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Did winter beat your beater?
Donate it to a good cause

When your worn-out vehicle reaches the end of the road, it can have a last blast as a charitable donation

Published April 10, 2013
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Back in February, I asked Wheels.ca readers for suggestions on what to do with my “winter beater” now that winter had beaten it.

By mid-winter, my 2000 Pontiac Sunfire GT was not running well and then finally succumbed to electrical woes and computer glitches. The windshield had a crack in it and the passenger side power window stopped working. The a/c was on the fritz and the exhaust system was close to collapse. In other words it was going to cost more to fix than it was worth.

I was hoping to get through one more winter with this mundane machine, but winter took its toll and left the Sunfire more of a “Wouldn’t Fire.”

The only things worth keeping were the new Goodyear Ultra Grip winter tires that I had installed to make sure it was safe on winter roads. Thanks to yearly coats of  Rust Check, the body was in good shape.

As it sat taking up valuable space at the end of my driveway, I tried to figure out what was best to do with the worthless hulk.

Should I sell it? It wasn’t worth much and who would want to buy a car that doesn’t work?

Scrap it? That wouldn’t fetch much for anyone but the recyclers.

So I asked Wheels readers for suggestions and you sent in plenty of them. One reader suggested I give the car to him since he couldn’t afford one. That was tempting, but I knew it would cost that poor gentleman way too much to certify and licence.

The best suggestion I had was from Heather Weatherill, who suggested I give it to the Kidney Foundation as a donation. The foundation would get money for recycling the car and would put that money to work finding a cure for kidney disease and helping patients across Canada with dialysis treatments.

This suggestion really struck a chord with me. My best friend, Brian, has kidney disease and has to undergo dialysis treatment three times a week. Brian and I go way back to our days growing up in Cabbagetown and going to Cubs and school together. Tony, another friend and hockey coach for the Goulding Park Old Rangers, also has to endure three treatments a week for kidney disease.

So for me, this cause really hit home. I decided to donate the Pontiac to the Kidney Car program.

I called 1-866-788-CARS (2277) and went online at www.kidneycar.ca to fill out a simple form. It all took less than five minutes to arrange.

Last Friday, the Kidney Foundation sent a tow truck to my house and picked up my “Wouldn’t Fire” winter beater.  It will be recycled in an environmentally responsible way and the money raised from parting it out will go to the Kidney Foundation.

I feel very good about helping to raise funds for such a worthwhile cause while gaining valuable parking space on my driveway.

Now that was definitely a win-win suggestion.

I urge anyone with a vehicle they no longer want to donate it to this charity.  It is simple to do and very gratifying.  For all you hockey fans, Don Cherry of Coach’s Corner did just that recently.

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