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    Giving Up Driving Can Be Hard To Do

    When you love someone, it’s hard to see them put themselves or others at risk

    Giving up driving can be one of the hardest decisions anyone has to make. It can be really difficult to determine the blurred line of when that last lapse of attention is the one that forces you to give up your keys. Talking to your parents or other family member about giving up driving can be equally hard. How do you tell the person who taught you how to drive that they are no longer safe to drive themselves? While these conversations can be emotionally draining, they are important to keeping those we care about safe.

    We at Center for Car Donations want to help you with some advice about giving up your license or helping a family member with this life-altering decision. There are many resources available for you, which we will include in this post, and we hope to provide a springboard to get the conversation started.

    How do you know when a loved one should start the process of giving up their keys? Statistics tell us that drivers over the age of 75 are at an increased risk for traffic accidents, and that number skyrockets after the age of 80. While teenagers, a group of people who are well known for risky and dangerous drivers are at risk for killing others, older people are at risk for seriously injuring or killing themselves. This is due to a number of factors, most obviously the reduced ability of older individuals to bounce back from life-threatening injuries.

    This article from the online publication Slate Magazine opens with a sad story about a couple in their 90’s who passed away while holding hands after 72 years of marriage. The author also points out that they hit another car with “all the hallmarks of car accident caused by an aged driver.” This accident resulted in one of the passengers in the other car suffering a broken neck. There aren’t any state laws forcing older people to give up their license, although many states do require those over the age of 70 to renew their licenses in person, and some states have other requirements for older drivers.

    New and unexplained scratches or dents can be an indicator that the driver’s attention is lapsing. Traffic tickets are also a good indicator. Listen to this NPR story about a son who called the authorities about his mother, as well as some helpful things to look for.

    Taking a drive with the family member can let you know first-hand what is happening with reaction time and response to unexpected traffic conditions. If you don’t mind them driving themselves but wouldn’t put your child in the car with Grandma or Grandpa, this is probably a strong indicator that you should start the conversation with your loved one.

    Giving Up Driving

     

    This website, published by the National Highway Traffic Safety administration, has some great information about determining if health factors may be impeding safety in older drivers.

    • You have problems reading highway or street signs or recognizing someone you know across the street.
    • You have trouble seeing lane lines and other pavement markings, curbs, medians, other vehicles and pedestrians, especially at dawn, dusk and at night
    • You experience more discomfort at night from the glare of oncoming headlights.
    • You have trouble looking over your shoulder to change lanes or looking left and right to check traffic at intersections.
    • You have trouble moving your foot from the gas to the brake pedal or turning the steering wheel.
    • You have fallen down – not counting a trip or stumble – once or more in the previous year.
    • You walk less than one block per day.
    • You can’t raise your arms above your shoulders.
    • You feel pain in your knees, legs or ankles when going up or down a flight of ten stairs.
    • You feel overwhelmed by all of the signs, signals, road markings, pedestrians and vehicles that you must pay attention to at intersections.
    • Gaps in traffic are harder to judge, making it more difficult to turn left at intersections or to merge with traffic when turning right.
    • You take medications that make you sleepy.
    • You often get lost or become confused.
    • You experience dizziness, seizures or loss of consciousness.
    • You aren’t confident that you can handle the demands of high speeds or heavy traffic.
    • You are slow to see cars coming out of driveways and side streets or to realize that another car has slowed or stopped ahead of you.
    • A friend or family member has expressed concern about your driving.
    • You sometimes get lost while driving on routes that were once familiar.
    • You have been pulled over by a police officer and warned about your poor driving behavior, even if you didn’t get a ticket
    • You have had several moving violations, near misses or actual crashes in the last three years.
    • Your doctor or other health caregiver has advised you to restrict or stop driving.

    The symptoms do not mean your loved on absolutely needs to give up driving, however. There are several steps to take before giving up the keys. This list from helpguide.org can help your loved one take charge of their health.

