There is a multitude of military charities that support the sacrifice of our veterans, service members, and their families. Many organizations accept vehicle donations that are turned over to auctions where proceeds are pooled into programs and services. For the seller, it’s an opportunity to give back to service members and receive a tax write-off. For the organization, it’s another option for donors who don’t have large sums of money.
If you are looking to donate your vehicle or in need of a vehicle, consider this list of charitable organizations for veterans and military service members. Keep in mind, some non-profit organizations hire professional fundraiser services to cover the logistics of a donor car. These professional fundraisers are technically not non-profit but you can still receive a tax write-off. It is important to always ask questions about the charity’s services and policies.
Cars 4 Heroes is a Kansas-based organization that gives away vehicles that are donated. The company began as a small gesture to families who could not purchase a car due to an emergency or lack of credit. Cars 4 Heroes specializes in providing vehicles to Veterans, Active Military, First Responders, and their families. All vehicle types are welcome and towing is free of cost. Fill out the online form to get started.
Proceeds from donated vehicles will go to support Purple Heart, Soldiers Angels, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and Intrepid Fallen Heroes. Cars Helping Veterans accepts all vehicles including trucks, vans, conversion vans, boats, motorcycles, RVs, and property. Get more information here and fill out the donor form online.
Charity Cars mission is to give as many cars to deserving families which include Military Families, Struggling Families, the Working Poor, Victims of Domestic Violence, the Medically Needy, and Victims of Natural Disasters. Working cars are reinvested to those in need, while non-working cars are sold and proceeds return to help fund the organization. Call the Charity Cars, Inc. at 800-242-7489 or fill out an online application to learn more about the donor vehicle program.
Disabled American Veterans give rides to approximately 600,000 veterans attending medical appointments and 200,000 veterans with benefits per year. There are 1300 locations across the country. Funds from donated cars, running or not, provide support to programs and services for DAV. Learn more here.
Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit charity organization providing services and programs for wounded and disabled veterans and their families. They accept donated vehicles directly. Eligible cars must have a clear title. IRS allows donors to claim up to fair market value. Fill out the online form and schedule a tow pick-up with Purple Heart.
Soldiers Angels work under the saying, “May No Soldier Go Unloved.” Hundreds of volunteers assist veterans, wounded, deployed personnel, and families through a variety of support programs. Soldiers Angels works with Veteran Car Donations to pick-up and handle title transfers at no cost to the donor. Types of vehicles accepted: cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, motorcycles boats, campers, RVs, jet skis, riding lawnmowers, farm equipment, electric wheelchairs, and snowmobiles. Donations are accepted 24/7. You can schedule a donation by calling 866-410-7009 or by filling out the form online.
Warrior Foundation Freedom Station is a non-profit located in San Diego that specializes in providing quality-of-life items, transitional housing, and further support services to ill and wounded veterans. Donations of cars, trucks, RVs, and boats are accepted. Acceptable vehicles may be running or not. Generally, pick-up occurs 2-3 days after the application process.
Wounded Warrior Projects works with Cars 2 Charities and accepts an assortment of vehicles and equipment: cars, SUVs, and RVs, motorcycles, trailers, pop up trailers, ATV, jet skis, and campers. Full transparency is guaranteed by the charity. Funding goes to help support programs and supplies that veterans who were mentally or physically injured during service.
Yellow Ribbon Vehicles is part of the Yellow Ribbon Network (YRN), web-based collaborative software designed to meet the needs of Veterans, Service Members, Survivors, and their families. Yellow Ribbon Vehicles accepts donated cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, jet skis, farm equipment, and construction. Please call 855-215-4373 or find the online form here.
For those who need an immediate but temporary solution, check out AVIS rentals. U.S. military veterans, National Guard, Reservists, and family can enroll in the Veterans Advantage for 25% off AVIS and up to 30% off your first rental.
Although not a charity organization, Military Auto Source or MAS is worth an honorable mention to the military seeking auto vehicle ownership. This third-party source works directly with deployed or overseas military service members to help them find the best car deals and lender rates. There are over 70 base locations worldwide that work with car names such as Audi, Jeep, Dodge, Honda, Infiniti, Lincoln, Harley Davidson, and more.
Note: Most organizations allow donors to determine the fair market value of up to $500. If the car is sold over $500, the IRS allows the donor to claim the selling price as a deduction. Work with the organization to make sure you maximize your tax write-off.
Typically, the organizations take about 2-3 days to pick up the car. Most organizations ask for a clear title and a lien release if there was ever a lienholder on the title. Details should be provided during the donation process.
Cristina Van Orden is a literary writer and active military spouse. She holds an MFA from Antioch University and taught K-12 English before working in editorial. Cristina currently resides on base with her husband and children.