New Charities

New charities join our program each month. As a result, we have over 800 to choose from. Your vehicle donation dollars will go to the organization that matters to you.

In the beginning

Before Donate a Car Canada was launched, there was only one vehicle donation program available in Canada. Kidney Car was doing the valuable work of drawing dollars into the Kidney Foundation through car donation.

This is an important cause to any who have loved ones with Kidney disease of any kind. The charity is doing its work well. It led our founders to consider: could vehicle donation be a means of support for those who suffer from other illness? Moreover, what if we imagined beyond illness and into other forms of marginalization?

When I joined DACC in 2012 we had just over 80 charities on board. And now? Just over a decade later, we have charities seeking us out and asking to join the program. Combined with our own diligence in keeping invitation to join alive, this means hundreds of active charities are benefiting.

December's new charities

Consequently, even in our quietest season, new charities sign on to receive the monetary gifts that come from your car donation.

For example, in December, five new organizations were added to our offering:

Campbell River & District Association for Community Living
Aplastic Anemia & Myelodysplasia Association of Canada
Lennox & Addington County General Hospital Foundation
New Hope Senior Citizen's Centre
Watersheds Canada

Choice as unique as you

As you can see from the cross section of new charities added last month, the choice of charity is broad. Perhaps you'll choose by region of the country. Or, your decision can be made by personal experience of celebration or suffering. A choice may be based on interests and curiosity. Our participating charities are varied and each attend to a unique aspect of our Canadian experience.

We welcome your calls, queries, and submissions, so if you have a vehicle that is ready for donation, reach out. Our staff cover long hours to ensure that you receive donor support well into the evening, and on weekends. Our charities don't need to do anything at all! Their only responsibility, once signed on with the program, is to issue tax receipts in a timely manner. This, too, benefits you as the donor.

Ready to make your charity choice? Consider one of our newly signed organizations, or select from our 800+ long-term participants. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Canadian Hero Fund

The Canadian Hero Fund is a registered charitable organization, and our charity of the month. They are dedicated to supporting Canadian military personnel and their families. CHF was founded in 2009 by students and recent graduates at the University of Toronto. They were deeply affected by the increasing number of Canadian casualties in Afghanistan and the young families they left behind. As university students, the founders understood the benefits of post-secondary education. They felt the best way they could help these families was to provide the same opportunities to the dependents of fallen Canadian soldiers. The initial project of the Canadian Hero Fund is to provide post-secondary scholarships to the children and spouses of fallen Canadian soldiers.

As a national civilian charity, the CHF raises money through community and grassroots efforts. They act as a conduit for all Canadians to show their support and care for military families and their sacrifice. Scholarships awarded by the Fund help finance post-secondary education at government-accredited universities, colleges, and technical schools. The CHF allocated its first scholarship in the Fall of 2010.

A uniquely Canadian cause

Impacting Canadian families

"This scholarship means to me that people do realize behind every great soldier is a family. Behind every man holding a gun is a woman holding his children. And behind every casket going down the highway of heroes is the family following."

— Gale Gillam, Daughter of Sgt Craig Gillam (Afghanistan, 2006)

"I am truly grateful for what this organization is doing for me and others like myself. To me, the Canadian Hero Fund represents hope and a helping hand to those who need it."

— Milann Mitchell, Daughter of Cpt Bryan Mitchell (Moose Jaw, 2008)

"Dad always said to my Mum, "If anything ever happens to me make sure you send the boys to good school." Canadian Hero Fund has helped tremendously by providing me with financial assistance to pursue a higher education."

— Matthew Mellish, Son of WO Frank Mellish (Afghanistan, 2006)

"The Canadian Hero Fund represents something very important. It shows that what happened to our parents is not forgotten."

— Adam Naismith, Son of Cpt Kevin Naismith (Cold Lake, 2003

Canada Helps

Another way to help

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Every dollar to our charities is useful and carefully assigned. Your donated vehicle will help the CHF's efforts. We'll take care of all of the donation details. And not only that, CHF won't have to apply any more effort than what it takes to get you your tax receipt. 'Sound like the cause for you? We'll look forward to hearing from you!

Last-minute Shopping

Last-minute shopping is upon us. Is holiday giving leading to a little too much decking in the halls, and not enough holly jolly? Consider changing things up this Christmas season!

