What Happens to a Donated Car?

Have you ever wondered what goes into the process of donating a car to Cars 2nd Chance? How does it work? What steps are involved? The truth is, it’s a bit of a volley of throwing the burden of work from one shoulder to another until everything is the way it should be.

The process of a donation begins with the donor completing a form directly on our website. We’ll get a lot of personal information and vehicle information. Then, we contact you at your email with a thank you letter that details how to get the car to us, and includes a donor form that is handy later for tax credits. 

We’ll have you complete the donor form and return it to us, along with the transferred title, and we’ll send you a Release of Liability to complete the ownership transfer. From there, we’ll arrange a tow truck to pick your vehicle up.

All you have to do is coordinate with the towing company when they call you. They’ll set a date and time to pick the vehicle up and take it off your hands. From there, we’ll sell the vehicle, send you a Donor form 1098C for your taxes, and send our charity partner half the proceeds. 

And that’s it! That’s the whole process!

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! Having a second look at your garage could inspire you to donate your unused vehicle and help someone recover from a natural disaster or receive food from the Food Bank. Reach out to cars2ndchance@gmail.com to donate a car. We appreciate your love and support!

Partner Highlight: Shelter Inc.

Introducing Shelter Inc. 

We’ve all heard that old saying, April showers bring May flowers. The Springtime tends to remind me of another gardening quote I love: “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” I love this quote because working in the nonprofit sector feels like gardening. We plant our seeds, water them, give them sunlight, watch them get a little muddy in the rain, and eventually, we get to see our flowers bloom. Like gardening, the process takes a little bit of patience and much hope. 


This April, we want to highlight one of the beautiful nonprofits that help flowers in our community bloom. As a part of our Partner Highlight series, we’d like to introduce one of the charities your contributions help support: Shelter Inc. 

Shelter Inc.’s Impact 

Shelter Inc. is a California organization dedicated to supporting our unhoused and homeless neighbors. Its mission is to prevent and end homelessness for low-income, homeless, and disadvantaged families. Shelter Inc. has numerous programs to prevent homelessness, support homeless families and individuals in stopping the cycle of homelessness and help to provide affordable housing. 


With such a lofty goal at the heart of their mission, there’s much work to be done. But Shelter Inc. plants its seeds in many different ways! The Shelter Inc. provides:

  • Eviction Prevention
  • Interim Housing
  • Long-Term Housing
  • Low-Income Housing
  • Case Management Services
  • Employment Services
  • Housing Search Support
  • Resources for Veterans
  • Reintegration Services

And the beautiful, vibrant flowers of this work are undeniable. 95% of the families and individuals who exit their Mountain View Family Shelter move into permanent housing. Additionally, Shelter Inc. has taken over 6,705 calls for assistance, and they’ve served over 50,000 meals in their shelters. What a garden! 

Supporting Shelter Inc. and Cars 2nd Chance

Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll consider donating or volunteering at Shelter Inc.! Your donations to Cars 2nd Chance help to support Shelter Inc., too. 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! Having a second look at your garage could inspire you to donate your unused vehicle and help someone recover from a natural disaster or receive food from the Food Bank. Reach out to cars2ndchance@gmail.com to donate a car. We appreciate your love and support!

A New Year and an Old Car

Photo by Vasilios Muselimis on Unsplash

With the first new day of the year comes a sense of new possibility. We can cast off old habits, old dynamics in favor of new ones just because the calendar change permits us. Back in 1991, singer George Michael shook his head at people resetting their lives by the change of a calendar in the song “Waiting for the Day,” in the line,

Now everybody’s talking about this new decade
like you say the magic number
then just say goodbye to the stupid mistakes you made

Personally, I like the simplicity of the ‘New Year, New Me’ approach. It grants us the power to start fresh with a sense of purpose. We hope we have learned from our mistakes, but more importantly, we continue to survive and thrive despite our missteps.

Here we are in January of 2022. Some folks have received new cars for Christmas, or pre-owned and lightly used cars, anyways. And while that seems a pretty expensive present, I can’t argue against it. It’s a beautiful idea. I just wonder: did you trade in that old car yet?

The amount of value that most people get for car trade-ins rarely helps the sale. You could donate the old car itself to a charitable organization like Cars 2nd Chance and then claim it off your taxes. It could be rescued by top mechanics, loved, and allowed to live on to support charities of Rotary Clubs across the nation. So before you trade a used car in for pennies on the dollar, consider donating it to Cars 2nd Chance!

