How to Donate a Car to the Rawhide Boys Ranch

••• junk yard image by Danuta Kania from

Do you have a vehicle that still runs, but isn't worth enough as a trade-in to keep? Why not give it to Rawhide Boys Ranch so your old car (or boat, RV or industrial equipment) can be part of a technical training program? Rawhide Boys Ranch, in New London, Wisconsin, offers family-centered care, treatment and educational programs to court-referred youth. It has provided a home for at-risk young men and helped them develop the skills they need to become productive adults for over 40 years.

Go to or call 1-800-RAWHIDE (729-4433) to fill out a donation questionnaire. If your donation is accepted, you'll be given instructions about how to find a collection center (Wisconsin and Illinois) or when and how it will be picked up. Provide an e-mail address and Rawhide Boys Ranch will e-mail a confirmation and instructions to you.

Clean your car out. Since Rawhide Boys Ranch receives donations from all over the country, anything (including cell phones, garage openers and Suzy's panda bear) becomes part of the donation and cannot be returned. Vacuuming out all that stuff out from under the seats would be appreciated, too.

Locate your auto title and sign it. All owners listed on a title must sign in order to transfer. If there has been a lien by a bank for a car loan or some other lien on your car, locate the original (faxes and copies are not acceptable) lien release and include it in the packet with the title. These documents are necessary for the ranch to register and then sell your vehicle. Give these documents to the person who accepts your vehicle on behalf of the Rawhide Boys Ranch.

Find your vehicle's driver manual and relevant service and repair records. Put these, along with a written description of your vehicle in a packet . Put this material in the vehicle. It may be needed by the transporting driver or ranch staff.

To use your donation as a tax deduction, determine its fair market value. Contributors may claim a value of $500 or the sale price that Rawhide receives, whichever is greater. If you have documentation that your vehicle is worth more, save it for your tax preparer. Get a professional appraisal if you plan to claim more than $5000 fair market value.

About the Author

An avid perennial gardener and old house owner, Laura Reynolds has had careers in teaching and juvenile justice. A retired municipal judgem Reynolds holds a degree in communications from Northern Illinois University. Her six children and stepchildren served as subjects of editorials during her tenure as a local newspaper editor.

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