulation. You transform yourself in the act of giving, from a bystander to an active participant in the mission of goodwill. 

Here at Cars 2nd Chance, we’ve never lost sight of the power of giving. We are endlessly thankful for the generosity and compassion of our community. It’s our most tremendous honor to serve the people around us and give as much as we receive. We get to spend each day reminded of the power of giving and the virtue that follows it. Our donors don’t just give for the tax right offs or the extra room in their garage (though these are undeniable perks), but for the opportunity to brighten someone else’s day. Week after week, month after month, year after year, we get to fill our scrapbook with examples of selfless giving.  

Thanks for reading! We hope that being reminded of the moral nature of giving helped inspire you to donate today, whether to us or someone else. You can support our mission by buying a donated vehicle, giving us a cash donation, or telling your loved ones about what we do. If you’re ready to feel that feeling of delight that comes exclusively from giving to others, consider donating a vehicle to us. Your donation will help us provide relief to someone who needs a helping hand right now. Reach out to to donate a car that runs, or send an email to to donate a vehicle that does not run. 

And don’t forget about the Charitable Wine Raffle being hosted later this month by the Rotary Club. The fun is taking place on March 17, 2022, and you’re invited! Tickets are only $25, and all proceeds help Clayton’s Children’s Park.

Partner Highlight — San Pablo Rotary club

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Things are just getting better and better at Car 2nd Chance! Today, we’d like to highlight a great partner of ours: the
San Pablo Rotary Club!


San Pablo Rotary’s mission is to change the world by supporting worthy causes in the region of San Pablo (and beyond). They are an open community of 21 heroes who engage in large fundraisers to help people and movements that matter. They are also great videographers! Check out their “About Us” video here.


We’re incredibly grateful to have a helping partner like the San Pablo Rotary. Working together, we get to help each other contribute to ideas and causes that positively impact people! 


If you want to buy a donated vehicle, give cash, or present a car to Cars 2nd Chance, now is a great time to share! Spring Cleaning and clearing out the clutter could inspire you to donate your unused vehicle and help someone recover from a natural disaster or receive food from the Food Bank. First, reach out to to donate a car that runs, or send an email to to donate a vehicle that does not run. We appreciate your love and support!

Where Are They Now? Stories About The Cars We Donated & The People Who Benefitted From Them

For many years, Cars 2nd Chance has donated cars to people and organizations in need. In this month’s blog, we thought we would look at the stories behind those car donations and find out what happened to the people and charities who benefitted from them.

Story #1

In 2017, the local Rotary Clubs donated vehicles to families in need within Contra Costa County. On May 4, 2017, the Clayton Valley-Concord Sunrise Rotary Club presented a refurbished 1998 Dodge Caravan to a family in need at the Monument Crisis Center. 

The Caravan was donated to Rotary by a Walnut Creek resident and was rehabilitated through donations of parts, time, and labor by local automotive services businesses, including:

  • Mechanical repairs from D&H Enterprises, owned by Dave and Mary Kemnitz
  • Smog repair parts and labor from West Coast Muffler, Automotive Service Councils of California ( ASCCA), and Steve Elstins
  • Paint and bodywork (complete) from Simply Superior Auto Body, owned by Rich Lezcano (a Rotary Club of Concord member)

Today, that family is doing well and appreciative of all the help they got from Cars 2nd Chance.

 Story #2

Another happy story is linked to a donated Recreational Vehicle. The Rotary Clubs of Clayton Valley/Concord and Moraga turned an unwanted motorhome into hope in Sierra Leone with the help of Cars2ndChance. The proceeds from the RV sale were matched by Rotary International and a project that the Moraga Rotary had undertaken in Sierra Leone to help children orphaned by the Ebola epidemic.

Story #3

After the Paradise Camp Fire in October of 2018, Cars 2nd Chance immediately jumped into action to provide needed vehicles to the Paradise fire victims.  Collaborating with California Vocations whose entire facility had been destroyed during the fire, Cars 2nd Chance reached out to the SF Bay Area Community for help. A total of 65 cars were donated, reconditioned, and sent to Paradise. Here are photos of one of the caravans of donated cars to Chico delivered to those fire victims. Of the 65 vehicles donated by Cars 2nd Chance, Seven people delivered these six donated cars on Friday, Feb 1, 2019.

