How Donating a Car to Charity Helps Others

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 5:34 PM

Donate A Car To CharityMobility is an important part of being productive, but low-income families often cannot afford their own vehicles and rely on public transportation.

Automobiles help families in need  better their lives in many ways: better employment opportunities, access to healthcare, and maintaining family relationships.

Aiding in Employment

Automobiles and employment go hand-in-hand.

Access to a personal vehicle, according to researchers, is a determining factor in employment outcomes and pulling out of poverty.

After donating a car to charity, low-income families are given access to a faster and more flexible form of transportation. While public transportation provides mobility, it is not a substitute for the autonomy of owning a personal vehicle. Additionally, certain occupations require reliable transportation, and that limits potential candidates who don't own a car.

Public transportation has its faults and is not always reliable. Employees may be late to work or unable to commute at all if public transportation goes down. Budgetary reasons lead to long-term cuts to the public transportation system, and inclement weather  can lead to canceled buses with little to no notification. This hurts the employee’s personal work record and cuts their chances for continued employment or promotion.

Creating Autonomy

After you donate a car to charity, the low-income recipient is given the freedom to travel as he or she needs, without being restricted to bus or subway schedules. The ability to commute at will enables low-income families to work at night or other odd hours where public transportation is limited or non-existent.

In addition to work, a private automobile enables families to leave the parameters of a working public transportation system. This opens families to the possibility of finding a better school or health care.

Owning a private vehicle also helps families save money when it comes to purchasing and transporting groceries. Unlike public transportation, where the goal is to move people and not groceries, a vehicle allows families to perform a single, large shopping trip. This saves low income families time and money by eliminating the need for multiple trips and higher commute costs.

Autonomy is a gift and is often overlooked by citizens who are unfamiliar with the limitations of public transportation. Car ownership eliminates the need to wait for buses or trains. Cars are more efficient than public transportation for long distance commuters, too. Instead of navigating which buses travel which routes and waiting for the on-loading or off-loading of passengers, drivers head straight to their intended destination without frequent stops.

Seeking New Opportunities

A recent study revealed how difficult it is for low-income families to find better schools and housing without a private vehicle. Car ownership was the determining factor when looking at which families managed to improve their quality of life, compared to the families that did not.

The first opportunity cars gave to low income families was the ability to move. Gifted with a car, families moved to neighborhoods with less poverty, lower unemployment, and more clean outdoor space.

Moving to better neighborhoods meant children had the opportunity to attend better-performing schools with more resources. With access to more resources and quality teachers, students are given a greater opportunity to succeed academically.

If you are interested in learning more about car donation, contact Vehicles for Change for more information.