Signs of Spring in Canada

Signs of Spring are everywhere. Between a few little cold snaps, I've spotted gophers, flies, motorcyclists, and the ultimate sign: our first robin!


Rabbits and streetsweepers

As I sit (on the deck...in the sunshine) rambling on, a street sweeper is taking his initial swipe at our gravel-strewn street. The family of wild rabbits that makes their home under the neighbors' deck is scampering wildly around the yard. And the neighbor's dog is going nuts over those same bunnies.

The mama skunk that has been prowling the hood (I tracked her for miles in the freshly fallen snow the other day) has happily claimed pretty much everyone's front porch in her mafia-like landgrab. Who's going to argue with her? She and I had an encounter on our walking path just the other day. There's only one way in and one way out of this particular stretch of green space. I was attempting to make my way out. She wanted in. I froze. She froze. And we both, wordlessly and simultaneously, gave each other a very wide berth.

Signs of spring...in the garage

Just about now we all start feeling a little Marie Kondo need to find some joy-through-purging, scrubbing, and expunging. I've gone through closets and cupboards and basement corners. How we accumulate so.much.stuff in such little time I do not know. But we do. And every year it's gotta' go.

The garage is always the last place to get any attention, right? In fact, it's the spot I purge everything out into! The floor is caked in everything from mud to salt to some reluctant-to-go ice. There are tires for multiple vehicles, bins full of goodness-knows-what, and a "work bench" where zero work occurs, and lots of work-ish bits and bobs build up.

Get that clunker out of the way

If maneuvering around a project car is making the garage clean-up crazy-making, consider donating? Many of us have tired old vehicles just taking up space in the garage, or on the driveway. We had good intentions to fix 'em, but is it worth it? We've hem'd and haw'd, weighing the cost of fixing against the value of the vehicle. If it's costing you more to keep it, it may be that its re-sale or recycle value would be more meaningful to your charity of choice than the sentimental value of the car to you?

Whatever the signs of spring in your back yard or garage, some warm sun and the beginnings of green and growing things are sure to give us all a boost in the month ahead. Here's to a successful clean up, and lots of time to enjoy the wake-up weeks of the world around us.

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Goodness |Do the Good You do

Goodness. If you say it often enough, it doesn't sound like a real word anymore. And in a world gone all wobbly and sideways, it's easy to think that maybe "goodness" isn't even a thing. If we're looking for evidence that things have all gone to heck, well, there seems to be a growing body!

Evidence against

You don't need reminders of all of the ways we know that Goodness is taking a thumping, hey? Have you been hacked lately, and threatened with recrimination if you don't send money/call this number/set this straight right now? Or had your identity stolen? Maybe you've been victim to prejudice or shaming? Is the one who ought to love you best hurting you? Your body may not be cooperating and you could be feeling stuck and lonely. Friends fail us, money is tight, and the world-at-large feels like it's equal parts dumpster fire and a volcano preparing to violently erupt. So much evidence for not-Goodness.

Evidence for Goodness

What to do? Who are we to be in the face of blaming and hating and self-promotion and ice that's melting too fast? We don't want to be blind to the world's trouble. But we don't want to be consumed by it either. So, what if we just, each one of us, do our little bit? What if we just determinedly and consistently do our own little bit of Good?

  • Make a wholesome meal for your family. Safety and caring in our own homes matters.
  • Read. Expanding our perspective and thinking our own deep thoughts is grounding.
  • Believe. Aligning ourselves with authentic, thoughtful, experiential Goodness takes an effort of heart and mind.
  • Work at doing the good you do. Watch for opportunities to act justly and compassionately. This is no time for us to be lazy about this stuff.
  • Listen for the story beneath the story beneath the story: it's easy to dismiss and to judge when we're not listening to each other. We're all in this together -- whether we like it or not.
  • Just be. Take a breather from the glut of information and streaming and hope-bludgeoning media. Be with people you love; be someone people want to love. The truest, strongest, most vibrant you (you come from innocence). You are enough.

Keep it up!

