DONATE Car to CHARITY to HELP Children
Vehicles for Change is an organization dedicated to helping families in the Maryland, Virginia and Detroit areas improve their financial circumstances and gain independence. Vehicles for Change has documented significant improvements in wage earnings, promotions, and health in families who receive access to an affordable, reliable vehicle. Since 1999, over 5,000 families have benefited from the services provided by Vehicles for Change and community members who choose to donate a car to charity.
Vehicles for Change takes donated vehicles and refurbishes them before selling them to eligible families at reduced rates. The cars sell for as low as $950, and can make a huge difference in a family’s life.
The hardworking parents that partner with Vehicles for Change hope to give their children the best possible opportunities, but without a reliable car, many feel unable to do so. While Vehicles for Change focuses on getting low-income adults vehicles to improve job prospects, the organization also notes that children in these families are greatly impacted by the presence of a household vehicle.
The research performed by Vehicles for Change shows that every member of the family benefits with car access through improved financial circumstances, better health, less stress, access to quality food, and gained independence.
Donate a Car to Charity: Effect on Children
Vehicles for Change believes that when parents are empowered through vehicle ownership, everyone in the family benefits. In fact, in a recent study, Vehicles for Change sought to quantify exactly how much children from low-income families benefitted from getting a family car. One of the most immediate effects seen when families gain vehicle access is shortened commute times.
Many low-income workers rely on a combination of walking long distances and taking public transportation to get to work. Even the best public transportation system has frequent stops and takes a long time to get from one place to another. When parents have to spend less time traveling to and from work, they can spend more time with their children. This quality time has incalculable benefits in children’s overall mental and physical wellbeing.
On average, Vehicles for Change found a 90-minute decrease in daily commute times. That is 90 more minutes that parents are able to spend with their children. Parents are more likely to be available for afterschool activities, band concerts, sports games, or just relaxing after school. Low-income families benefit from increased time spent at home with the family, but without a car, many parents are forced to commute for hours at a time in addition to their long workday. Donate a car to charity to create a positive impact on the lives of children from low-income families in a multitude of ways.
Donate a Car to Charity to Impact Health
The link between vehicle access and health has been well documented in Vehicles for Change’s recent Impact Report. Without a car, many families are unable to attend regular doctor’s appointments and checkups. Additionally, families are forced to delay medical treatment until a condition worsens and they must take emergency medical transportation. A number of medical conditions can be treated at affordable prices if caught and treated early enough.
Treating illnesses and diseases early can make a substantial difference in health outcome and cost, but for low-income families without a car, early treatment is not always possible. Children are particularly vulnerable because they are more susceptible to a number of illnesses and can face greater health risks.
In its recent Impact Report, Vehicles for Change found that 98% of families took their children to the doctor within the first year of purchasing their car. This study showed that with vehicle access, families are much more likely to attend regular checkups that help prevent future medical conditions. By simply having access to a car, families can improve the health of their children in a significant, affordable way.
In addition to check ups, dentist visits and vision tests are more likely to occur when a family has access to a vehicle. Instead of having to carefully choose only the most immediate medical concerns, families with cars are able to get their children the holistic healthcare they need and deserve. When you donate a car to charity, you provide families with the tools they need to provide children with better healthcare.
Food Access Improves with Transportation
Many low-income families in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. areas live in what are often described as “food deserts.” A food desert is an area where access to fresh produce is limited due to fewer supermarkets, lack of public transportation, high prices, and increased numbers of fast food restaurants and convenience stores. When families do not have transportation, they are unable to reach stores that carry nutritious food or stores with fresh produce.
Food deserts are often found in areas that serve low-income families and families of color. The stark difference between low-income and middle-class access to fresh produce is heightened when families do not have a working vehicle. When families can only buy food accessible by public transportation or on foot, they are forced to buy food at convenience stores and fast food restaurants in their area. Affordable vehicle ownership is vital for attaining fresh food at a reasonable price.
Children are particularly affected by a lack of nutritious foods because they need fresh fruits and vegetables to grow and develop properly. Studies have linked inadequate food access to high BMIs in children. High obesity rates in children from low-income families is directly linked to unequal access to quality food. Car ownership is one way that these families can regain their health through nutritious eating habits. When families own a car, they can drive to a supermarket that carries nutritious foods, therefore promoting childhood development. Your car donation will help a deserving family gain access to a well-rounded diet and quality foods.
