By Melvin Beal
| August 17, 2009
Clunkers program hurting
some local charities
Tampa, Florida -- The popular "Cash
for Clunkers" program is boosting auto
sales and manufacturing companies, but it could
be having a negative impact on charities.
"Wheels of Success" is a local program
that helps families purchase vehicles by providing
low cost payment plans. The not for profit
company has seen a drastic decline in car donations
since the launch of the "Cash for Clunkers" program.
"We're down forty percent in cars and
that's not only cars we give out, but we also
get some our funding through the ones that
we salvage, through our relationship with the
salvage yards, and now we're not getting those
either, so it's not only cars but it's also
money," said Susan Jacobs, Founder of
Wheels of Success.
Money the organization uses to help families
with car repairs and preventative maintenance,
but what really hurts the founder is seeing
cars salvaged that are still drivable.
"The really sad part is the vehicles
that were worth giving out, maybe they would
have needed some repair, but we do that anyway,
and that someone could have been working, we
have a waiting list we get about fifty applications
a month," Jacobs said.
The Salvation Army car donations are down
fifty-percent, last month they only received
15 cars after averaging more than thirty donations
Goodwill has seen a surge in the number of
car donations since the start of the "Cash
for Clunkers" program.
"We had about 20 donations from May and
June, but from July 1st until today, we had
twenty five or twenty six, so we've almost
doubled the rate we had before," said
Michael Ann Harvey, Vice President for Goodwill.
Goodwill believes they benefited from people
whose cars didn't qualify for the "clunkers" program.
The other charities are looking forward to
the program ending.