Food Bank Donor Fills the Shelves

One of our donors has made an enormous impact on behalf of their local food bank service!

The vision of your local food bank is to see a Canada where no one goes hungry. They work to relieve and prevent hunger every day, from coast to coast, and they will capably stretch every donation dollar that they receive!

Continue reading "Food Bank Donor Fills the Shelves" →

Disability Credit Canada

Disability Credit Canada needs our help. "...This year we received an unprecedented number of scholarship applications (COVID-19 effect?). We know there are thousands of young disabled Canadians who have similar aspirations. They are struggling to make ends meet." Is this a cause you can get behind? Read on for Preston's Story!

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Should I Send my Kids Back to School?

Did you ever imagine you’d find yourself contemplating home schooling your kiddos? With only 1 – 2% of North American children home schooled in the BeforeTimes, this option may not have been high on your priority list.

And here we are. 2020 and in the midst of a pandemic. “Do I send my child back to school?” has become the most pressing decision of the summer.

Confusion, overwhelm, outright fear

What arises in you when you face into this question with your family?

And do you have a process for discerning a way forward when emotions are high, information is confusing and even conflicting, and all you really wish for is a set routine? Something that feels normal. Familiar. Do you find that your thoughts run away with the what-if-s and how-to-s and I-can't-even-s of the thing?

You're not alone

You've read all of the information. You understand your options clearly. What now? Are you connecting with other parents? Are your children old enough to participate in this conversation? What is your own gut telling you (she probably knows what you need!)?

Some helps for making the choice

If you need some internal back-up from your own best teacher -- your self -- this may help:

  • Spend a day holding only the "Yes, I'm going to send my child back to school," in your mind. Go about the day as if that is your decision. Notice: what happens in you when you stay with that answer. Do the same for the "No way! My kid is doing school at home." Notice, notice, notice. What does this choice feel like?
  • Take a day off from social media. Give your heart and mind permission to step back from the steady stream of importantinformation! and advice. Spend this one day listening only to your own inner voice, attending to your own interior life.
  • Ask your Self, "What do I need right now?" In a quiet moment, maybe with your hand resting on your heart, ask, "What does my son/daughter need?"

Your kiddo is going to be ok

Most importantly, remind yourself often that a year of disrupted schooling is not going to make or break your child's education.

I recall a time in the parenting and schooling of my own three sons where I was gripped by anxiety. Overwhelm. Uncertainty for the future. It was an important time of reflection: I was able to ask myself the question,

What really matters in my sons' education? What will matter in one year? 5 years? In their adulthood? I was surprised to notice that the thing that surfaced as "most important" was not a university degree. Rather, I wondered if I was doing all I could to nurture boys into men who would be capable, helpful, content, hard workers, good humans. The kind of men who could navigate something as crazily disruptive as a global pandemic.

Schooling was disrupted in our lives for a bit back then. They're all in their twenties, now, and (having achieved different levels of school along the way...via many non-traditional and traditional paths) they're solid humans. Capable. Helpful and hard working and funny. The kind of men who handle global pandemics with presence of mind.

No right way - wrong way

What if there's no wrong way to educate your children during the pandemic? Could it be that the answer to, "Should I send my kids back to school?" is...go for it! Or, don't. Whatever you decide, don't make yourself wrong. You're doing the best you can and they're going to be just fine.

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Autism Calgary Association

Autism Calgary Association has a Donate a Car Canada gift! Our donors have richly personal reasons for selecting a receiving charity. Health-related organizations hit the top of the list. The choice may be all about the care of the planet, or of animals. Morever, charities are picked for sentimental reasons.

The owners of a recycle-ready 2007 Dodge Caravan chose Autism Calgary Association for heartfelt reasons.

Donating Zoomy

Our donors noted,

"This vehicle has enormous sentimental value to our son, who has autism. He has named the Van Zoomy. Zoomy was last driven 6 years ago and needed major work at that time,We have held onto Zoomy until our son was ready to let go. He's ready and has chosen to donate Zoomy to Autism Calgary."

These kinds of stories are exactly why Donate a Car Canada does what we do! Not only do our donor matter, their vehicle matters. And the charity of choice is vital to the giver.

