Center for Living and Learning

VAN NUYS, CA — The Center for Living and Learning, which operates a popular non-profit vocational rehabilitation and training center in Southern California, has relied since 2001 primarily on charitable car donations to change lives and steer down-on-their-luck adults and at-risk youth towards a better future.

Center for Living and Learning
Center for Living and Learning

Now car donations – and the future employment of an increasing number of troubled youths, welfare recipients and struggling single mothers enrolled in their professional training program – are being stalled by recent fluctuations in the economy, IRS reform and increased reports of fraudulent activity in the industry, reports Maria Alexander, Executive Director of The Center for Living and Learning, herself a recovering substance abuser and graduate of CLL’s vocational program. “We began seeing a decline in 2005 when Congress limited vehicle donation deductions,” said Alexander. “However, the steady decline in car donations for the last several years now poses a significant problem for our clients and our ability to help get people off of assistance and back to work.”

Well-intentioned donors may be swayed by vacation vouchers and catchy jingles offered by the leading automobile donation companies, but funding for those items often eat away at the bottom line – hurting the people who need it the most, says Alexander. “The Center for Living and Learning has existed for more than a decade predominantly on donations of cars and contributions from supporters,” said Alexander. “Your car donation goes directly to transitioning local people out of trouble and into work. We provide professional training, job search counseling and more to help people get back to work.” In fact, 73% of CLL’s clients found full-time employment in 2010.

“I’ve been discharged off parole; my family is back in my life; and I have a driver’s license and a car with insurance,” says graduate Rhonda. “My life has totally turned around, and is better then I ever could have imagined. I really can’t say enough about this program and what it’s done for me.” As the recovery waivers and the jobless rate increases, the need for services for people like Rhonda is increasing exponentially. “In these difficult times, we’re being asked to help more people than ever,” says Alexander. “Those we’ve helped say they don’t know where they would be without this program, but without donations, our future is in jeopardy. ”

To that end, CLL is rolling out a grassroots campaign featuring those very people whose lives have been rebuilt by the program. Their hope is that the public will realize that putting an unwanted car, boat or other motorized vehicle to work with a valid charity can help put Americans back to work. For information on a charitable car or other motorized vehicle donation, please call Allstate Car Donations at (855) 227-7456 or visit

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