Kars4Kids Operations: Donating Your Car during a Global Pandemic

Donating your car is a big step, especially in a global pandemic, so you probably have a lot of questions you need answered: With the economy having taken a downturn, is it a good time to donate a car? Will your car need to be quarantined? Will anyone even be willing to come and tow your car away what with coronavirus on the loose? And finally, and most important of all, perhaps, you wonder if car donation programs like Kars4Kids are even operating right now. SPOILER ALERT: We are.

We put questions to a member of our terrific inbound sales team, Sara Wagshal, to get her take on car donation at Kars4Kids during the coronavirus pandemic. Here is what she had to say:

Kars4Kids: What has changed in regard to car donation since the coronavirus outbreak? Are you still able to process car donations?

Sara Wagshal: Kars4Kids is operating in full swing. We’re working from the safety of our social-distanced homes; tow truck drivers have been instructed to always wear masks; and unattended pickups have become a popular option with our donors.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t some (excuse the pun) bumps along the way. Because the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is closed throughout the United States, it’s difficult to get paperwork notarized when necessary. And since many donors are quarantined, they can’t also get to a donated car’s location in order to leave the title in the car for us. Finally, some of the towing companies are closed right now. Still, we have enough towing companies in our network to get to you wherever you are. It may just take some creative maneuvers to make things happen. But we’re used to that. It’s what we do.

Kars4Kids: Do cars need to be quarantined, too?

Sara Wagshal: Cars do not need to be quarantined. We have in place, and always have had, the opportunity to do an unattended pickup, meaning the title and keys are left in the glove compartment and the towing company can leave the pickup receipt in a designated place, for instance the mailbox. This is definitely in adherence with social distancing and reduces all risk to the donor.

Kars4Kids: Are people still donating their cars at around the same rate?

Sara Wagshal: Well, I’m told things are quieter right now, but I’m still receiving a fair amount of calls from people wanting to donate their cars. In general, I think there are two things happening right now: On the one hand, people have more time to take care of tasks that have been waiting around forever–like taking care of the dead cars in their driveways—on the other hand, people are afraid of contact, and not knowing exactly how the donation process works, they’re reluctant to start the ball rolling.

We are definitely receiving somewhat fewer donation calls than before the pandemic. We are, however, fully able to process donations. At the beginning of the pandemic, several towing companies stopped working for a limited time. But most of the companies continued picking up cars and scheduling appointments. Of the companies that temporarily stopped towing, all have resumed scheduling appointments and picking up cars.

Kars4Kids: Why is car donation more important than ever?

Sara Wagshal: Now more than ever, any form of help we can provide for the children through your donations to Kars4Kids, has massive impact. Families are struggling financially and their children, in particular, suffer from the lack of consistent structure and productivity in their lives. Any and all assistance we can provide through our various programs—whether virtual or from a proper social distance—contributes to maintaining the overall well-being and emotional health of the participants.

In the case of Kars4Kids, proceeds from donations fund a variety of educational programs. With everyone on lockdown, many families are calling to sign up for telephone learning partners and mentors. So much so, that many of the Kars4Kids customer service reps have been pressed into service to make calls to find new volunteers to meet the demand. That makes donations to Kars4Kids more important and more relevant than ever before!

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