Zoomy makes a difference

For charities like Autism Calgary Association, a donation like this is critical to their ongoing work. Furthermore, the beauty of a gift like this is that it allows the giver to feel sure their beloved vehicle is more than just scrap metal. Zoomys, all across Canada, continue to serve by turning wheels and metal into much-needed dollars.

Consider the causes that are meaningful to you. You've likely experienced, for yourself, the value of every donation dollar. Hearts and minds are impacted. In addition, the machine of the operations is kept up and running.

ACA Star Stories | YouTube

Visit the Autism Calgary Association YouTube channel for challenge and inspiration.

Have a Zoomy of your own to share?

Not all cars and trucks have sentimental value to us. Frankly, sometimes we just want the ol' scrap metal hauled out of the back yard! In extreme cases, we don't even care what happens to what feels like a heap of junk. But sometimes we do care. A lot. We care because the car was the last vehicle that our aging loved one used before they gave up driving. Or, it may be the last car we're going to use before we surrender that freedom for ourselves. Equally common, the car or truck may be our learner vehicle -- or the one we used to teach our kids to drive. Whatever your story (or lack of story!), we're here to help you turn your donation ready unit into monies for the cause you love.

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Summer Travel 2020

Summer travel in the time of COVID-19. Do you have plans in place? Are you desperate to hit the open road, or is the plan to stay close to home?

Whatever your process, the present normal of intentionality, care, and health have likely affected you.

Cross-border travel continues to be in question. Furthermore, road travel between provinces is a bit of a puzzler. With some of us masking-up, sanitizing, and isolating while others go about their business as usual, there is much uncertainty about how to interact with holiday time.

What we know for sure

Summer travel is sure to be disrupted by a few key factors. What we know for sure...is that we don't know anything for sure!

First, be prepared for unusual road closures. Some provinces continue to keep roads closed. There are towns that restrict visitation, and others that will allow only residents.

There is an ebb and flow to the way COVID-19 does its thing. For that reason, unpredictable (or, even predictable ones, for that matter!) spikes could result in you being stalled in your journey. Have your car stocked and ready for limited access to amenities.

All that hand washing you're doing at home? Be ready to ramp that up. Keep in mind that some stores may insist on masks, and not all roadside locations will be open for business.

What happens on the other side

Returning home from summer travel is another thing to consider. The broader your exposure to your fellow Canadians, the higher your chance of exposure to sickness. Consider your circle of contact upon returning home: is your possible contact with the virus going to put others in danger?

While these are limiting and frustrating considerations it may serve well to err on the side of care this summer.

When camping in the yard is a thing

As you've, no doubt, considered, summer travel in 2020 may be a lot more effort than it's worth. Here's to creativity and ingenuity rising to meet the challenge! Perhaps you have already come up with an inspiration that will find you and your loved ones enjoying every moment of the season? Is this the year to make friends with pitching a tent in the back yard? Could exploring the wonders nearby bring new appreciation for what's at hand?

For more on how to sort your summer, check out CTV News. The National Post encourages you in your "staycation" plans. Even more detailed is the Global News guidance on what various provinces and airlines are up to.

Whatever your summer travel plans, we wish you good health and the freedom to connect with the ones you love!

Best Charities: Coronavirus

The best charities to support during the ebb and flow of Coronavirus ripple effects are in sight. Savvy Canadian donors do their research. They are careful in selecting who they donate to. We want our charities to run efficiently. Well managed with modest, defensible overhead is a must. Moreover, a charity should touch into our lives personally.

Your decision to donate your vehicle has come with thought and care. Choosing the charity that will receive the monies from that effort poses a unique challenge.

This is an easy decision for some: we give from the heart to the causes that make our hearts leap! Where the money goes is top-of-mind for others. Above all, give where there will be the best bang for our giving buck.

Maclean's on who, what, why

Maclean's ezine article, "Coronavirus: Where to donate and how to help Canada's most vulnerable," offers concise and valuable direction. If you're looking to donate specifically to needs arising from the pandemic, this article will help!

