Wednesday, November 7

Konfused by Kars for Kids?

The Kane County Chronicle in Illinois ran this piece by Liz Wolgemuth yesterday:

It seems so simple. As the radio jingle says, call 1-877-Kars4kids, and “donate your car today.”

Not only will you get a tax deduction and a voucher for a two-night hotel stay, you also get the satisfaction of knowing that all the proceeds of your donation will help provide food, clothing, education and guidance to children between 6 and 18 years old, as the Kars4Kids Web site says.
Sounds like a win-win, right?

Cars donated through Kars4Kids actually go to the Lakewood, N.J.-based nonprofit JOY for Our Youth, which uses the catchier Kars4Kids name in its fundraising efforts.

And the vast majority of JOY’s program services dollars go to another organization that shares its same New Jersey address and devotes its efforts to orthodox Jewish education.

The confusing chain of charities behind the simple radio ad highlights a problem for many donors who want to better understand where their contribution is going, particularly when it comes to car donations.
This does sound pretty sneaky, but honestly... in my experience now that the IRS has cracked down on car donations most donors should feel lucky they get a $500 deduction and some group comes and tows their piece of crap car.

18 comments:

Russ Burke said...

Sneaky...absolutely. I think, crap cars service aside, that states should more closely monitor this kind of activity...and require, in all public advertising to disclose the "receiver" of the proceeds.
This kind of behavior muddies the 501(c)(3) waters and only encourages more "creative" fundraising ideas masquerading as charity.

Anonymous said...

I don't see anything wrong in this article. Sounds like ppl are trying to ruin kars4kids's image in order to do their own car donations. Kars4kids and joy really do what they say - provide for educational, physical needs, etc.

It's sad that people take a legitimate cause and make it sound like they're doing something wrong...

The Sports Hernia said...

The Kars 4 Kids radio jingle makes me want to set my hair on fire. It's the most annoying song in the world, and it plays on the radio non-stop.

If I could find the person who wrote that, I would shoot them with a harpoon gun.

Anonymous said...

thats bad. i think its called false advertising and they should get sued for that., but on the bright sideatleast they do give it to needy children, and thats the whole point right??

Kars 4 Kids said...

Kars 4 Kids is a car donation program that uses the proceeds to help children. We are a genuine charity and run real programs to assist as many children as possible. Complaints about our services are extremely rare. If for some reason a car doesn’t get picked up as scheduled or a receipt is slow in coming, we take care of it. Nobody can say—and nobody does say – that Kars4Kids fails to perform the service it advertises.

Those that think that Kars4Kids tries to confuse our donors or hide the chain leading to the recipients of our charitable programs should simply look on our website. Many people log onto an organization’s website before they make charitable donations. If they want to know who runs the organization and what it does. Kars4Kids’ potential donors, if they follow that procedure, find out immediately that they are giving their money to JOY, a fundraising organization that donates its proceeds to Oorah, and that Oorah promotes Jewish education and values as the cornerstone of its overall service to disadvantaged Jewish children.

Overall, Kars 4 Kids provides the services promised in a timely manner. We work to ensure a smooth experience for our donors, and step in to help if there are ever any problems. We minimize our expenses and maximize on our proceeds to help as many children as possible.

Kars 4 Kids said...

Kars 4 Kids is a car donation program that uses the proceeds to help children. We are a genuine charity and run real programs to assist as many children as possible. Complaints about our services are extremely rare.  If for some reason a car doesn’t get picked up as scheduled or a receipt is slow in coming, we take care of it. Nobody can say—and nobody does say – that Kars4Kids fails to perform the service it advertises.

Those that think that Kars4Kids tries to confuse our donors or hide the chain leading to the recipients of our charitable programs should simply look on our website.  Many people log onto an organization’s website before they make charitable donations. If they want to know who runs the organization and what it does. Kars4Kids’ potential donors, if they follow that procedure, find out immediately that they are giving their money to  JOY, a fundraising organization that donates its proceeds to Oorah, and that Oorah promotes Jewish education and values as the cornerstone of its overall service to disadvantaged Jewish children.

Overall, Kars 4 Kids provides the services promised in a timely manner. We work to ensure a smooth experience for our donors, and step in to help if there are ever any problems. We minimize our expenses and maximize on our proceeds to help as many children as possible.

bconstable said...