 Before this special delivery, we met and finished the paperwork in the conference room of D&H Enterprises in Concord. Seven people caravanned in six cars to Chico to make the delivery. Some of the photos showed the cars crossing the bridge and entering Chico city limits.

Many families who lost everything in the fire were incredibly grateful to receive donated vehicles. Today, these fire victims have settled into new homes, rebuilt their lives and businesses, and thrived.

Cars 2nd Chance was developed to help others and make the world a better place through donated vehicles. There are many other happy stories to share, but we will save them for a later time. 

If you want to buy a donated vehicle, give cash, or present a car to Cars 2nd Chance, now is a great time to share! We hope these happy stories will inspire you to donate your unused vehicle. Your car or cash donation will help someone recover from a natural disaster or receive food from the Food Bank. First, reach out to to donate a vehicle that runs, or send an email to to donate a car that does not run. As always, we appreciate your love and support!

5 Unusual Ways To Show Love

Photo by Michael Fenton on Unsplash


This Valentine’s Day, you have the choice to show your love in the typical way or try something different. For a lot of us, doing a last-minute trip to the store to grab a bouquet of flowers and making dinner reservations is our annual go-to method. Can you relate?

But in 2021, we thought we would come up with five unusual, or atypical, ways to show love. Take a look and let us know what you think:

Get your sweetheart’s car serviced.

One of the sweetest things you can do for your loved one is to take care of their car. Nothing says “I love you” quite like a freshly-washed vehicle that has been recently serviced and has a full gas tank. Taking care of your sweetheart’s car, in big and small ways, shows you care about their well-being and safety. Contact your favorite mechanic today to show some love to their auto repair team as well. If you don’t have a favorite mechanic, Cars 2nd Chance recommends D&H Enterprises in Concord, California.

Donate an old vehicle you no longer use to charity.

Got an old car or truck you no longer use? If there is an underutilized vehicle you own that is running or not, you can donate it to charity. That’s a fantastic way to show your love for humanity. Cars 2nd Chance is one of those nonprofit organizations that help families in need. Our donated cars have benefited the Food Bank of Solano and Contra Costa Counties, the Monument Crisis Center, victims of the Paradise Fire of 2018, and many, many Rotary projects both locally and internationally. Regardless if your old vehicle is running or not, Cars 2nd Chance will be delighted to accept it. If it still has life in it, we will repair it before placing it in the hands of the next owner. For more information, visit our FAQs page.

Take a day trip to explore your region.

With the decline of airline travel, road trips have become the hottest way to explore your own backyard. Why not take a day trip with your sweetheart to go on a local adventure? Getting out of your daily routine is a great way to focus on your significant other, make some new memories, and find local treasures you may have overlooked before your trip. Breaking out of the daily blahs may rekindle that special spark in your relationship and allow you to appreciate the gems found within your own geographical region.

Pack a picnic and drive to a beautiful location.

Whether or not you take that day trip in your region, you may want to add this option to your list in showing love. Pack a picnic for two and dine together at a beautiful location. Maybe it’s a picnic by the rocky coastline of Central California? Maybe it’s a backpacked lunch at the summit of a hiking trail? Maybe it’s spreading a big blanket over the lush grass of a neighborhood park? If you pack a picnic and take your sweetheart to a beautiful location, that’s a terrific way to show some love.

Get out in nature.

As you can see, we are big fans of getting outside in nature. With health being a focus for so many of us throughout the pandemic, getting outside in nature is both good for our physical and mental health. If you are unable to take your loved ones outside for long periods of time, you can always take a walk around your neighborhood or place a few chairs in your backyard. Getting some sunshine on your skin allows your body to produce Vitamin D, which is an excellent way to boost your immune system. Getting quiet with your sweetheart and listening to the birds, the wind in the trees, seeing a neighbor’s waving hand, and breathing in fresh air is a wonderful way to show love for yourself and others. Getting out in nature does the body good, as well as the mind.

If you want to show more love in unusual ways, Cars 2nd Chance can help. Buy a donated vehicle, give cash, or present a car to Cars 2nd Chance. Now is a great time to share! If you donate your unused vehicle, you will help someone recover from a natural disaster or receive food from the Food Bank. First, reach out to to donate a car that runs, or send an email to to donate a car that does not run. We appreciate your love and support!