Thanks for reading… we hope we’ve inspired someone out there to donate! 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! Having a second look at your garage 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 cars2ndchance@gmail.com to donate a car that runs, or send an email to clunkers4charity@gmail.com to donate a vehicle that does not run. We appreciate your love and support!

5 Things You May Not Know About Car Donations

Car donations are AWESOME for obvious reasons. However, there are some lesser-known benefits to this kind of charity that are often left overlooked! This article will focus on the lesser-known ones and show you how beneficial for the world, car donations are!


  1. You are changing the world.
  • 100% Of your vehicle donations go to projects that matter all over the globe. You can even pick which projects you want to support by selecting a partner of ours after you donate! 
  • These projects involve schools, shelters for the homeless, food for the poor, and much more!


  • Even small donations can enact change! 
  • With car donations, you don’t have to go crazy and try to donate a ridiculous sum. We accept vehicles of all types, running or not! Every single donation makes a difference! 


  1. You’re doing yourself a favor.
  • Did you know that the people who give are, in the end, far happier and healthier than the people who don’t? Science data proves that giving increases our sense of well-being. Instead of indulging in complex productivity systems, giving things away is a far simpler self-help tool! 🙂 


  1. You are joining a global community.
  • Vehicle donations are getting extremely popular, and there are a TON of communities forming. If you haven’t found your tribe yet, car donations are fantastic opportunities to find peers like you!
  • Cars 2nd Chance is a program that Rotarians started in Concord, California. We know that through good deeds, we are helping others in our local and global communities.


  • You have a choice.
  • We are not looking for people to donate their Lambos (although we are open to that!). We are looking for people with enthusiasm and who want to make an impact. It is the desire, not the deed, that we reward.


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 cars2ndchance@gmail.com to donate a car that runs, or send an email to clunkers4charity@gmail.com to donate a vehicle that does not run. We appreciate your love and support!

Putting Gratitude to Work for You

In the theme of giving thanks during November, let’s talk about gratitude.

Back in the early 2000s, Dave and Mary Kemnitz had a problem that needed solving. At their auto repair shop, D & H Enterprises in Concord, California, they were continually faced with disposing of vehicles that their customers did not want any longer.  Most donation centers had huge administrative fees and they kept thinking that there must be a better way.  Suddenly These abandoned, unwanted cars gave them an idea. As long-standing Rotarians, they knew that many underprivileged families could use these vehicles. When they looked around at the options to donate these vehicles, they were sickened by the huge admin fee the donation centers were taking. 

 So, they decided to start two initiatives: Cars 2nd Chance in 2008, working with their local Rotary Club’s Foundation and since that was so successful, began developing Cars for Careers for their automotive trade organization, ASCCA’s Educational Foundation, ASCEF in 2009. Rotary donated cars were either repaired and sold directly from their business or sent directly to Copart Auto Auction to be sold. The Cars for Career’s vehicles went straight to the auction, and ASCCA shops from all over the state began directing cars to the project. Through the years, cars have either been repaired and sold to needy families, repaired and donated to needy families, or sent directly to auction. The proceeds changed many lives. When the cars were repaired, they could either be donated to families who needed them or sell the vehicles, and the proceeds would provide money to these two organizations. What a brilliant solution!

 We are grateful that Dave and Mary Kemnitz have been tireless in their efforts to accept donated cars and get them operating again over the years. Today, these cars have a second chance at serving those who need them. Additionally, these cars allow automotive repair students the opportunity to get their hands on a vehicle, learn how to repair it, and feel good knowing that their class project is doing good for the community at large. We believe that’s a complete cycle of putting gratitude to work for you.

 So now, let’s talk about those folks who want to put their gratitude to work. 

 Some people feel the need to donate their cars to help others because they are in an excellent financial position. If you have an older car that you are considering donating, you can get a tax deduction for the donation. Here’s how: 

  • First, you must donate the car to a qualifying charity. Donating it to a family member won’t qualify for a deduction.
  • Second, you must itemize deductions on Schedule A. The deduction is generally the sales proceeds from selling the car. There are exceptions if the charity keeps the vehicle for business purposes or donates it to a needy person.
  • Third, the deduction cannot exceed 50% of your adjusted gross income. The charity will provide you with a Form 1098-C that will tell you the amount the car was sold. 
  • Fourth, you must attach Form 8283 to your tax return if claiming a deduction greater than $500.