Many of the charities noted in on their break-out lists are charities that we work to support daily. Note the Canadian Mental Health Association, The Salvation Army, and Food Banks Canada. These are on the short-list for monetary donation. Further, SOS Children's Villages and Kids Help Phone are high on the list.

Concerned for the personal safety of women and children in violent domestic situations, consider donating. The Canadian Women's Foundation, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter, and your own local shelter need you.

Similarly, we have seen how aggressively COVID-19 has impacted our Canadian seniors. The Alzheimer Society in your province needs your giving dollars now.

Canadians are all affected

As you'll see in the Maclean's article, these quick acknowledgments skim the surface. We should state that impact has rippled to all sectors of our society. Consider gifting indigenous causes, or, turn your attention toward those with special needs. 'Just plum tuckered out thinking about your fellow human? Why not consider a gift to any of our animal charities? It will be welcome!

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Wisdom in Troubled Times

Wisdom is never violent: where wisdom reigns there is no conflict between thinking and feeling.

Carl Jung

But, I'm right!

Wisdom

Global events demand the attention of each one of us. We have strong opinions. Such firm beliefs. Furthermore, we are right! I am right. You are right. We have reasons that are good enough for us - every one of us - that to refuse to adapt, or change, or grow.

Good enough reasons to protest. Reasons that are strong enough that we won't protest. Ideologies and understandings that demand attention. It is so very important that I be right.

For this reason, and a thousand others, we squabble with and shame and harm one another. And we each claim wisdom in the moment of heated action or argument. Equally, we argue understanding through inaction and passivity.

Is that really all there is to it?

Thomas Merton says that compassion is the acceptance of the interconnectedness of all things. So , the state of my heart is reflected in the condition of the world. This may be for peace, or for strife. It could be for goodness, or for greed. Perhaps it will be for love, but it could just as easily be for judgement.

In a wildly disrupted time (pandemic, human rights upheaval, economic disparity, and so on and on!), we have actual control over very little. Really? We have control over one thing: our Self. Who we will be. How we will be. What if your way of being has a ripple effect? What might you determine that effect to be?

For today, we here at Donate a Car Canada will continue to hold to our intention of providing exceptional donor and charity care in a wobbly world. Hands steady-at-the-scrap-car-wheel. Aiming for wisdom and compassion. And this despite our (considerable) differences of thought, belief, and certitude! We're all in this together.

Allergy Season

Allergy season is here. I know this because my eyeballs feel like they have fur. My nose is twitching (in a most un-bewitching way). And the tickle in my perpetually raw throat has me asking, "Is this COVID?!"

Allergies in a pandemic are a right puzzler! Am I symptomatic? A danger to my fellow humans? Should I be confined to bed (my fuzzy head and leaden limbs tell me I should definitely be in bed)? Or, am I just at odds with the life that's stirring in the earth and trees and such?

You're allergic to Spring when...

Allergy Season

Does this make your nose itch?

Allergy Season2

Are your teeth feeling the pollen in the air?

If so, you might have allergies!

The Science

Asthma Canada notes,

  • Respiratory allergies such as allergic rhinitis affect 1 in 5 Canadians
  • 80% of people with asthma also suffer from allergic rhinitis or sinusitis
  • Allergies can affect your quality of life at work, school, and play

What are the symptoms of seasonal allergies?

Health Link helpfully instructs,

Symptoms of seasonal allergies include:

  • Itchy, watery eyes.
  • Sneezing.
  • Runny, stuffy, or itchy nose.
  • Temporary loss of smell.
  • Headache and fatigue.
  • Dark circles under the eyes ("allergic shiners").
  • Drainage from the nose down the back of the throat (post-nasal drip).
  • Sore throat or coughing.
  • Snoring.

How can you help prevent seasonal allergies?

Seasonal allergies, such as hay fever, are often caused by exposure to pollen. You can reduce your exposure to pollen by:

  • Keeping your house and car windows closed.
  • Limiting the time you spend outside when pollen counts are high (during midday and afternoon).
  • Wearing a pollen mask or dust mask if you need to mow the lawn.
  • Limiting your mowing tasks if you can.
  • Rinsing your eyes with cool water or saline eyedrops to remove clinging pollen after you come indoors.
  • Taking a shower and changing your clothes after you work or play outside.