New Year’s Resolutions Around Charity & Doing Good For Others

Image by Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay 

Now that 2020 is behind us and we have moved into 2021, many of us are giving thought to New Year’s Resolutions. For us, our New Year’s Resolutions for 2021 revolve around charity and doing good for others. That is why in this month’s blog, we want to share some ideas we have about giving to others to make the world a better place.


Though many claim that the year 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year, we at Cars 2nd Chance found a silver lining of good coming out of a challenging year. For one, we saw that more people were quickly becoming food insecure during the early months of Covid-19. That is why we were inspired to take the money from car donations and support the Food Bank of Solano and Contra Costa Counties. In 10 months, we have donated $50,000 and pledged $100,000 to the Food Bank to help feed hungry families and individuals within our communities.


We also took the initiative to provide donated cars to families and individuals in need. Some were young couples starting their lives together, while others were disabled or homeless. To see car donations come through that would lend a hand up to those who needed extra support, it warmed our hearts to see that much good coming out of our Cars 2nd Chance program.


We are hoping with all our might that 2021 is going to be a better, more stable, and productive year, but there are no guarantees. Two years ago, we gave donated cars to people who lost their homes in the Paradise Camp Fire disaster. There is and always will be a need to help others facing significant challenges within our community. That is why our New Year’s Resolutions continue to focus on charity and doing good for others. It’s who we are as Rotarians, and that is why we love all the goodness that comes through our Cars 2nd Chance program.


If you are still undecided about what you want to do for yourself and others in 2021, we invited you to resolve to help those in need through Cars 2nd Chance. If you have a car you wish to donate, our donation process is super easy. If you, instead, prefer to donate cash, we are open to that as well. Or, if you find that you are the one in need of help, ask, and we’ll do our part to assist you. When you willingly give, you are likely to get more, due to your generosity.


If you want to buy a donated vehicle, give cash, or present a car to Cars 2nd Chance, now is a great time to share! If you resolve to give more this year, donate your unused vehicle to help someone recover from a natural disaster or receive food from the Food Bank. First, reach out to to donate a car that runs, or send an email to to donate a car that does not run. We appreciate your love and support!

Volunteering is a Great Antidepressant

While everyone gets down once in a while, depression in the age of COVID-19 is another beast entirely. With shelter-in-place orders and families sequestered at home, finding ways to feel connected to others and your community can seem almost impossible. Thankfully, volunteering is a great way to help combat these feelings while helping to impact your communities.

Service to others can be one of the most potent forms of self-care available. Volunteering can improve mental health while contributing to society. By helping people form connections over shared causes, we can feel less isolated, which may help ease the strain on those with depression.

While we make those connections, we also change the way we think. By meeting new people and collaborating on a common goal, we begin to see the world from different perspectives. Another great part about volunteering is that many volunteering activities are outdoors and active in nature. By getting outside and being active in the environment, even with social distancing requirements, we improve our moods and get much-needed fresh air and sunlight. Volunteering with animals may also have similar effects.

Of course, some volunteering activities will be unavailable until shelter-in-place restrictions ease, but now’s the time to get active! Check out your local volunteering websites and see if you can even do remote volunteering. There are all sorts of volunteering activities you can engage in right now at all comfort levels. Whether you volunteer for a local political campaign by phone banking or help deliver food and groceries to the elderly in your community, do some research and get to it! It’s the best form of self-care when you can help yourself while helping your community.

If you’d like to donate your car to help someone recover from a natural disaster, reach out to to donate a vehicle that runs, and to donate a vehicle that does not. Check out their respective websites and

Paradise Survivors: A 6-Month Update

The California wildfires were devastating and affected the lives of thousands. It’s been six months since the fires started in Plumas National Forest and spread across 20,000 acres of land. Residents had to evacuate and were in a state of emergency. Besides all the emotional pain each resident had to go to they also lost their homes, more than 6,700 homes were burned and destroyed. This fire set the record for California’s most destructive fire. How are the survivors doing? It’s still a huge struggle.

Thousands of residents were displaced, homes burned down, and left with nothing. Many survivors remain in rentals until they figure out their next steps and options. Others are still in emergency housing and government trailers. Residents are waiting for insurance money, trying to rebuild, or looking for a new place to live. These things take lots of time, money and energy. There are also many residents living in homeless camps in the southern city limits of Santa Rosa.

