HONOLULU (KHON2) — Cars for Kids is an emerging nonprofit organization that seeks to help low-income and houseless keiki gain access to reliable transportation.

Cars for Kids began in Texas and is expanding across the United States. They have come to Hawaii and are looking to connect with the community to provide both sides of this program with services that they need.

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“So yes, what we’re what we’re looking to do, and it’s an awesome thing that we’re having this conversation, because what we want to do is we want to spread awareness through the state of Hawaii, right,” said Colin Weatherwax, CEO for Cars for Kids. “Over the past 40 years since our existence, we haven’t had a huge presence in Hawaii.”

Weatherwax wants to change that since there is a big need in Hawaii to dispose of old cars.

“What we want to do is to kind of establish that presence, to make sure people know that we’re here,” explained Weatherwax. “And in turn, once we start to get a lot of donations from the state of Hawaii, we can then in turn partner with charities throughout the state of Hawaii. This way, we can give back to the communities that we received the donations from.”

But helping you dispose of the vehicles is only one aspect of the charity. Cars for Kids aims to help our youth in need to gain access to vehicles so they can begin integrating into the workforce.

“So, what we focus on are the kids that truly need help, for whatever reason, either they’re not working out in the traditional high school setting, or they need, you know, basic life skills to survive or, maybe, are dealing with some mental health issues,” said Weatherwax. “What we like to do is we like to partner with organizations that truly go to help these kids that everyone else, for whatever reason, has either given up on or no one has given them hope. We want to in turn, provide that hope through vehicle donations.”

For those donating cars, the agency will do everything for you.

“We make it super easy. Just give us some basic information about yourself; and then, one of our call center representatives will reach out to get some general information about the vehicle and where it’s located,” explained Weatherwax. “Or if you want to fill out the complete form online, we also offer that; but, you know, as we help the kids that we serve, we also try and help the donors.”

This means even if you don’t have a title. They work with the person donating to pick up the vehicle and get a title if one is not readily available.

“So, you’re giving us something; we don’t want it to be a hassle for you, too,” said Weatherwax. “People will think, ‘Oh, I gotta find the title. Oh, I don’t know if be able be here at midnight whenever they come to pick up the car, though’. That’s not how we work. If you can’t find the title, we can help you get a title. And we will work with your schedule to pick up that vehicle at a time that works best for you.”

Cars for Kids will take everything. Does the vehicle not work? No problem. They will take it. In addition to cars, they will also take:

  • boats and other marine vehicles.
  • recreational vehicles.
  • motorcycles, mopeds and ebikes.
  • Mini vans or regular vans.
  • delivery trucks and pickup trucks.
  • SUVs.

Cars for Kids does not use a “middle man”. They do everything in house so that as much of the money as possible can go to support local youth non-profits.

Weatherwax said that he has been involved with Cars for Kids since he was 18 years old.

“So, whenever I was 18, right out of high school, I started working at Cars for Kids,” revealed Weatherwax. “I was actually cleaning out the vehicles that we received, taking the pictures, uploading them to the website. And from there, the one thing that I prided myself on was always asking questions.”

Weatherwax went to explain that Cars for Kids is a rather large organization. He started off washing the cars that were donated. Then, he moved to working with their call center to set up donations. From there, he moved into the area where the paperwork is processed for the donations.

He also became a licensed auctioneer for Cars for Kids, selling the vehicles as they came into the facility. He kept moving up into the organization.

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“I asked a lot of questions,” said Weatherwax. “And by doing so, I learned how the operation ran and how the organization ran. So, fast forward 13 years; here I am CEO. And I know exactly what it takes in order to get a donated vehicle. I’m able to see what that donated vehicle is used for, and that’s to help change kids’ lives.”