I finally did it. After 15 years, I put my old car out to pasture. It was a hard decision but the time had come when I determined it would take 2 to 3 thousand dollars to keep it going. After toying for months (ok years) with idea of a new one, I bit the bullet and paid a visit to the dealer. The old one had close to 181,000 miles on it, needed 4 new tires, a gas tank I couldn’t fill or it would overflow, and showed the wear and tear of a 15-year-old car. Therefore, the reality of getting anything for a trade-in didn’t exist. I decided that I would donate it to a good cause. In light of what happened this past week, the decision was an easy one.
Searching online, I found a number of organizations that accept cars in all condition. Before Hurricane Sandy obliterated the northeast coastline, I wasn’t sure which charity to I was going to choose. After sitting in the dark and cold for 6 days, and seeing the devastation in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, The American Red Cross became the obvious choice. This is an organization that immediately springs into action when people are in need. Last October they were set up in our local high school and help many people in the town. I became acutely aware of the valuable service they provide. This week was no exception.
Donating is easy. You simply fill out an online form with information about yourself and the car. Within hours I received a phone call. A date and time was arranged for pickup. In my case it happened the very next day. I had the title, and could be home so the plan was set. They gave me a 4 hour window and called before they arrived. All occurred without a hitch. Eventually a form that serves as a tax deduction will be sent. The process is then complete.
I had mixed feelings as I saw the car being towed off. That car saw me through my marriage, took my babies home from the hospital and went on many adventures. It caused little to no trouble in terms of repair. On the other hand, I really like my new one. It drives smoother, quieter, and has more conveniences. What I do feel good about is that I gave my old car away to an organization that helps people when they are in their hour of need. Could I have made of few bucks selling it myself? Maybe, but in giving it away, the payoff is so much greater.