The only option is to start over completely. Furniture, vehicles, precious memories are gone forever. Some homes can’t even be rebuilt because the damage is so bad. Living in a rental is not the same as home. Trying to buy a new home is expensive, paperwork and applications take time, and there is no guarantee they will get the home they want. Only a handful of residents have been able to rise from the ashes and start a new life moving forward.

There have been less than 100 building permits issued since the fires when thousands of buildings were burned down. They are struggling to find time, money, and workers to rebuild what was lost. More than 40% of the homes that burned were not insured either. Those who lived paycheck to paycheck had to move somewhere else that had cheap rent so they could get by. The average local-area rent price has gone up 30% since the fires making it less affordable to more people. Those who couldn’t find a new place or family to stay with ended up in temporary housing from FEMA. The biggest colony of survivors is in the Sonoma County Fairgrounds RV park where 100 new trailers were brought in and filled up completely. These trailers are part of the disaster recovery effort and provided 400 residents with housing up to 18 months.

There has been a resilient permit center opened separately for the fire survivors who are trying to rebuild their homes. Officials have lowered fees for this center with promises to issue building permits a week after application so survivors can start building a new life. In the fire-prone areas, it’s now required to have fire sprinklers installed.

It’s going to take time to rebuild what was lost and the mourning over the lives lost will forever continue. A majority of survivors are still fighting the battle and trying to figure out how to start over. If you can help in any way, please do. Survivors continue to need our support.

How Do Charitable Acts Help Your Taxes? Giving Matters to You, Too!

It feels good to give!

Taxes and giving: what do these two things have to do with one another? Well, indeed there are many ways taxes and giving relate to one another, especially when it comes down to the individual. There are many reasons people give to charitable organizations, and though it shouldn’t be the main reason, receiving tax incentives is a wonderful benefit for the individual taxpayer.

In 2016, 36.95 million tax returns claimed charitable contributions. What does this mean for those taxpayers? Well, it means that throughout the year, when folks have planned or spontaneous desires to give cash or non-cash items, they receive a receipt. The importance of that receipt is, as with anything with our taxes, to be able to provide proof of the gift and its value.

Breaking it down:

Noncash donations —

  • Donations up to $250 in value, all that’s needed is the receipt for the charitable donation deduction.
  • Contributions over $250 but no more than $500 requires a detailed, written acknowledgment from the organization; it must include: name and address, the date and location of contribution, description of the donation, and an estimate of the item’s value,
  • Donations over $500 but no more than $5,000 require the above information ($250-$500) as well as the records of how you acquired the noncash item, such as how much you paid for it.

Car donations —

Some steps need to be considered when donating a car because it depends on the vehicles selling price from the organization, or if it’s not sold, by the fair market value:

  • Step 1: Determine how much the car was sold for by the charity, but if it’s sold significantly below market value, you can use the fair market value.
  • Step 2: Determine the car’s fair market value, and it’s important to use a reputable used-car price guide so you can calculate if you need to use the fair market value.
  • Step 3: Claim the deduction on line 17 of Schedule A.
  • Step 4: additional forms that are needed include:

Form 8283 Section A for car donations $501 to $5,000

Form 8283 Section B for car donations over $5,000 and this section requires a written appraisal as documentation.

How do these cash and noncash donations help charitable organizations? Nonprofits have three primary funding sources: fees charged, government grants, and charitable giving. So, the giving, especially of unrestricted cash donations, is extraordinarily important, thus fulfilling for the giver.

How exactly do these deductions help you, the taxpayer? The IRS allows the deduction for taxpayers that are filing their return with an itemized deduction schedule, and a deduction lowers the amount of taxable income before taking into account your tax liability.

Some websites and organizations exist to help you responsibly learn about, make, and track your charitable donation deductions throughout the year:

Charity Navigator: A charity navigator that provides information to guide responsible giving with details on the Financial Health, Accountability, and Transparency of over 9,000 charities, as well as basic information on the other 1.8 million U.S. nonprofits. Charity Navigator is itself a 501 C 3.

Better Business Bureau Give.Org: An organization that evaluates charities based on governance and oversight, measuring effectiveness, finances, and solicitations and informational materials. This also helps to provide reports so donors can make informed decisions with the donations.