Christmas gift exchange

'Ready to exchange the tension last minute gift shopping for the magic of Christmas? What if you could gift your loved one, and benefit others at the same time?

Some of our recipients are so easy to gift. We know what they love; they'll love what they get. Some are tricky! It seems that, no matter the thought put into the choosing, the gift is never quite right.

For those last-minute shopping stressors, there's a creatively loving solution: gift a charity in their name.

This becomes a double-gift: something in hand for your loved one; something in hand for your chosen charity.

There are many ways to do this. Gifts-in-kind is one way. Check out the examples of these inspiring young people and how they've used their birthdays to benefit charity:

Beyond Gifts-in-kind

If donating items to the animal shelter, or collecting (hundreds of pairs!) shoes for give away seems daunting, consider monetary giving.

Many of our receiving charities have Christmas giving programs set up. It's quick and simple to gift a charity in the name of a loved one.

Here are a few charities that can shift the season from tense to tinsel:

The Salvation Army is a good place to start. Your gift in a loved one's name will feed, house, and otherwise assist a person in need. Or, check out your local shelters (or those near where your friends and family live). Give where you live!

Your nearby animal shelter, or a broader work (like the World Wildlife Foundation) will use your double gift to aid critters at risk.

Has an infirmity or disease recently impacted your family? A gift to the charity that best serves in that area of need will be gratefully welcomed. If you're having trouble choosing a charity to give to, visit our charities page. We'll show the name and mission statement of the charity that best matches your gift recipient!

Giving in 2020

If you have your Christmas shopping all wrapped up, we're at the ready to receive vehicle donations in the new year. Donate your vehicle on behalf of your charity of choice, and receive a valuable tax receipt in return!

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Christmas Movie Bingo

Christmas movie season is here -- and I think I might be a fan! This season can be a take-it-or-leave-it time of year, but I'm determined to find some holly jolly this month. Movies are a storybookish way to find a little comfort. Joy? That may be a stretch. Diversion? Sure!

Enter Christmas movie bingo. Here are two ways to play (assuming some basic bingo know-how):

Having successfully (with only a modicum of fast forwarding) watched 3 complete Christmas movies this December, I can attest: Any Hallmark-esque flick will have you dobbin' and hollerin' BINGO! in minutes.

The 'nog version

I'm a non-drinker. Like, completely. Yup. Even during the holidays. But for some, seasonal cheer requires more than a TV remote. Country Living has a game for those in a more festive mood:

Spread the cheer

If all of that holiday fun loosens the jingle jingle of give away wishes, why not donate your recycle-ready or re-saleable vehicle? Charities Canada-wide are seeking donations (we have the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton on our minds). Look for the organizations in your community that could use an extra pair of hands, a little extra cash, or the proceeds from the sale of your donated vehicle.

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Cars With Panache | Cooper’s Not-so-Mini Contribution

This is a re-post from several years ago. A story with heart that is worth re-sharing!

Cooper is one of those cars that brings a smile to your face. Mr. and Mrs. Irwin knew a little about the make and model from not so by-gone days. They were more than happy to honor the work of a cause they respect with the car that they love! Continue reading "Cars With Panache | Cooper’s Not-so-Mini Contribution" →

Canadian Mental Health Association

CMHA ready to receive donations

The Canadian Mental Health Association has signed on with Donate a Car Canada to receive your vehicle donations.

About the CMHA

"Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is the most established, most extensive community mental health organization in Canada. CMHA is a presence in more than 330 communities across every province and one territory. They provide advocacy, programs and resources that help to prevent mental health problems and illnesses. CMHA supports recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive."

They provide services and supports to over 1.3 million Canadians. This is no small effort! It is through the combined efforts of more than 5,000 staff and 11,000 volunteers. They work from 1 national office, 11 divisions in all provinces and one territory, and 75 community-based branches/regions.

100 years at the forefront

CMHA's mental health fast facts

Who is affected?

  • Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.
  • In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem/illness.
  • Mental illness affects people of all ages, education, income levels, and cultures.
  • Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
  • About 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder (or “manic depression”).

How common is it?

