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Great Neck Notebook: June 13, 2012

Passing Lane

A few months ago, I said good-bye to my faithful Toyota Matrix. I bought it used in 2006 with 10,000 miles on it and since then had put on 140,000 more miles visiting my Long Island customers. It served me well through rain and snow, traffic delays and construction on the Long Island Expressway. When it was due for its last inspection, the mechanic told me it wouldn’t pass without significant repairs and it didn’t make sense to spend $2,000 on a six-year-old car.

I thought about selling it, but that didn’t make financial sense either.  Then I decided to donate it to help an organization that has been helping Long Islanders in need for over 25 years: the INN. They arranged to have it towed away and a few weeks later sent me a donation letter with the official “donation” value stated as per official IRS regulations. I’m getting a nice deduction on my next year’s tax return and my car is helping someone else get their life turned around.

Yesterday, I also got a very nice e-mail from the INN’s director of fundraising, Joe Barry. He wrote: “The value of your car made a big difference for the INN and you also got someone else started in support of the INN who is doing this as well.  It turns out that it is a good car that we are able to give to one of the people in our Long Term Housing Program who really needs it. I can only imagine what a difference this makes in the life of someone whose future was brightened by a new career after a struggle with homelessness.”

Dear reader, if you know someone with an old car they no longer need, please mention to them that they can do a “mitzvah” by donating it to the Interfaith Nutrition Network, which provides food, shelter, and support services to thousands of our Long Island neighbors each year. For additional information about car donations, contact me at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 917-418-2451.

If you don’t have a car to donate, but would still like to make a difference, donations may be mailed to: Dave Golbert, 7 Lee Court West, Great Neck, NY 11024. Your contribution, in whatever amount you can afford, has the power to turn despair into hope for someone who needs our help and our compassion. Please make your check payable to:  the Interfaith Nutrition Network.

Each of us can make a difference. Each of us must try. As the sages wrote:  “Blessed are those who give to those who have less.”