Not all donated cars are "a piece of crap." The problem with Kars4Kids is their false advertising about crediting the donor with the actual value of the car. They seem to VALUE ALL DONATED CARS AT $500. If they actually only got $500 for my always garaged 93 Buick Park Avenue with only 48,000 miles, leather seats, perfect condition inside and out, by my calculations, the kids they serve were the losers.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that "bconstable". My car was worth hell of a lot more than a lousy $500 tax write off. If I knew this, they could have kissed my behind. What a bunch of jokers!

Anonymous said...

1/27/09
On 12/22/08, Kars for Kids picked up a camping trailer I wanted to donate to a worthy cause for a tax benefit. Since then I have received no paperwork of any kind acknowledging they even received it, much less auctioned it off. I keep getting put off, and now the Cars Director won't even return my calls. No, Kars for Kids, you are NOT a legitimate charity. Why is it so difficult to do the right thing?

Anonymous said...

How much of the donation really goes to the kids? Where's the IRS statements to show how efficient this or any charity is? I joke with friends looking for work - start a charity that pulls on people's heartstrings, pay yourself well and make token payments to charities / organizations / services to stay legit. I heard K4K is run by a towing business? they keep their tow trucks busy with this extra work and how much do they charge the charity / what do they give the charity for the old car, net of their expenses!?

Jen Campaniolo said...

typical..

Anonymous said...

To the representative of Kars 4 Kids who posted a defense of this "charity" -- you help "disadvantaged children"?

Bullshit.

In your commercials and on your website, your "charity" deceptively gives the impression you're a secular organization that helps children. Buried on the "Why Us?" page of your website is a solitary reference to "Jewish children," but that isn't even forthcoming.

Because you don't help disadvantaged children -- you run camps aimed at proselytizing to the children of non-observant Jewish families in an effort to recruit them into Orthodox Judaism through an organization of ill-repute called "Oorah." Whether a child is invited to attend one of your functions or camps has nothing to do with their financial situation -- if a child is not Jewish, or the child is from an "observant" family, they could be literally starving and you would not help them. You are only interested in pushing your religion.

In addition to the fact that your "charity" has been deceptive and devious about what the money is used for, there have been media reports accusing your company of paying tow companies to redirect car donations intended for OTHER charities to your own charity. That mess prompted a federal investigation. (Readers: Feel free to Google it.) Subsequent reports say your "charity" refused to cooperate with the federal investigators even after it became clear the unlicensed tow operators were stealing from other charities to share the money with the sleazy people behind your "charity."

And the "Free Vacation Vouchers" your "charity" claims it gives to donors are in fact just part of another scam, where donors are asked to make $50 "deposits" on future reservations to a company called Worldwide Travel Center. Surprise, surprise, Worldwide Travel Center is another scam. Scam message boards are brimming with complaints from people who donated their cars and tried to use their "vacation vouchers" only to have $50 taken from them before they're told there are no open reservations. Other reports say your "charity" took the $50 deposit and, instead of giving the donor a "vacation voucher," sent them off to hear sales pitches from a timeshare company.

And as some people have noted in the comments here, your "charity" abuses its donors by lying about the value of the tax deductions you offer for donated cars.

But perhaps most disgusting of all is the fact that, on numerous complaints about Kars4Kids, Oorah and Worldwide Travel Center, employees of your "charity" have written responses labeling the DONORS your RIPPED OFF as "anti-Semites." These are people who DONATED out of the goodness of their hearts, and after you 1) lied to them about where the money is going, 2) denied them the full value of their tax deduction, 3) sent them off to a scam company instead of the promised "vacation" and 4) took $50 "deposits" from them, now you're accusing them of being possible racists and bigots.

Here is a link to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story that reports your charity failed miserably on a Better Business Bureau report. The story also says your "charity" refuses to publicly disclose its finances (which is required of all charities), it notes your "car reseller" is a convicted felon with a history of stealing charitable donations, and it conclusively reports the entire scam is run by rabbis at a Staten Island, NY, "Yeshiva" who have a history of murky financial records:

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2005/12/lakewoodbased_h.html

There is much, much more information on the internet for anyone who wishes to investigate for themselves how deceptive, immoral and sleazy these people are.