    • Getting your eyes checked every year. Make sure that corrective lenses are current. Keep the windshield, mirrors, and headlights clean, and turn brightness up on the instrument panel on your dashboard.
    • Having your hearing checked annually. If hearing aids are prescribed, make sure they are worn while driving. Be careful when opening car windows, though, as drafts can sometimes impair a hearing aid’s effectiveness.
    • Talking with a doctor about the effects that ailments or medications may have on your driving ability. For example, if you have glaucoma, you may find tinted eyeglass lenses useful in reducing glare.
    • Sleeping well. Getting enough sleep is essential to driving well. If there are problems, try to improve nighttime sleep conditions and talk with your doctor about the effect of any sleep medications on driving.

    How do you start this conversation? It is important not to rush the discussion. Find a time that is mellow and relaxed for both of you, and be prepared to have a series of smaller conversations rather than one big one. Simply putting the idea into the mind of your loved one is a great way to help them make the decision for themselves, rather than forcing them into something they don’t want to do. The AARP offers a great resource for having this conversation called “We Need to Talk.” It includes tutorials, videos, and conversation starters. Here are some basics from a caring.com:

    Consider temporarily giving up the car yourself – Put yourself in their shoes by giving up driving for a few weeks before you talk to them so you can understand firsthand what they will be going through

    Choose your time wisely – Aim for a quiet time of day when both you are relaxed with no impending deadlines

    Handle Objections With Reflective Listening – Encourage the questions your loved one will ask without jumping in with solutions. Use what they tell you to formulate a response, such as, “I know that you’re worried that giving up driving means you will have to give up golf.”

    Allow That This Process Will Take Time This probably shouldn’t be one long conversation; rather, several smaller conversations are a better way to go. Take breaks whenever they are needed. Don’t interrupt or try to get back on track. Allow them to work through their memories.

    Ask Them What They Think – Your loved one should definitely have a hand in finding a solution. Asking them may get them to consider the benefits associated with giving up driving such as saving money on maintenance, gasoline and insurance.

    When beginning these conversation, remember to keep in mind the myriad of activities, as well as the feelings of security and self-reliance, you are asking your loved one to give up. The costs can be both physical and emotional, as illustrated by this article published in The Boston Globe. One thing you may not have considered is the link between driving and living on one’s own. According to a study published in 2006, “Those who had given up driving were nearly five times more likely to end up in long-term care after eight years than those who were still driving, even when researchers accounted for various health problems. They found that the seniors who had depended on another driver in the home and lost that support were nearly twice as likely to go into long-term care, as compared with elders who were still driving.”

    There are many resources available to assist you with helping your loved one. Driving safety refresher courses are offered by many driving schools. Having an unbiased third-party observer can help you determine whether your loved one is not as safe of a driver as they may have once been. Check out this story from the New York Times about a family who contacted a driving rehabilitation specialist when their father’s driving habits started to concern them. Consulting one of these professionals can help assuage your fears about loved ones driving or help them make the decision for themselves that it is time to give up the keys. There are other resources available like this interactive driving evaluation from AAA. AARP offers an online driving quiz which you can take together. Compare your results – you might be surprised!

    Once your loved one has given up the keys, it is important to make them feel like they are still apart of the community and the family. Check out this list from caring.com

    Make it a habit to check in on them often, just to chat or share some news.

    Offer to drive them to the activities they enjoy, or help find someone else who can take them.

    See that they’re included in family outings, like their grandchildren’s school events or a day at the beach.

    Encourage them to try taking the bus on their next trip to the pharmacy, or to walk, if it isn’t too far away, and offer to go with them if you can.

    Urge them to ask for rides from friends, and to reciprocate in whatever way they can (preparing a meal, for example).

    Help them develop new routines and interests that don’t require driving, like gardening, walking, or swimming at the local pool.

    Knowing how they’ll get around can make the decision easier for your loved one. Check out this page from the National Institute of Health for some advice and some resources that may be available in your community. Another great resource is from NextAvenue.org where the list and describe transportation available to seniors. Here’s a few:

    Curb-to-curb rides are essentially taxi services. Drivers likely will not help passengers come out of their homes, enter the car or help stow wheelchairs or walkers.

    Door-to-door drivers will help a passenger navigate the street and enter and exit the vehicle, but should not be expected to help with wheelchairs because of liability concerns.