Everything is (probably) going to be okay. If you do your small bit, and I do mine, odds are good that love will win the day. Let's take care of each other, care for the earth, and companion the vulnerable -- we'll make it through with Goodness intact.

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Honda Civic | 21 Years at the Top

The Honda Civic did it again. For 21 years in a row the Civic has been Canada's best-selling car.

Civic eclipses competition

As passenger cars go, this little Honda is Canada's top pick. In their article on our top ten most wanted, Driving.ca notes,

"Only half a decade ago, the Honda Civic’s share of Canada’s passenger car market was 8 per cent. It was a staggering figure, but it’s now far overshadowed by a 12 per cent share of the Canadian car market. 2018 saw the Civic claim Canada’s title as the best-selling car for a 21st consecutive year, and the Civic did so in dominant fashion by maintaining its equilibrium in a rapidly declining car market. The Civic outsold its closest rival by a 41 per cent margin."

Who else is in the game?

The Elantra was once thought to rival the Honda Civic for buyer interest. Driving.ca goes on to say,

"Once seen as the vehicle that could overtake the Honda Civic – and it often did, on a monthly basis – the Hyundai Elantra is now a distant third-place candidate in the passenger-car battle. The Elantra narrowed the race to a slim margin in 2013, when sales of the Hyundai peaked and Civic volume was only 16 per cent stronger. But Honda now sells 65 per cent more Civics than Hyundai sells Elantras. Elantra volume slipped to an eight-year low."

The longevity and performance of the Civic has won the confidence of Canadian drivers. With varied conditions year 'round, and the demands of terrain and traffic, we expect a lot from our cars. This little Honda continues to be the car of choice for those in the market for a passenger vehicle.

What that means for donations

It's not surprising, then, that we see many Hondas rolling through our donation program. But here's the difference: our Honda donors have held on to their car for 15, 20, or 25 years. Accords and Civics are donated regularly, but not until they've given every last gasp to their owner. This compares with other makes/models significantly. It's not uncommon to see a PT Cruiser, Elantra, or Cavalier being donated after only 8 - 10 years of drive time. Some Mazdas get eaten alive by rust and just can't handle Canadian winters.

These makes and models are loved by their owners (our donors), but the performance on those Hondas just can't be beat!

Do you have a trusty old Civic that's served you well, but that now needs end of life processing? Consider extending the vehicle's good service by donating to your charity of choice!

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Photo courtesy of https://www.honda.ca/civic_coupe

Charity of choice | 250 charities helped in February

Charity of Choice

Charity of choice is what we're all about here at Donate a Car Canada. It's one of the hallmarks of our exceptional donor care: you choose the charity you love. We make sure they get your gift!

We have over 800 charity "doors" to choose from. You're sure to find a cause that you feel deserving of your donation dollars.

Do you already have someone in mind? 'Need a little more information? Just call in, or explore our site. You'll find the inspiration you're ready for.

Charity of choice means it's all up to you

Canadian vehicle donors gifted 250 different charities in February. This doesn't mean we had only 250 donors; many donors select similar charities. For example, it's common for well-advertised charities like the Diabetes Canada, The Heart & Stroke Foundation, and the Canadian Cancer Society to receive many donations each month.

But something you'll love about us? We have hundreds of lesser-known organizations to choose from. Here's a sneak peek at 25 of the charities that we sent funds to last month:

A Better World Canada
ALBERTA CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL FOUNDATION
Alberta Wilderness Association
ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF EDMONTON
BC Children’s Hospital
BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS CANADA
Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter
CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY
CancerCare Manitoba
DIABETES CANADA
Elderdog Canada Inc.
GERDY’S RESCUE & ADOPTIONS
Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta
HEART & STROKE FOUNDATION
Kenneth Copeland Ministries
KIDS HELP PHONE
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada
ORKIDSTRA
Pacific Assistance Dogs Society
PARKINSON CANADA
Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation
THE DREAM FACTORY
Tree Canada
WINNIPEG HUMANE SOCIETY
Wounded Warriors Canada

How can I learn more?