IRS and Charitable Contributions: The IRS has information surrounding utilizing charitable deductions, from the most basic to more detailed information.

When taking into account your decision to make charitable donations, don’t forget to check the boxes to make sure that your charitable donation deductions will be able to be utilized. Always do your research, and feel good knowing where your gifts are going and how they can also benefit you!

If you’d like to donate your car to help someone recover from the Paradise fire or another valued non-profit, reach out to to donate a car that runs and to donate a vehicle that does not. Check out their respective websites The organization has received 30 cars for the Paradise survivors, but they need more, as you can well imagine.

Our partner: First Presbyterian Church of Concord

children-rebecca1We are proud to be partners with the First Presbyterian Church of Concord, who has given so much to our community and continues to look for new ways and new means to help our community and beyond.  The First Presbyterian Church Concord is located in downtown Concord near Todos Santos Plaza.

FPCC was the first Protestant church in Concord, founded on October 14, 1882. The years have seen many changes to both Concord and FPCC. During this time FPCC has met in 5 different buildings, and while other churches have moved further out and new churches have been founded in the community, FPCC has remained one of the few downtown churches in Concord.

FPCC helps provide support to the following organizations in order to reach out to our community:

> Young Life – An international Christian youth organization whose primary focus is to reach out to young people who are not part of a local church. Young Life in the Diablo Valley has Young Life Clubs at several high schools and middle schools, but our primary focus is in Concord.

> Contra Costa Interfaith Council – The Interfaith Council provides Chaplains at the various youth detention facilities in Contra Costa County. We contribute towards this valuable service.

> Iglesia Presbiteriana Hispana in Oakland / Premere Iglesia Concord Ministry – This small, but growing Spanish-speaking congregation in Oakland is reaching out to it’s neighbors. We are pleased with the opportunity to share with them.

> Bay Area Rescue Mission – This rescue mission has been in operation for many years in the Richmond area and now their outreach encompasses much of the Bay Area under the leadership of Directors John and Debra Anderson. They provide many services, like providing a hot meal for the homeless and poor, providing drug and alcohol rehabilitation for men, and transitional housing for families and women with children. They reach out to their community in a variety of ways and have recently developed an extensive ministry with children who live in the area.

There are many other missions FPCC is involved, as you can read here. Their continuous work of doing charity without expecting anything in return is what makes us so proud to be their partner. Join us!

6 reasons why charity is so rewarding

pexels-photo-13918-largeYou don’t need an excuse to give: you’re altruistic, generous and love others without expecting anything back. But sometimes we need a little incentive. Here are a few reasons:

  1. Be part of something greater than yourself: an ocean is made of little drops, and your contribution, together with many others can make a difference in this world. There are many other charities have opportunities so you can see how your small donation really does make a big difference, like Cars2ndChance!
  2. Setting an example: children are most likely to repeat what they’ve seen while they were growing up. If you show them how to be generous and caring towards others, they will likely be like that in the future. If you involve your children in choosing charities, you will instill a desire to share and serve that will last throughout their lives.
  3. Join a cause: By volunteering, you have the opportunity to build your social circles while reaping the physical, mental and spiritual benefits from the labor you contribute to your favorite cause. You probably know people who run or bike a race to support a cause close to them. If you feel passionate about a cause like this, join a race or donate money or time.
  4. A grateful heart: The act of helping others can create an improved sense of well-being. Knowing that you sacrificed something such as time, finances or property in order to help others in need can give you a sense of purpose in life or work and inner satisfaction. As you give food to a local food bank, or write a check for an organization that helps people in need, you can’t help but feel thankful for the blessings in your own life.
  5. Social injustice awareness: You may discover new points of view and opinions on topics about which you were previously uninformed. This knowledge may position you to help increase the awareness of social problems among those in your sphere of influence from a balanced and educated standpoint.As a result, you become more educated about social injustices around the world.
  6. It’s tax deductible! Although this isn’t the main reason we’d suggest donating to charity, it is a nice bonus. Keep records of money or property you donate so you can itemize correctly on your tax forms. But not only is the money you give tax deductible, so are the amounts you spend on travel, parking costs and even convention and event fees that are related to the non-profit group, as long as you are not being reimbursed by the charity for these expenses.