    Door-through-door providers hire drivers who ensure that passengers get into their homes or destinations safely. They’ll also help carry groceries or packages.

    Sources/Resources:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2012/03/when_to_stop_driving_why_it_s_so_hard_to_get_elderly_drivers_off_the_road_.html

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/10/08/162392507/when-should-seniors-hang-up-the-car-keys

    https://www.caring.com/articles/when-should-seniors-stop-driving?page=2

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/14/your-money/for-the-aging-an-alternative-to-giving-up-the-car-keys.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/olddrive/Driving%20Safely%20Aging%20Web/index.html

    http://www.helpguide.org/articles/aging-well/age-and-driving-safety-tips.htm

    http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/older-drivers

    http://www.boston.com/news/health/articles/2009/12/21/the_emotional_and_physical_costs_of_giving_up_driving/?page=2

    http://www.libertymutual.com/auto-insurance/senior-driving/studies

    http://www.nextavenue.org/article/2013-05/after-elderly-parent-gives-keys-whats-next

    Christmas Lights Up The End of The Year

    Christmas Lights Brighten Up The Season… And Bring in Vehicle Donations

    How did December come up on us so quickly?  It seems like yesterday that we were out camping and enjoying the summer sunshine.  But it really is true: people are putting up their Christmas lights, and a variety of trees are hitching a ride on the top of “sleighs” all across the country.  WIth Christmas comes the New Year… and the end of the year.  Do you have a clunker sitting in your yard or a car you don’t need anymore?  Make the “season of giving” work for you by donating your car or other vehicle to your favorite non-profit!

    That’s right, folks; it’s that time again!  ‘Tis the season for giving – and tax deductions.   We are expecting a 30% increase in donations in December!  Our staff is ready to answer your calls and questions. We are closed on Christmas Day, but we are here to help on New Year’s Eve – ready and raring to go!

    As long as donors call in on or before December 31st, donors get a tax deduction for their 2014 taxes, even if it doesn’t sell until 2015!

    In the meantime, check out some of these pretty sweet Christmas Lights and other decorated vehicles.

    Santa drawn in dirt on back of car VW Bug With Christmas Lights Concret Truck with Christmas Lights Suspended VW Bug with Reindeer Antique Car With Christmas Lights Tank With Christmas Lights Futuristic Car with Christmas Lights Semi with Christmas Lights Overly Truck with Christmas Lights Antique Car With Christmas Lights Station Wagon with Giant Tree on Top

    This Halloween, don’t let your car turn into a pumpkin! Donate it today!

    This Halloween, consider vehicle donation.

    It’s Halloween, and that means it’s pumpkin season once again. Pumpkins are fun for carving, but not necessarily for riding in – unless you’re home by midnight and you leave your one awesome glass slipper behind.  Who wants to do that?!  Please consider donating your car to your favorite charity instead – we promise it’s not scary!

    In the meantime, check out some of these great vehicle themed pumpkin carvings. Vote for your favorite one on our Facebook page or post your own. There’s some fun stuff out there! We can’t wait to see some new ones!

     

    Cool Car Pumpkins

    Cool Car Pumpkins

    Cool Car Pumpkins

     

    Cool Car Pumpkins

    Cool Car Pumpkins

    Cool Car Pumpkins

    Hot cars can mean cool cash for charities: Donate your overheating car!

    Some like it hot, but we’re guessing an overheating car is not as glamorous as Marilyn Monroe!

     

    With the summer heat, older cars may overheat. Fixing an overheating car can be like searching for a needle in a haystack (or sometimes a needle sized hole), and they can get expensive. A great option for an overheating car is to donate it to your favorite nonprofit or charity. Many nonprofits can turn a hot car into cool cash for their program. Your car does not have to be running, and it can be picked up from your local repair shops. In general, donations must have 4 wheels, an engine and a transmission – and that’s it! If you have a car to donate, call (877) 411-3662 to arrange an appointment.

     

    This overheating car is too hot to handle

    Snow Mobile Donations to KIXE

    Cool News: KIXE Receives Snow Mobile Donations!