  • By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness.
  • Schizophrenia affects 1% of the Canadian population.
  • Anxiety disorders affect 5% of the household population, causing mild to severe impairment.
  • Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16% among 25-44 year olds.
  • Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age.
  • The mortality rate due to suicide among men is four times the rate among women.

What causes it?

  • A complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors causes mental illnesses.
  • 49% of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never seen a doctor about it.
  • Stigma or discrimination attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier.

The economic cost

  • The 1998 economic cost of mental illnesses in Canada for the health care system was estimated to be $7.9 billion. Cost of care: $4.7 billion care. $3.2 billion in disability and early death.
  • An additional $6.3 billion was spent on uninsured mental health services and time off work for untreated depression and distress.

How does it impact youth?

  • It is estimated that 10-20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder – the single most disabling group of disorders worldwide.
  • Today, approximately 5% of male youth and 12% of female youth, age 12 to 19, have experienced a major depressive episode.
  • The total number of 12-19 year olds in Canada at risk for developing depression is a staggering 3.2 million.
  • Once depression is recognized, help can make a difference for 80% of people who are affected. This allows them to get back to their regular activities.
  • Mental illness is increasingly threatening the lives of our children. Canada’s youth suicide rate is the third highest in the industrialized world.
  • Suicide is among the leading causes of death in 15-24 year old Canadians, second only to accidents. 4,000 people die prematurely each year by suicide.
  • Schizophrenia is youth’s greatest disabler as it strikes most often in the 16 to 30 year age group. It affects an estimated one person in 100.
  • Surpassed only by injuries, mental disorders in youth are ranked as the second highest hospital care expenditure in Canada.
  • In Canada, only 1 out of 5 children who need mental health services receives them.

Ready to give?

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Brene Brown – Empathy

Seasons, stressors, community

Brene Brown touches into something we deeply understand. Particularly at this time of year. 'Tis the season for a lot of holly jolly - and a good deal of facing into the loss of loved ones, loneliness, and "What do I really want?" uncertainty. If we're not already practicing it, this is a good time to start being an empathetic presence in one another's lives.

Brown and other mental health professionals and researchers are expanding their work into study around how we might thrive. Resilience work and positive psychology (more than just thinking positively) have found their way into practice, and that's good news for all of us.

Building our empathy muscle

A friend recently gave me the book, "There's no Good Card for This." For a gently playful smack upside the head on how-to empathy, this is a good resource. It provides the basics on caring for loved ones when things go side ways. Bonus? There's guidance on how to care for Self while compassionately supporting others.

If a book feels like a stretch, WikiHow has some excellent pointers on reaching out, and caring for self, too. In part one of their Wiki article, "Connecting with others through empathy," they offer six helpful and creative tools for moving from compassionate thought to loving action.

I particularly love part two, though: Building up your empathy. There they offer 7 ways to effectively and sustainably work this muscle. They suggest practicing curiosity, volunteering, and challenging your own prejudice. The challenge? Think outside of the box you've comfortably settled into. See the world from the perspective of your loved one, the stranger on the bus, your friend who's struggling. They go on to name things like meditation and actually attempting to walk a mile in another person's "shoes" (life experience).

We're in this together

Give Brene Brown a listen. Read Crowe/McDowell's book on empathy, or give that Wiki article a glance. Set yourself up to show yourself, and the people you care about, a little empathy this holiday season.

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Halloween

Halloween year 'round

Halloween and I have a unique relationship. Nope! It's not what you're thinking. I don't decorate or buy heaps of candy or put up special lights. In fact, I don't even typically put the porch light on in the neighborhood where I live currently. But for ten years I celebrated a version of it daily.

Kids on the block

I'm not really sure how it all started? We'd been settled into our North East Calgary home for some time - a year, maybe - and Halloween was approaching. The neighborhood children were giddy with anticipation for the coming holiday.

My own kids couldn't be stirred to any kind of interest so far in advance, but eventually we'd be last-minute scrambling for their costumes. The haul of candy from that suburb! Pillow cases brimming for all three boys. 'Come Halloween night they'd all dump their hefty sacks of treats into a giant mound on the living room floor. There, they would sort into favorites and shares and "Daddy tax" piles.

