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  • Jennifer Filzen

Where Are They Now? Stories About The Cars We Donated & The People Who Benefitted From Them

For many years, Cars 2nd Chance has donated cars to people and organizations in need. In this month’s blog, we thought we would look at the stories behind those car donations and find out what happened to the people and charities who benefitted from them.

Story #1

In 2017, the local Rotary Clubs donated vehicles to families in need within Contra Costa County. On May 4, 2017, the Clayton Valley-Concord Sunrise Rotary Club presented a refurbished 1998 Dodge Caravan to a family in need at the Monument Crisis Center. 

The Caravan was donated to Rotary by a Walnut Creek resident and was rehabilitated through donations of parts, time, and labor by local automotive services businesses, including:

  • Mechanical repairs from D&H Enterprises, owned by Dave and Mary Kemnitz

  • Smog repair parts and labor from West Coast Muffler, Automotive Service Councils of California ( ASCCA), and Steve Elstins

  • Paint and bodywork (complete) from Simply Superior Auto Body, owned by Rich Lezcano (a Rotary Club of Concord member)

Today, that family is doing well and appreciative of all the help they got from Cars 2nd Chance.

 Story #2

Another happy story is linked to a donated Recreational Vehicle. The Rotary Clubs of Clayton Valley/Concord and Moraga turned an unwanted motorhome into hope in Sierra Leone with the help of Cars2ndChance. The proceeds from the RV sale were matched by Rotary International and a project that the Moraga Rotary had undertaken in Sierra Leone to help children orphaned by the Ebola epidemic.

Story #3

After the Paradise Camp Fire in October of 2018, Cars 2nd Chance immediately jumped into action to provide needed vehicles to the Paradise fire victims.  Collaborating with California Vocations whose entire facility had been destroyed during the fire, Cars 2nd Chance reached out to the SF Bay Area Community for help. A total of 65 cars were donated, reconditioned, and sent to Paradise. Here are photos of one of the caravans of donated cars to Chico delivered to those fire victims. Of the 65 vehicles donated by Cars 2nd Chance, Seven people delivered these six donated cars on Friday, Feb 1, 2019. Before this special delivery, we met and finished the paperwork in the conference room of D&H Enterprises in Concord. Seven people caravanned in six cars to Chico to make the delivery. Some of the photos showed the cars crossing the bridge and entering Chico city limits.

Many families who lost everything in the fire were incredibly grateful to receive donated vehicles. Today, these fire victims have settled into new homes, rebuilt their lives and businesses, and thrived.

Cars 2nd Chance was developed to help others and make the world a better place through donated vehicles. There are many other happy stories to share, but we will save them for a later time. 

If you want to buy a donated vehicle, give cash, or present a car to Cars 2nd Chance, now is a great time to share! We hope these happy stories will inspire you to donate your unused vehicle. Your car or cash donation will help someone recover from a natural disaster or receive food from the Food Bank. First, reach out to to donate a vehicle that runs, or send an email to to donate a car that does not run. As always, we appreciate your love and support!


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