How to Donate Your Tires

Tires
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If you're a lover of all things automotive and you want your charity dollars to go directly where they can make a difference in an individual’s life rather than get absorbed in high overhead costs, here are some charities that can help you make the difference in a struggling person’s automotive life.

The need to replace a set of tires never comes at a good time, but for many people who are just barely making ends meet when that time comes, it can cause a major crisis.

Without the use of the family car the kids can’t get to school and doctor’s appointments, parents can’t get to work or to take care of an elderly or ailing parent or family member. Shopping for groceries becomes an ordeal, and the lack of choices on public transportation can drive food budgets up. In short, daily living grinds to a halt. There are some charities out there that directly address this kind of need with a minimum of the kinds of administrative overhead that can reduce the impact of a charitable donation.

Modest Needs

Modest Needs.org is a registered charity that “promotes the self-sufficiency of low-income workers by helping them to afford short-term, emergency expenses.” Not all of the posted needs are automotive, but a large percentage of them have to do with an unexpected auto repair, and many of those auto repairs are a simple need for a decent, functional set of tires, no more and no less.

(I found 206 hits on a search for “tires.”) Essentially, this charity helps plug some of the huge gaps in the safety net for people who want to work and need to care for others but have one-time emergency expenses that their budgets cannot weather without assistance. Their very easy online donation button makes the process quick and easy, and their testimonials page speaks volumes about the good they have done throughout the years.

We particularly like the transparency of the administrative costs for each application and the integrity with which this particular charity operates.

The Good News Garage

The Good News Garage is a program of Lutheran Social Services that provides cars to low income families though donations of either cars or cash. Serving the New England area, the stated mission of Good News Garage is to "create economic opportunity by providing affordable and reliable transportation options for people in need." There are many areas, especially rural areas in New England where there is no public transportation and without a decent, reliable vehicle it is impossible to get anywhere. Good News Garage helps fill the gap. If you are considering donating your vehicle for a tax donation and are hoping the charity will actually repair and pass on your vehicle to someone in need instead of automatically selling it for parts, this is the charity that is most likely to do just that, within reason given the cost-effectiveness of repairs.

If the idea of microfinance intrigues you, or if you would rather loan than give, then Kiva.org has a surprising number of transportation related microloans, often for a set of tires or other related repairs.

The system of credit that we use in the West isn’t available in many other countries where there might be no credit system at all, or one that charges interest that is designed to keep the borrower trapped in a constant cycle of repayment instead of enabling them to become self sufficient. This is where microfinance steps in. With an over 99% repayment rate and the ability to reach taxi drivers and delivery men from Armenia to Zimbabwe, with 180 field partners in 67 countries including the United States you are sure to find a small business person you can help, $25.00 at a time, to build a more secure future for themselves and their families through microfinance. Please note that because Kiva.org loans are not donations, they are not tax deductable.

As we have discovered since I started being sent tires for review, there are many ways to donate used tires all over the local area.

Car donation programs may be able to use them. Schools and parks can use them for anything from tire swings to football training. Local recycling centers can ensure that at least they end up as tables or floor materials. As for me, from now on my review tires will be going to Modest Needs.