But the kids on the block were excited days in advance. For whatever reason, as a group of them were trodging past my front porch on their way home from school, one of them playfully yelled out, "Trick or Treat!" That was the beginning of an almost-daily game that we played for the next ten years.

Halloween in June

I responded to their "Trick or Treat!" with a gesture of invitation up on to the porch. Asking the little cluster of children to wait a minute, I scrambled to the pantry and found a bin of animal crackers. To their delighted surprise, I handed each of them a tiny cookie and sent them on their way.

What started as a little joke between myself and a dozen neighborhood children soon became an after-school and weekend check-in. The kids would come, randomly -- in singles and pairs and groups of five. I wasn't brave enough to entertain a neighborhood in my living room (I already had three little boys of my own running amok at the time), so they weren't allowed beyond the front porch. They would ring the bell and holler their plea for "candy." Day after day. I would step out on to the porch, often hunkering down on the step, as they told the stories of their day.

We talked of squabbles and wishes. They talked of heartache and plans. Often they brought disagreements-in-progress (so many little girls with so many opinions on one city block!). They often reached for reassurance: Am I ok? Am I safe? Lovable? Wanted? You know - the easy questions in life. Their were story books and movie chats and big questions about life.

Costco shares

Costco must rue the day we left that neighborhood. The buckets of suckers and sour soothers and animal crackers I churned out of our house! I don't know if the kids remember me, now? We left that neighborhood almost eight years ago. My husband has pointed out since that sometimes, "giving out candy is just giving out candy." But I'd like to think that a little neighborhood full of bright hearts and minds was made safer, and more connected, by ten years of hanging out on the front porch. So many treats in so many sticky little hands. Trick or treat!

Car Maintenance

From the rubber on up

This past week I got another flat tire. I say "another," because our family's primary car maintenance expenditure is on tires. We've always lived in suburbs-under-construction. That means there's always something rolling around on the asphalt just waiting for our tires to it pick up.

So, the night before Thanksgiving Monday I realized that my rear passenger tire was woefully low. And I realized I was going to need to look for tire support on holiday Monday.

To my happy (thankful!) surprise, I got right in at the shop. 9:30 am on Thanksgiving Monday and the service guys were ready to help. Given the season, I opted to leave off repair of the flat and swap on winter tires instead. They were happy to do that, too -- and then threw in a new set of windshield wipers to boot!

How much maintenance is enough?

The amount of care and money we put into our car maintenance is part necessity, part personal preference.

In a robust article written by Consumer Affairs' senior report, Aaron Sultzman, he notes that discretion needs be applied. He asks, "Are Canadian car owners being misled about how often their cars need to be serviced?"

With a spectrum of climates and road conditions across the country, car care will vary from one province to the next. Some provinces use salt to clear ice; others rely on sand. Our coastal provinces have a running battle with moisture, whereas our Northern locales experience harsh weather. Sultzman explores the line between regular maintenance and dealerships who push for more costly attention than is required.

'Tired of maintaining?

If you're swapping out an older model for something shiny, consider having us auction your running vehicle off on behalf of charity. Or, if you have a recycle ready car just taking up space in the garage, we can help with that, too! You give us your vehicle particulars and choose your charity (there are over 800 to pick from!), we'll take care of the rest.

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Pumpkin Drop

Local Pumpkin Drop is a Smash Hit

Pumpkin Drop

The annual pumpkin drop at Blue Grass Nursery was a smashing success. For 16 years the garden shop, joined by XL 103.1, has raised funds for charity by dropping pumpkins. This year Donate a Car Canada was able to join in the festivities.

Pumpkin Drop 2

Sunny skies and warm Autumn air drew a big crowd to the nursery. Three pumpkins, weighing in between 300 - 1200 pounds, were dropped in turn.

Pumpkin Drop 6

One of Donate a Car Canada's supporting tow agents helped Blue Grass out with delivery of two crush-ready cars. Cars, cranes, fireworks, and plummeting pumpkins! It was a massive coming together of skills, physics, and splatter.

Countdown to Smashing Pumpkins

300 pounds
500 pounds
1200 Pounds!

Gifting Alberta Children's Hospital

The Alberta Children's Hospital will be the recipient of funds raised at this year's event. Last year's gift to the ACH was $30,000. We're excited to hear how our joint efforts came together in 2019.

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