    This week, Center for Car donations received two snow mobile donations! These two cool Arctic Cats on a trailer were donated by a gentleman who really wanted to help his local public TV/radio station in Northern California.  This donor really went above and beyond our expectations.  The auction company was over 300 miles from his remote location, which can make a donation less profitable than it otherwise would be due to towing fees.  After hearing about an opportunity to make snow mobile donations stretch farther, he loaded the ‘cats up, made the six hour drive, and dropped them off at the auction in Sacramento.  Then he drove home!  What dedication to this station!  We are impressed, and we hope they will bring in a nice chunk of change to help this much loved station.

     

    Snow mobile donations, as well as jetski donations, make great donations to your favorite non-profit.  For many people, they take up space in their garage when not being used. If a snowmobile or jet ski is on a trailer, then Center for Car Donations can usually take them and turn them into cash for your favorite charity. If you have a jet ski or snow mobile to donate, please contact us, and we will send you the appropriate form for us to determine whether we can accept the vehicle.  We request photos of these vehicles so we can determine what condition they are in and what towing equipment we will need in order to retrieve them for auction. Once we determine that we can accept this donation, we will send out a tow truck driver to pick up your donation. You will be given an initial tow receipt when they are picked up from our reputable contracted driver.  When the donation sells, you will receive the proper tax receipt, including a 1098 B&C on vehicles sold for over $500.

     

    Don’t leave your old jet ski or snowmobile out in the cold: donate it to your favorite nonprofit and make room in your garage for another new project!

    Snow Mobile Donations

    Car Donation Story: Knock-knock-knockin’ on heaven’s door for hay

    Do you think your vehicle is not fit for donation?  Here’s a car donation story that might make you change your mind.

    Her name was Jolene, and from the moment I brought her home, she was knocking on heaven’s door. She was a 1993 GMC Jimmy with a blown head gasket, and she was all I could afford with my part-time job. Three months after I brought Jolene home, she died quietly in my parking lot: the key turned, but nothing happened. I couldn’t afford to have her fixed (it wouldn’t have made financial sense anyway), and I couldn’t afford to have her towed. Jolene sat in my driveway for three years, an eyesore and an embarrassment.

    I almost didn’t even see Jolene in my driveway anymore when my friend, Tom, suggested I donate her.

    “Donate?” I asked incredulously. “I can’t even turn her on!”

    Tom smiled, and then he told me he worked for the Center for Car Donations, located right here in Bend.

    “They’ll come and get it for free, take care of all the paper work, and get her out of here.”

    I wondered what would become of her; maybe she was only fit for the crusher, and I was pretty sure it would be a waste of time and money for both of us. My friend explained to me that a charity of my choice would receive the proceeds, and I would receive a tax credit.

    “Okay,” I said nervously. “I’m in.”

    I was not expecting it to be as smooth and seamless a process as Tom said it would be, but I was proved wrong when I came out one morning to a tow truck getting ready to hook up Jolene and take her away. Within minutes, my embarrassment turned to joy as I saw her tail gate disappear around the corner. I was finally free! I was, however, still expecting the other shoe to drop: no one was going to purchase this hunk of junk, and I was sure that I was going to end up with a bill for towing.

    A month later, the envelope came. I opened it nervously, expecting a bill that would cost me more than the truck had in the first place. It was not a bill. Instead, I found that The Center for Car Donations had sold my truck, the Equine Outreach program was receiving the proceeds, and I had a tax credit form in hand. It was all done, and it was just as easy as Tom assured me it would be. Not only did I rid myself of an eyesore, I was able to donate to a charity that I personally believe in, and I was able to get a credit on my taxes.  Now you know my car donation story; I hope it helps you!

    This car donation story benefited Equine Outreach. Image of horse with text help save this life. don't let this majestic creature go hungry. now accepting donations and hay. Equine Outreach horse rescue.


     

     

    The Car Donation Process: Ask our expert, Jacquie!

    Ask Jacquie: “How does the car donation process work?”