School Attendance Affected By Vehicle Access
Another aspect of childhood life affected by vehicle access is school attendance. When children and their parents rely on public transportation, frequent absences and tardiness are common. Even the best public transportation system has many stops and can take hours to complete its route. When children use public transportation, they are likely to arrive at school late or not at all. When parents have a vehicle to drop their children off at school, rates of absences and tardiness are substantially reduced.
Recently, a study showed 75% of individuals who bought their vehicle though Vehicles for Change reported missing fewer work days. While Vehicles for Change’s Impact Report only addressed rates of attendance at work, we can assume children face similar struggles in attendance without access to a family car. Children’s school attendance is positively affected when their parents own a car, and higher attendance correlates to higher performance.
More Extracurriculars with Car Access
Families who used Vehicles for Change to purchase an affordable vehicle reported substantially improved rates of extracurricular and after school activity attendance for their children. In a recent study, Vehicles for Change reported that 100% of families took their children to an after school activity within the first year after purchasing a vehicle.
This means that every child whose family purchased an affordable car from Vehicles for Change was able to attend at least one after school activity. Hardworking parents are often unable to support their children’s interest in extracurricular activities because they cannot take or pick up their children on time. With shorter commutes and a more flexible mode of transportation, parents are able to support their children’s participation in various activities.
In particular, activities related to athletics, art, or music were attended by 87% of Vehicles for Change recipient families. These events are shown to have a positive effect on socialization, discipline, and creativity. In addition, athletic activities contribute to improved health outcomes for children. Families with reliable transportation can encourage children to participate in these activities, which help build friendships and develop healthy interests. The children able to participate in these activities are benefitting directly from people who donate their car to Vehicles for Change.
Community Involvement Increases With Car
Community involvement in children of low-income households is substantially increased through vehicle ownership. When access to a family car is possible, children are more likely to volunteer in their community and attend religious services.
The recent Vehicles for Change Impact Report found 55% of children were able to participate in volunteer service during the first year of having a family car. By giving children the opportunity to give back, they form a deep connection with their community and can help other people. Volunteering and service have been shown to positively impact the socialization of children and can provide them with a sense of purpose and value in their community.
Three-quarters of families who bought a car from Vehicles for Change attended a religious service. Attending religious events can provide children with important connections to their community. Connecting with people who share their values and beliefs builds special bonds and important support systems.
Many families who bought a car through Vehicles for Change note the importance spirituality has played in their lives, but frequently churches and other places of worship are not accessible by public transportation. Having a car to drive to a religious service benefits the whole family by making time for emotional growth and community participation.
Low-income Children are College Bound
Low-income families owning a car have higher rates of attendance at both school and work. Children do better in school the more frequently they attend. Vehicle access also allows for children to participate in extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and religious services. The combination of improved school performance and added after school activities sets children up to be well-rounded adults. When applying for college, young adults who have had experiences in activities beyond school attendance are more competitive and prepared for success.
Children from low-income families deserve an equal chance to attend college, but that is not possible unless their parents consistently provide them with transportation to and from school and other activities. Children in families without a vehicle participate in fewer activities and may be overlooked when applying for college. When individuals donate a car to charity, they give these children a fair chance at achieving their dreams.
Parents want to give their children the best shot in life, so when a low-income family gains access to an affordable vehicle, the improvement in their children’s lives is apparent. Vehicles for Change works closely with donors and recipients to achieve the greatest possible impact. The refurbishing process takes place at the Center for Automotive Careers, a significant part of Vehicles for Change. Using in-house technicians keeps the costs of refurbishments down, so eligible families working with Vehicles for Change have access to the most affordable and reliable cars possible.
Donating a car to Vehicles for Change will help a recipient in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. areas improve their financial and family life. Whether you donate a car to be refurbished and resold to an eligible family or donate a car to be auctioned or sold to help cover repair costs, your generous donation helps children from low-income families get the opportunities they deserve.
Vehicles for Change is dedicated to empowering low-income families through car ownership. Since 1999 they have helped over 16,450 individuals improve their circumstances. Better jobs, higher earnings, shorter commutes, healthier families, and richer lives are just some of the most prominent impacts vehicle ownership has had on the families who participate in the Vehicles for Change program.