We're supporting charities that work with kids, animals, and the sick. Women in need of assistance are served by smaller charities in every Canadian city. If Earth care is your heart cause, we can help. And, if you're looking to support the arts, we have many theatres and groups to choose from.

If you click on the "charities" button on our home page you'll be taken to an alphabetical breakdown of who's on our list. Clicking on the charity name will give you a quick look at their unique mission. And each mission is linked to the charity's home page, should you wish to explore more deeply.

You choose! We're here to help in every way we can, and your charity of choice is ready to receipt you for your generosity. We look forward to your donation!

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Inn from the Cold

Safari

Inn From the Cold is keeping homeless kids safe this winter. We want to help! We assess each vehicle donation individually here at Donate a Car Canada. Sometimes an old clunker that looks like she's ready for the scrap heap will surprise us. One old Safari van did just that, with happy results for this homeless outreach charities.

Continue reading "Inn from the Cold" →

Youth at Risk | 3 Canadian Charities

Youth at Risk

Youth at risk are one of Canada's most vulnerable populations and they need our ongoing care. Several of our charities are doing boots-on-the-ground work. Their staff are advocating for, feeding, and housing kids. They are friends of this sector of our human family.

Canadian youth at risk can find themselves in trouble on all sides. Their place in society is not a given. There can be heartache at home, at school, and in broader society. When donating your car, consider giving to a local charity that is working with these kids to keep them safe. Be part of helping them get healthy, find community, and pursue purpose.

Covenant House

Youth at risk are served from two Covenant House locations: Vancouver, BC, and Toronto, Ontario. The work of CH in both locations provides whole-person help. They seek to protect and safeguard our kids with love and respect. Helping teens find shelter and safety are key. Caring for mental and spiritual health are part of the package. 

RaY | Resource Assistance for Youth

Winnipeg's hurting youth (largely an indigenous peoples' population) are served by a locally based and operated outreach. Through years of endeavor, they have zero'd in on mission. They are a "proactive provider of prevention, intervention, outreach and support services." How do they do this? In so many ways, including a thrift shop and a job training program. 

Youth Unlimited

Alberta-grown, with locations in Calgary and Edmonton, Streelight is one of YU's high energy endeavors:

Streetlight is just one of YU's many outreaches. Working on school campuses, building friendships, and providing job support all come in to the picture. They have an auto repair training program, too!

Do these works jive with where you see your donation dollars heading? Re-visit our charities list for more organizations like these three. Youth at risk are a hurting population in every Canadian province. Find out where you can help near where you live!

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Photo credit https://www.covenanthousebc.org/about-us/our-impact/

Black History Month

Black History Month
Photo credit

Black History Month in Canada is from February 1 - 28, 2019. From philosophers to our Prime Minister, our citizens honor this effort.

Prime Minister Trudeau on this month's significance

Canada's Black History Month campaign is "Black Canadian Youth: Boundless, Rooted and Proud."

Viola Desmond honored

You may be familiar with names like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. Canadians have their own iconic figures in the ongoing (so slow in maturing) growth of equal civil rights. Viola Desmond is one such woman. HalifaxToday.ca notes, "In 1946 Ms. Desmond was arrested and later tried after refusing to sit in a segregated area of a New Glasgow, Nova Scotia movie theatre. It became a catalyst for equal rights in Canada." This month she will be honored with a coin bearing her image -- a solid reminder of the courage she exemplifies.

Our role in ensuring equality

We each play a part in moving our country toward equality, belonging, and respect for all. I am a screamingly white (and straight) girl with the happy luck of being born into a life where I can murmur, "First world problems, am I right??" I do so with honest self-deprecation and more than a dash of awareness of my own privileged life. For my part, the line is clear: Just don't be a jerk, Sandra. Do be kind. Be real. Care deeply and authentically.

I should ask questions about things I don't understand. And ask those questions sensibly. I must offer dignity to all in the manner I wish to receive it. To all, and in the manner I wish to receive it. I must not assume. Anything. Because the truth is, I just don't know. I don't get it. I can't possibly get what it is to be born a person of color, an indigenous person, or an individual struggling with sexual identity. So, the privilege extends: it is on me to grow my understanding. To support governments and policies and consumer choices that ensure equality and inclusion? That's my Canadian-born right and responsibility. And to love as I would be loved? Well, that's just common sense.