    The car donation process is easy!  Many donors ask it they must be present to donate a car. The answer is usually no: if you have the signed title and can leave it in the glove box or someplace for the driver to pick it up, then you do not have to be there. Most tow companies can pick up your car without a key, however, you will want to look high and low for it because your car will usually sell for more money at the auction if you have a key. That means you get a higher tax receipt when you donate the car and your favorite charity gets more of the proceeds.This means you get a higher tax receipt when you donate the car, and your favorite charity gets more of the proceeds.

    Center for Car Donations will pick up your donated car and signed title then send you a tow receipt. Once the car sells, you will receive a thank you letter . If your vehicle sells for me than $500 request for your social security number so we can prepare a tax receipt pursuant to IRS tax code. In some states, you must have your title notarized, so you may have to do that ahead of time.

    The car you donate does not have to be registered to complete the car donation process. Since cars are sold at dealer auctions, the dealer will process the paperwork, and the DMV will issue a fresh title to the new buyer. If you have any old tickets or fees on the car, you may still be liable for them, but often the new buyer will be responsible for bringing the registration on the car current.

    Sometimes, if a car is old and non-operational, it will go to a scrap yard in which case the registration will not be an issue. You will be required to be the title holder or have a signed title in order to donate your vehicle. If you have any questions about the donation process or if your car qualifies, it is best to call 877-411-3662 and speak to a representative about your own situation. Just remember, even an old car that has not been registered in years and has been sitting can be turned into proceeds for your favorite nonprofit. .

    Signing your title is the most important part of the car donation process. If you sign it incorrectly, it could take months to get it corrected. We recommend that, when you make arrangements to pick your donated vehicle, you speak with our title specialist at the auction company before signing the title. They can walk you through every step of the process.

    If you’re donating a vehicle in North Carolina or Pennsylvania, you will need to have your title notarized. This can be done at a bank or at a mail house like Mailboxes, etc. Before you have your title notarized, make sure you have spoken with the auction company to determine where your title needs to be signed. See this page for more information on donating in Pennsylvania.

    You can go to http://www.centerforcardonations.com/pick-charity and view the list of charities to determine where you would like your donation to go. Or, if you have a particular nonprofit you would like to support but you do not see it on our list, feel free to let Center for Car Donations know.  We will contact that nonprofit and get them signed up to accept vehicle donations.

    If you have any questions about the car donation process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 877.411.3662.  We are always happy to walk you through the process.

    Center for Car Donations car donation process


     

     

     

     

    Donate Your Vehicle to LGBTQ Organizations

    Center for Car Donations is pleased to announce that we have partnered with several new non-profits.  You can now donate your vehicle to LGBTQ organizations!

    These groups have variety of missions. They are all focused on equal rights for all and other LGBT issues.  The gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and queer community needs all the help they can get in this exciting and dynamic time.

    We want to introduce you to some of these new charities. Gay City, located in Seattle, promotes wellness in LGBT communities by providing health services, connecting people to resources, fostering arts and building community. Utah Pride supports and serves the Utah LGBTQ community and its allies to strengthen their collective vision, impact, and collaboration.  The American Military Partner Association, located in Texas, connects, supports, honors, and serves the partners, spouses and families of America’s LGBT service members and veterans. Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, located in Oregon, aspires to expand, redefine, and perfect the choral art through electric performances that honor and uplift the gay community and affirm the worth of all people.

    If you want to donate your vehicle to LGBTQ organizations, you can visit our website at centerforcardonations.com.  Click on “pick a charity.” Select LGBT, and then click on your favorite LGBT nonprofit.  Celebrate love for all: give to our LGBTQ organizations!

    Do you want to donate your vehicle to LGBTQ organizations not on the list?  Please let us know.  We will work with them to create a successful program and help them further their mission.  Please contact our development department (877) 411-3662. You can also email at development@centerforcardonations.com.  Nonprofits are not just our business. Helping charities and nonprofits is our passion! You can help us reach more people and resources across the country. We sincerely appreciate your input.

     


    www.centerforcardonations.com

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    Choices, Choices: You Can Pick A Charity!

    Have a vehicle to donate but no charity in mind?  We can help with that! Pick a charity with Center for Car Donations!