Anonymous said...

Kars4Kids Launches Jingle Contest with Spokesman Peppi Marchello of The Good Rats

Classic Rock Hall of Famer Jumpstarts National Car Donation YouTube-Based Contest

Lakewood, NJ—July 27, 2009—Kars4Kids, the national car donation program best known for its persistent "1-8-7-7-Kars-for-Kids" jingle, opened the doors this morning to contestants who want to perform, recreate or otherwise spoof their well-known jingle. The contest was launched simultaneously at the charity organization's website and its YouTube channel with a video--the first of three in a series--from famed rock-and-roll songwriter Peppi Marchello and his band The Good Rats.
"While Kars4Kids is a wonderful organization, we know our jingle can make some people a little crazy," said Clifford Meth, VP of Communications. "It's no different than Burger King's 'Have It Your Way' campaign of the 70s or some of the other classic commercials--our jingle gets inside people's heads and sometimes they can't get it out. So we thought we'd give the thousands of people who write about our jingle a chance to change it… or spoof it… or recreate it. And who better to kick that off than Peppi Marchello, one of the very best songwriters and rock-and-roll showmen of the 1970s."
Kars4kids is giving away prizes from Fender Stratocasters to gaming and home theatre systems. While the organization may not change their jingle any time soon, they believe this contest will be fun for everyone.
"Asking me to be spokesman for a national charity? Now that’s a gutsy move," says Marchello, whose band first debuted on Warner Brothers Records in 1969 and has sold more than one million albums. "When we were playing the Uncle Floyd Show or opening for The Grateful Dead, we must've gone through six dozen vehicles. If Kars4Kids had been around, I'd have known what to do with them but instead I'm still getting notices for 30-year-old parking tickets!"
In addition to writing for and fronting The Good Rats, Marchello also produced a number of other artists including Fiona Flanagan (Atlantic Records) and scored Demi Moore's film "No Small Affair" (1984)
"This contest isn't just for musicians or people good with a video camera," notes Meth. "Anyone with a little creativity will have a chance of winning." Meth noted that other professional bands and entertainers will be popping up at the contest site, including J.R. (formerly of the punk-horror band Rosemary's Babies) and Mark Radice, the Emmy-nominated writer for such shows as "Sesame Street."
Kars4Kids is a national charity operating in 49 states. For more information on the contest, visit www.kars4kids.org/contest
For more information, call: 732-730-8595, ext. 108

Winter said...

Id rather give my car to SongsOfLove.org, they are a true nonprofit and will help anyone that requests it.

Anonymous said...

JOY/Kars4Kids/Oorah have received horrible ratings on Charity Navigator (charitynavigator.org), a website established to track organizational efficiency of charities and their omnipresent fundraising arms. Check out

http://blogindm.blogspot.com/2008/03/women-should-not-be-seen-but-not-heard.html

for an elucidation on the particulars. It's not that they don't donate money to charity, it's that they are donate so little of what they take in compared to blue chip charities with much better recognition. They are, in fact, in the business of making money for themselves at the cost of throwing some token cash at the ostensible beneficiaries. Do some research and spread the word before these scammers divert funds from well-meaning but naive donors.

Selena Gomez said...

Lol! Thats great site for kids.I used this one for last year and also I donated my car in there car donation charity program.

Paulus of Tarsus said...

Why is a 501(c)(3)"charity" which operates in the U.S.A. targeting Israelis (No, NOT just "Jewish" children, as they claim) for aid?

That is something we should all consider: why a charity operating here in the U.S. openly favors (discriminates toward)a certain race- as in ISRAELI.

Make no mistake- they do not care one whit about any Jewish children in the U.S., their aim is for ISRAELIs and ISRAELI/U.S. dual citizens to benefit over ALL.

Why don't we all explore J.O.Y.'s and Oorah's convoluted money trails?

They definitely have that tang of terrorist organizations about them...

Auto Charity said...

I've just been reading from a number of news sources that Kars4Kids has been issued a subpoena. New york attorney general stated 16 charities are being investigated for fraud.

Will have to keep an eye on this and see how it plays out.