How can you treat seasonal allergies?

The following home treatment measures may help relieve your symptoms:

  • Clean the inside of your nose with salt water to clear a stuffy nose.
  • Use a vaporizer or humidifier in the bedroom and take hot showers to help clear a stuffy nose.
  • If your nose is red and raw from rubbing, put petroleum jelly on the sore area.
  • Use over-the-counter allergy medicine to help your symptoms. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • To relieve a stuffy nose, use a steroid nasal spray (such as Nasacort). A steroid nasal spray can also help with red, itchy, watery eyes.
    • Another way to relieve a stuffy nose is a nasal or oral decongestant (such as Sudafed PE). Decongestants may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems.
    • For itchy, watery eyes; sneezing; or a runny, itchy nose, try a non-sedating over-the-counter antihistamine, like fexofenadine (such as Allegra) or loratadine (such as Claritin). Older antihistamines, like chlorpheniramine (such as Chlor-Tripolon) and diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl), are less expensive but can make you feel sleepy or tired. Don't give antihistamines to your child unless you've checked with the doctor first.
    • To help relieve pain, try acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Stuck indoors during allergy season

COVID will affect exposure to seasonal allergies. Many of us are restricting our outdoor movements already. If you're like me, you're making steady use of your Claritin when you do venture out. And we can agree that a few seasonal discomforts aren't really all that bad in light of what we might be facing. Here's to clear airways and sturdy health!

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Good Customer Service

Good customer service is the go-to for Canadian business.
How does that land with you? 'Too strong a statement? Maybe you have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the service industry. Or, if you're a lucky gal like me, you encounter good to exceptional service everywhere you go.

Chilling on the 'phone

We are in unprecedented times (I believe that's the new buzz word? And an apt one it is!). Every service we attempt to access is embroiled in a new business normal. If you're deemed essential, you're working like a drone. 'Probably for less pay. Furthermore, you're punching in hours and rolling out results just as quickly as you can type, haul, drive, teach, ring-up, or cheerily choke out one more, "Good afternoon! How may I help you today?"

Like you, I've spent more time on hold in the past few weeks than I'd spent in the past several years combined. So many hours spent (musac pulsing in my offended ears) waiting for my essential server to assist. And assist they have. Every time. Knowledgeably, kindly, and efficiently...if a bit wearily.

In most recent days, I've had the chance to be the one offering a service on that same phone. I'm the one you've grown to dread: the telemarketer! Well, not exactly. I'm not selling anything at all. But I have been cold-calling area mechanics to let them know we're here to help. We can haul junkers from their properties quick-as-quick, and for free. Regardless of what's on offer, cold-calling is not always equated with good customer service!

Above the crowd

In reaching out to hundreds of Calgary businesses I've noticed some stand-out responses. Good customer service begins with that first "Hello! *insert company name here*, Bill speaking..." A gal can tell right off the hop if she's encountered a professional. I hear the layers of busy, work-weary, bored, and disinterested. Moreover, I know if you're placating me, or if you care about me as a caller.

A hang-up, "Click!" is rarely the answer to my offer of free tow support on behalf of our 900+ Canadian charities. "I don't have time for this!" is an occasional, frazzled response. But most often, in this deliciously polite country of ours, those busy mechanics hear me out. They ask questions. They express interest in receiving information for their customers (because what we provide their business will only help the people they serve every day).

In Calgary, two companies stand out as offering extraordinary care over the phone. These shops are clearly busy, but their calls are answered with patience, curiosity, and genuine interest. Who are these staff-who-made-my-job-a-joy? Auto Pro (you name the location, they're wonderful!), and OK Tire. OK Tire, particularly, made a mundane task feel like a purposeful and important gig.

While we can't speak to their car repair services, I know with certainty that they have good customer service on offer at the switchboard. That's no small thing in strangely tired and stressed-out times.

Your free tow

'Interested in taking advantage of our free tow support for yourself? Check us out...

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