Your caring cause

If this is one of those issues that lands close to home for you, visit our charities page to explore the supporting charities that are benefited by our program.

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Origami & Duct Tape: Cars of Another Sort

Origami Car

Origami car and truck crafts might be one way to brighten your January. Are you looking for something with a little more stick to it? Duct tape vehicles or crafts might be your thing.

Origami car how-to

Origami Car2

Keeping our minds and hands busy through the winter months can help pass those sluggish January and February weeks. Check out SuperColoring for some whimsical and realistic origami blueprints. They have easy to replicate paper crafts to wile away your winter doldrums.

Or, if you're looking for something a little more intricate:

Origami Car4

Explore and create! Keep your mind curious and your hands engaged is something creative to help bring Spring on just a little more quickly.

Duct Tape car how not-to

Origami Car3

Duct tape crafts and fixes come in all shapes and sizes. 'Looking for a good Google search rabbit hole? This colorful adhesive is your topic of the day! From period-piece wonderment (like the van up top) to car repair fails, we all like to use the stuff to fix, create, and decorate.

Wheels firmly rollin' in the real world

If an origami car and a (creative) duct tape disaster are furthest from your mind, you might have the fixing of your actual vehicle top of mind? Is your vehicle is beyond repair? Call us, or pop us a query via the home page. If you're on the move and need to downsize, we can help. Your donated vehicle can be more than a topic of conversation. It can build a memory, and your gift will aid in changing a life.

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Red origami car photo credit: http://www.supercoloring.com/paper-crafts/how-to-make-an-origami-car-instructions

Photo credit, race car: http://papercraftsorigamiforkids.blogspot.com/2014/10/origami-car-instructions.html

Duct tape van photo credit: https://guff.com/15-duct-tape-superstars

Photo credit, duct tape car: https://mashable.com/2014/05/24/duct-tape-diy/#dhs4b0mRnPq6

Tweets and Repeats

Tweets and repeats. The occasional Facebook posts.
Donate a Car Canada creatively supports their 800+ receiving charities through brief reminders of the compassionate work of caring organizations. And it's free!

Tweets and our charity repeats

Donate a Car Canada has a designated staff person at the ready to post tweets and Facebook messages about the charity you love. One click and a hashtag. That's all it takes to share a reminder to support and to give.

Does this really make a difference?

Putting some forms of social media to work for our charities is helpful in sustaining awareness. Both the charity's cause, and the option to give via a vehicle donation, are kept front-of-mind. And this is at no cost to the charity!

Dozens of our charities are quick to re-tweet our bits and blurbs. Not least among these are our animal charities.

Tweets aren't just for the birds

These re-tweeting animal charities would appreciate your "follow" on Twitter or Facebook:

Boxer Rescue Ontario

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – CPAWS

Farley Foundation

Edmonton Humane Society

Toronto Cat Rescue

Team Cat Rescue

Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund

WILDNorth

Pawsitive Match Rescue Foundation

Funds for Furry Friends

Prefer to share and give to the two-legged kind? From kiddos to seniors, here are some organizations that are actively seeking your support:

Pollution Probe Foundation

Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park

BC Lung Association

Farming Smarter

Asthma Canada

Huntington Society of Canada

Special Olympics Saskatchewan

STARS Foundation

Food for the Poor Canada

Autism Canada

Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa

BC Children’s Foundation

War Child Canada

Horizons for Youth

Silvera for Seniors

Boys & Girls Club of Durham

United Way Winnipeg

Operation Eyesight Universal

Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta

OPACC – Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer

Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre BC

March of Dimes Canada

Edmonton Public Library

Re-tweet and doneet?

If these charities align with the causes you care to support, we're here to help. We can manage your car donation quickly and easily. No car to donate right now? Consider giving your charity a "like" or a "share." Help spread the word to others who might be looking for ways they can support!

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Tweeting - dad-joke style

Social media picture courtesy of http://www.manuinfosolutions.com/social-media-promotion/