Hawaii charity glad Cash for Clunkers program hits the brakes

Diana Pinard
Diana Pinard
Daniel Kalili
Daniel Kalili

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Like many charitable organizations across the country, the Kidney Foundation of Hawaii is suffering in these tough economic times.

But what's making things even worse is the Cash for Clunkers program, which cuts into its Kidney Cars funding.

It's estimated that more than 2,000 cars in Hawaii have been turned in as part of the Cash for Clunkers program. But those cars may have been an important contribution to Hawaii's Kidney Cars program.

"We believe that in the future as you look around at these vehicles, you'll find that a lot of these cars would have come to us in the next couple of years, so we're expecting it to hit us even harder during that time frame," National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii director of organizational planning and operations Diana Pinard said.

Ninety percent of the foundation's funding comes from car donations.

Daniel Kalili's car couldn't qualify as a clunker, so he recently donated his second car to the Kidney Foundation.

"It's for a good cause and I also have diabetes, so may have to utilize the services of the Kidney Foundation later on," he said.

With funding down ten percent last month and staff cut nearly in half, the Kidney Foundation feels the Cash for Clunkers program couldn't have come at a worse time.

"We always try to get the most that we possibly can for them, but as you look at these vehicles, it's not a tax deduction, it's cash in your pocket," Pinard said. "So you can't blame anyone for not wanting to take advantage of that."

But Pinard is relying on people to just give a little, even if it's to say just how seamless it is to donate their car.

"The process was very simple," Kalili said. "Just go online, fill in the paperwork and drop it off, sign it."

It's a process Pinard hopes people will come back to now that the Cash for Clunkers program has hit the brakes.

To help out the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii by donating your car, go to kidneyhi.org. You'll get not only the satisfaction of possibly saving a life, but a $500 tax write-off as well.