 If you want to put gratitude to work for you, consider donating your vehicle to Cars 2nd Chance. If you’re going to set an excellent example for your family, consider making this a family project, so your children learn the positive benefits of helping others. To demonstrate and show the children in your life about gratitude, donate your unused car to help someone recover from a natural disaster, or receive food from the Food Bank. To begin, reach out to cars2ndchance@gmail.com to donate a vehicle that runs, or send an email to clunkers4charity@gmail.com to donate a car that does not. 

 For you, we are forever grateful!

Cars 2nd Chance & Rotary Partner Highlight

As the COVID-19 epidemic continues to ravage the world, there’s one particular population that is unable to stay completely safe: prisoners and inmates throughout California’s criminal justice system. Thankfully, there are amazing organizations like the California Re-Entry Program, that are working to assist people incarcerated in California prisons, even during this pandemic! Keep reading to learn more about the important work these social justice warriors are fighting to do.

The California Re-Entry Program’s mission is to assist people incarcerated within the California prison system to a successful reentry into society. They do this by providing education, as well as connecting them to resources before their release, to help reduce recidivism rates. Recidivism is the tendency of those incarcerated to commit new offenses and wind back up incarcerated. As recidivism rates among formerly incarcerated people are particularly high in California, the California Re-Entry Program works with those incarcerated to get them fully integrated back into society in a number of ways.
The California Re-Entry Program team assists in developing parole plans, solid relapse prevention plans, and social skills among their clients. They also hold weekly life-skills workshops, coordinate clients’ reentry needs with their California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation counselor, and assist in obtaining services in the communities of reentry. The Re-Entry team also helps to promote public support for reentry programs by advocating publicly for reentry reforms and providing a model for reentry programs that could be replicated in all California prisons.

The California Re-Entry Program is made up of a dedicated team of volunteers from all around the San Francisco Bay Area. This team visits, advises, and counsels men incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison on a monthly basis. They provide drop-in assistance on-site, including county resource guides, financial aid applications and information, as well as GED program info, and information on employment opportunities.
They also provide long-term case management for clients who need long-term planning assistance with employment, education, medical needs, substance abuse treatment, and housing. In addition, the Re-Entry team helps with special needs assistance, providing parole clothing, workshops, and training to both clients and volunteers, to ensure new resources and the most accurate and quality information is what their clients receive.

If you or someone you know wants to get involved with this fantastic organization dedicated to assisting people incarcerated within California, you can do so here. If you’d like to donate, you can do so here. Please share this article with anyone you feel might be interested in learning more about the California Re-Entry Program and the amazing work they do for their clients. For more information about the California Re-Entry Program , check out their website: https://www.ca-reentry.org/

Partner Highlight — Automotive Service Councils Educational Foundation ASCEF

When it comes to good work around California, it doesn’t take much to realize that the Automotive Service Councils Educational Foundation (ASCEF) is doing its fair share and then some. For decades now, the push has been strong to send ALL children to college. Our culture values academic success and presented the picture of a successful America steeped in white-collar workers. It was long believed that kids with high trade/mechanical knowledge and skills were somehow less than those with high academic skills. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

As we head into a new decade, it is blatantly obvious just how much we missed the boat on that one belief. Newer research has revealed the inherent flaws with standardized testing and considering academic intelligence as the true measure of a person’s aptitude, ability, and potential success in life. Not only are other forms of intelligence equally as important, they are necessary to our very survival. Imagine if we had NO: farmers, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, etc? Our entire way of life would be eradicated.

We are shorthanded in every skilled-trade imaginable thanks to this extended line of thinking over the past decades. It’s harder to find a qualified mechanic than a good doctor. When we find one, we’re afraid to move because of how hard it was to find the one we have now. Auto repair shops are struggling to find qualified staff because of the shortage around the country for skilled, trained auto mechanics/technicians. We need qualified mechanics!

The ASCEF not only recognizes this dilemma, but they are working hard to correct the issue knowing that it won’t happen overnight. They encourage highschool students to explore auto repair as a possible career and even offer scholarships to help cover the cost of their education.

If you would like to apply for a scholarship, you have until March 31 for this year’s application period. If you would like to donate to the cause, this organization is always accepting donations! Please share this article with anyone you feel might be interested in either applying or donating or anyone who might like to know the good work that’s being done in our local community. For more information about the ASCEF and their scholarship process, check out their website: https://www.ascca.com/education/asc-educational-foundation.