     

    Our ever-growing list allows you to pick a charity or nonprofit! We have many options to choose from.  Simply go to www.centerforcardonations.com, and click on “Pick a Charity” from our menu items. We facilitate vehicle donations for over 250 nonprofit and charities organizations in over 30 states across the country. There are plenty of options available to you.

    When you pick a charity, everyone wins! Here are some of the many choices. WMPG is Greater Portland Maine’s Community Radio. Bethlehem Inn provides food and shelter for those experiencing homelessness in Central Oregon.  Sonoma County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program is committed to serving abused and neglected children coming before the Juvenile Court for protection and rehabilitation services. The Humane Society of Greater Akron rescues and rehabilitates abused, abandoned and neglected animals of Summit County. The American Military Partner Association is the nation’s largest resource and support network for LGBT military partners, spouses, their families, and allies. Guide Dogs of the Desert provides custom trained guide dogs for the blind, and for those with special needs, for safe mobility, companionship, and independence.

    Once you pick a charity, simply fill in the online donation request form. We will call you within 24 hours to process your donation. You can also call us directly at (877) 411-3662.  We are always excited to receive your donations! All of our charities and nonprofits appreciate your support.

    Do you want to pick a charity but can’t find them on the list?  Please contact us, and we will see what options are available for them.  Call our development department at (877) 411-3662. You can also email us at development@centerforcardonations.com. Nonprofits are not just our business. Helping charities and nonprofits is our passion! You can help us reach more resources across the country.  We greatly appreciate your input!

    www.centerforcardonations.com

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    Your Guide to Responsible Vehicle Donations

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    If you have a vehicle that you aren’t using anymore, you have some options as to how you can lighten your load. Of course you could sell your vehicle, but that can take time out of your busy schedule and money to advertise. We at the Center for Car Donations strongly believe that donating your vehicle is the right way to go. Donating your vehicle helps your charity of choice, it gives you a tax write-off, and the right donation program gives you peace of mind knowing that all it took you was a phone call.

    The key to the whole process is finding a responsible company to handle the donation.  We present to you a guide to responsible vehicle donations.

    According to a 2005 Government Accountability Office report,

    “Of the 45 charities we contacted during our review that reported using third-party agents, 20 said third parties were paid a percentage of net proceeds for their vehicle donation services, many splitting the net proceeds 50/50.”

    At the Center for Car Donations, we truly fight for every dollar and our charities always get more than 50%. We feel passionately about small charities in particular, and we realize that an extra $50 might make the difference between several hungry families eating at a food pantry per week or provide food for horses at Oregon’s Equine Outreach for another month. $50 might not seem like much for a large charity, but the heart and soul of our business – small charities – tangibly benefits from some extra work on our part. Because every vehicle matters so much, our team-centered approach facilitates getting the most bang out of your buck.

     

    According to Charitywatch.org, in a 2004 Senate Finance Committee meeting, witnesses described less than reputable methods some vehicle donation companies employed for selfish gains:

    “In a practice the witness described as “fixing cars,” some middlemen purposely disable cars, by simple techniques such as pulling a fuse or turning the distributor cap, so that they can be purchased for very little at auctions or used car lots and then resold for what the car was originally worth.”

    At the Center for Car Donations, we do things a little differently. Your vehicle is sold at an “arm’s length transaction” through an auction. We do everything we can to make sure your vehicle is sold for as much as possible. In a recent vehicle donation, Office Manager, Tom Bidot, was confronted with a non-working car that the donor assured us was working. Tom did a little leg work and found out that the ignition fuse was blown and needed be replaced. The vehicle was able to be sold as a running, near mint condition vehicle and provided valuable funds for the donor’s charity of choice.

    At the Center for Car Donations, charities are our passion and the reason we are in this business. Unlike other vehicle donation processors, our small staff knows what is happening with each vehicle, and we are all dedicated to collecting every dollar we can for the charity. We look forward to handling your car donations some day soon.

     


     

    Sources:

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/pub4303.pdf

    http://www.edmunds.com/sell-car/does-charity-car-donation-still-make-sense-under-tougher-irs-rules.html

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4303.pdf

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/pub4303.pdf

    https://charitywatch.org/articles/cardonations.html