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Posted: 2:19 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010

Donating Old Cars, Computers & Cell Phones

Don't just toss your old stuff - recycle it!



Donate your car:  
There are three organizations that will take your old vehicle and put the money to good use. 
           

  • Tommy Nobis Center - Founded by "Mr. Falcon" himself, this organization's vehicle donation program funds 20 percent of its job training for youth and adults with disabilities and other barriers to employment.        
  •  Salvation Army - If you donate a car to the Salvation Army, 85 percent of the money will go toward the organization's services and programs.           
  • National Kidney Foundation - Called the "Kidney Cars," about 70 percent of proceeds are used to help fund research, professional education, public health education and patient and community services.  
  •  Goodwill Industries - Some Goodwill organizations accept car donations. Please call your local Goodwill organization for more information. If they take your car it will be given to a low-income family to use as transportation to and from work.  

If you're considering another donation company, read Clark's warning and avoid this potential tax "gotcha!"    
     
*You will need a 501-c3 form from the organization for tax purposes. And, remember to document the value of the car before you donate it by going to kbb.com , nada.com , or edmunds.com , in case you are ever audited. 

   

  
Donate your computer:  
Several international corporations will take your computer, or you may try looking in your local area for specific organizations. 

  • Some Goodwill Industries and Salvation Army stores may accept old computer equipment. However, they may not accept any computer equipment that is more than three years old. Some do not accept monitors at all, as monitors have been declared "hazardous waste" in some states. Call your local store to check before bringing it in. 
  • IBM and Hewlett-Packard have started recycling programs for all types of computers, as well. Go to the sites and search for the word "recycle." For $30, which includes shipping, IBM PC Recycling Service will either refurbish the system or give it to Gifts in Kind International. Hewlett-Packard charges $13 to $34 to pick up your equipment from office or home.  

 
Donate your cell phone:  
Cell phones are reused by victims of domestic violence and other charity organizations. 
         

  • The Wireless Foundation - donates used phones to victims of domestic violence. You can either find your local donation center on the website or mail your old phone, battery and charger to: Call to Protect, c/o Motorola, 1580 E. Ellsworth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
  • Collective Good - allows you to pick the charity of your choice when donating your cellphone. For more information, call 770-856-9021. 
  • charitablerecycling.com - gives used phones to senior citizens and battered women for emergency 911 service, and to patients awaiting organ transplants.
  • recellular.com - offers free online Data Eraser that removes all personal information from their cell phones prior to recycling.

Want to unload your old cell phone for cash? Try CellforCash.com or CellPhoneTradeIns.com.

Clark discusses other businesses that pay for pre-owned electronics -- everything from cell phones, mp3 players, computers and cameras to GPS systems and gaming consoles.