I Don’t Know What To Say: How To Show Empathy For Others After A Traumatic Experience

I Don’t Know What To Say: How To Show Empathy For Others After A Traumatic Experience

When something bad happens to a friend or family member, it’s often a challenge to find something to say. It can be awkward, but that’s okay too. We want to fall back on common phrases we’ve learned over the years that rarely help anyone to feel better.

“Time heals all wounds.”
“She’s in a better place now.”
“This too shall pass.”

When we use these phrases, it doesn’t help us connect with how the person is actually feeling. It’s not that we do this on purpose, it’s just because it’s what we know and have heard others say to us. When we can use true empathy, we connect to what the other person is feeling. We connect with their pain and are trying to understand how they are feeling.

A better approach is about action rather than words. Listening is a great place to start. People in pain want validation that what they are experiencing is a challenge. Acknowledge their pain and how they are feeling.

“That sounds tough.”
“Wow, that’s terrible.”
“I’m sorry you’re dealing with this.”
“Of course that’s painful.”

You don’t have to totally get it, but whatever you do, don’t diminish their feelings or their experience of what happened. Share your own feelings and don’t afraid to say that you don’t know what to say.

“I can’t begin to imagine what you’re going through right now.”
“I wish I could take away your pain.”
“It makes me sad to know this is what you’re dealing with.”

Let them know that you are grateful they chose you to open up to because it shows they trust you. It’s an honor that they did and don’t be afraid to acknowledge that it may have been hard for them to do so. You are establishing yourself as a safe harbor where they can safely be vulnerable.

“Thank you for trusting me enough to share your experience.”
“I’m honored that you shared this with me.”
“Thank you for opening up to me.”

When you show interest, it’s opening the door for connection. Everyone wants that and especially those who are going through challenging times. This is the time to listen to them and let them share with you.

“How are you feeling about everything?”
“What I heard you say is _____. Is that right?”
“What has this been like for you?”

Take time to encourage your friend or family member. Everyone needs encouragement and that’s especially true when going through a rough patch. Don’t try to fix their problems or try to make them look on the bright side. This is a great time to share what you admire about them and remind them that they are loved.

“You are a true warrior.”
“I’m on your side.”
“I’m proud of you.”

Show you care: give hugs, send flowers or handwritten cards, offer to help around the house. These are actions that helps them to feel loved and supported.

“What can I do to help?”
“What do you need?”
“I’m here when you need me.”

It can be difficult to support our loved ones going through hard times, but it can make all the difference to them when we make the effort. The worst of times often lead to isolation, despair, and loneliness. Take time to show your support and that you care. The empathetic approach is much stronger than empty words. We hope this will give you the words and actions you need to help a loved one.

Rebuilding Their Lives: What’s New With The Paradise Rotary Club?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been an entire year since the Paradise Fire forever changed our community. To some it feels like a lifetime ago, for others as if it was yesterday. It’s difficult to fathom the pain of such destruction and how it has impacted the lives of so many. It’s a ripple effect, with the strongest impact at the center.

We’ve only just begun to recover, knowing that this is an event we will forever carry in our hearts. For some it will remain on shoulders for just as long. The economic impact for some is greater than for others, but regardless, it will leave a scar with us all. We have all felt some level of despair, but there is great hope that shines through. We are a strong community that has rallied together in an effort to move forward and support each through these challenging times.

There are organizations out there with fund for many who apply. PG&E has a Wildfire Assistance Program and is accepting applications until November 15.

PG&E Wildfire Assistance Program Accepting Applications for Aid

The Paradise Rotary Foundation also has grants available to help: https://paradiserotaryfoundation.org/

For the latest recovery news, here are a couple of very helpful websites:


Paradise Recovers

If you want to help out, here’s one of the many ways:

How You Can Help
Rotary Club of Paradise’s Camp Fire Relief Efforts
Donate (by credit card) to the Paradise Rotary Foundation through our GoFundMe campaign. (Note: GoFundMe keeps 3% of your donation.)
Donate (write a check) to:
Paradise Rotary Foundation
45 Jan Court., Suite 170
Chico, CA 95928
The EIN for your tax records is: 26-2754805.
More Information and Forms at ParadiseRotaryFoundation.org.

The Paradise Rotary Club has stepped up from the very beginning in helping this community remain strong. We are “People of Action” and we won’t stop. Our love of Paradise and the people who make it such an amazing place to live fuels our efforts. Here’s to another strong year of recovery!