“Kars4Kids” Charity Accused Of Misleading Donors

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The national charity Kars4Kids is accused of misleading some donors and at least one North Texan is upset with the non-profit’s donation process.

CBS This Morning reports, according to the Minnesota attorney general, between 2012 and 2014, Kars4Kids raised $3 million in the state through car donations. But less than $12,000, less than one percent of what was raised, went to Minnesota kids.

“I think it’s important when people donate to a charity, that they have information in terms of where their money is going,” said Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson.

Ninety percent of the monies donated go to a sister organization, Oorah, a New Jersey-based charity that operates Jewish youth summer camps in New York.

“My main concern about Kars4Kids is that people don’t know what’s really happening with this charity,” said Daniel Borochoff, the president of CharityWatch.

“That’s fine if people want to raise money for orthodox Jews, but they need to be clear and state that’s what the purpose is,” Borochoff said.

Kars4Kids issued a statement addressing the allegations.

Since we are headquartered in the northeast, many of our programs and recipients naturally come from this area,” the statement reads. “We believe Minnesota residents…appreciate that their generous donations to Kars4Kids help children both in and out of state.”

The 2015 budget for their ads? Seventeen million dollars, according to CharityWatch, which is even more than Kars4Kids gave to Oorah.

“So when one makes a donation to Kars4Kids, they’re basically paying for those ads,” Borochoff said.

In 2009, Kars4Kids paid settlements in Oregon and Pennsylvania after those states charged the charity with misleading donors.

CBS 11’s Consumer Justice unit talked to one North Texan who said he had big problems trying to donate a car to the organization.

John Hendrickson of Venus, Texas said he donated a Mazda RX7 to the organization in October of 2016. Hendrickson said the car was being stored at his aunt’s home in Irving.

“When I called Kars4kids, I explained that I was a 45 minute drive away, I needed notice and I would make an appointment,” said Hendrickson.

Hendrickson said he had to make the drive three seperate times before a driver showed up to take the car.

“I feel like I was jerked around,” said Hendrickson.

According to state law, Kars4Kids doesn’t have to report how much money was raised in Texas or how much money went to kids in in the state.

Kars4kids did not return CBS 11’s multiple requests for a comment.

Hendricks said the organization did call and apologized to him after CBS11 asked them to look into his complaints.

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