Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cash for clunkers program hurt charities

Last year, the Chicago chapter of the American Lung Association received 650 donated cars from August through October. This year during the same three months the charity collected only 455 cars--a forty percent drop.

CBS 2 Chicago has more:

What was supposed to be a $3 billion shot in the arm to the economy is shortchanging some well-known charities. CBS 2's Vince Gerasole reports with one way the Cash for Clunkers program has backfired.

The Cash for Clunkers program had auto dealers running in August, with Washington paying Americans to turn in aging gas guzzlers and purchase new cars. But as it put 700,000 new vehicles on the road, it left some charities running low on donations.

"We knew that it was going to have an impact. We just didn't know how large of an impact it was going to have," said Harold Wimmer of the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago.

For 18 years, the American Lung Association has accepted older vehicles as tax-deductible charitable donations. It then sells the cars as scrap metal.

The Salvation Army has also seen a drop in donations of old cars.
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