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First-of-its-kind ‘Carma Project’ car giveaway in Kelowna

Click to play video: 'Two not-for-profit organizations in Kelowna benefit from free car giveaway' Two not-for-profit organizations in Kelowna benefit from free car giveaway
Two not-for-profit organizations in Kelowna benefit from free car giveaway – Jun 27, 2018

Penny and Bruce Stranaghan started the Carma Project back in 2010.

The couple, who own Integra Tire Auto Centre, wanted to give back to the community.

They thought if people donated their used cars, their business could fix them up and then give them away to people in need.

The initiative has proven very successful.

On Wednesday afternoon, the couple gave away two more cars, bringing the total to 16 since the Carma Project began.

But this car giveaway was unlike any other in the previous years.

That’s because for the first time ever, the car recipients weren’t individual families but not-for-profit organizations.

“We’ve never had a company vehicle before so this is so exciting to us,” Elizabeth Fry Society spokesperson Lindsay Hammond said.

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The organization, which supports victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, was one of two non-profit organizations to benefit from a free car, a 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser.

Hammond said the vehicle will make a big difference for both clients and staff.

“Often we have to use our own personal vehicles which actually puts our clients and staff at risk as we are often attending court with offenders that are present,” she said.

“This is going to allow for both the staff member and the client to remain completely anonymous in the vehicle.”

The Now Canada Society supports some of the most vulnerable women, youth and their children.

It too received a vehicle: a 2006 Honda Odyssey.

“The amounts of women that we see that need to get to appointments, that need to get to the food bank, they need to get to all those sorts of places, they can’t get there, now we can provide this opportunity,” Now Canada’s Liz Talbott said.

Steve Krywulak donated one of the vehicles.

“It came time for us to move up to a different vehicle and I just had the idea in my head to give it to a single mom or needy family,” he said. “It’s heartwarming to see the impact it’s going to have on many, many families and the appreciation is huge so it was definitely a good decision for our family.”

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Penny Stranaghan said even though the Carma Project has up until now donated to individual families, giving the cars to an organization made sense.

“I realized that we were not just helping one family, we were helping ten times that, we were helping thousands when they gave me the numbers of how many people they would have in the car,” she said.

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