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Thursday, December 20, 2012

How To: Donate Your Car To A Good Cause

Child Quest is grateful for your car vehicle donation, but make sure you follow the rules to claim a tax deduction for it.

Donating your car can be a great benefit to a charity – and your tax return. A vehicle donation is worth a tax deduction of at least a $500, and since Child Quest International (CQI) accepts vehicles in any condition (with FREE pick-up!), the tax break can even be worthwhile for weather-battered clunkers.

“We take all vehicles, whether they run or not. They all benefit the charity in some way or another,” said Michael Irwin, a car donation specialist for Cars For Children, which administers the vehicle donation programs for CQI around the country. “We take a lot of vehicles in fair condition, but we also take cars that are not,” he said.

So even if your vehicle is marred by rust, idled by a blown engine or flat tires, you can find value in it by making it a charitable donation. In the case of operational vehicles, donating them can take the hassle out of trying to sell them.

Money from the sales of donated vehicles goes to fund the various programs run by CQI to help protect children, locate those missing, and reunite loved ones. These services are provided free of charge to searching families who otherwise would not have the support and advocacy needed in the ongoing effort to find their missing child.

Cars For Children vehicle donation program is one of the main fund raisers that help CQI provide services to clients that may otherwise fall through the cracks of the “system.” Without this financial support, many of CQI’s programs would not be available to left-behind families. These donations really are keeping hope alive,” said Anthony Gonzalez, Director of Service Programs at CQI.

“We provide a great deal of help to the overall effort,” Irwin said.

If you’re considering making a donation, experts said you also shouldn’t be deterred by the donation process.

“There really aren’t a lot of guidelines and restrictions,” Irwin said. However, to maximize the benefit for the charity and yourself, there are few things to keep in mind:

December is decision time. Donations must be made by Dec. 31 for you to make use of any tax benefit next April. A little planning will not only mean a greater tax deduction but a better chance your old car will be put to good use. It also means you have the time to properly sever your car insurance and registration.

Select an approved charity -- Make sure you’re donating to a 501(c)(3) charitable organization if you want a tax deduction. Child Quest International is a IRS-recognized 501(c)(3).

Educate yourself on car donations - Consult IRS Publication 4303, "A Donor's Guide to Vehicle Donations," for additional details on car donations, calculating vehicle value, and tax-deductible benefits.   

  • Example: A vehicle that is resold for cash is deductible only on the sale price of the car, rather than its fair market value. If the charity gets only $800 for your $2,500 Ford, you can deduct only the $800.

Get a receipt from the charity. The charity is required to send a notice of sale within 30 days advising you of the car's sales price. CQI will provide all documentation accordingly.

Terminate your registration and insurance coverage. Don't just sign the title over and let your insurance and registration lapse. Avoid liability by signing over the registration to the charity yourself. That way you’re sure the car won’t remain in your name, which could leave you on the hook with the state Department of Motor Vehicles for fees or even with law enforcement if the car is later used in a crime.

The state may see in its records that you have a car still registered that is without insurance and penalize you for that. If the vehicle is in a crash or impounded, as legal owner you are going to be looked at.

If you’d like to make a donation to Cars For Children in support of Child Quest International or obtain more information on donating, call 866-617-2977 or visit us at http://www.carsforchildren.net. For more information on Child Quest International and our programs, please visit our website or call 888-818-HOPE or visit www.childquest.org.

Thank you for your support!

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fundraiser: Limited Edition T-Shirt "Social Media_ Where A Wolf Can Hide In Sheep's Clothing"



Click on image to zoom-in on front logo

Sexual grooming of children over the internet is most prevalent (99% of cases) amongst the 13-17 age group, particularly the 13-14 years old children (48%). The majority of them are girls. The majority of the victimization occurs over the mobile devices and social media. Children and teenagers with behavioral issues such as higher attention seekers have a much higher risk than others.*

The process of “grooming” refers to the act of deliberately establishing an emotional connection with a child to lower the child's inhibitions in preparation for child abuse, mainly sexual abuse. The sexual predator generally persuades, induces, entices, or coerces these children to “run away” from home in order to carry out sexual abuse and other child exploitation acts like trafficking of children, child prostitution or the production of child pornography.

Proceeds Support CQI Programs & Recovery
Front with Logo (L) | Back with QR Code (R)

Child Quest International (CQI) knows the dangers lurking online. Show your awareness and support with this Limited Edition T-Shirt “Social Media: Where a Wolf Can Hide in Sheep’s Clothing”. Proceeds from this fundraiser will support CQI programs and recovery efforts to find missing children who have been victimized by child predators. Join us in our fight to protect kids.


How this works... CQI designed this T-Shirt in conjunction with the work we do to protect children and teens online. Through crowd sourcing, the T-Shirt's ONLY get made if we meet 100 orders (or more). We have 2 weeks to accomplish this. Please share, Facebook, tweet, Twitter, email, talk about this cool shirt and the serious issue with others, and REMEMBER that the proceeds go to CQI. 

Bonus: It's a pretty cool shirt if we do say so ourselves! Reminder: Fundraiser ends 12/25/2012. If we do not reach 100 orders, the shirts will not be made. $11 of each shirt will go to Child Quest International, Inc programs.

We appreciate your contribution and thank you for your support. www.childquest.org

*Statistical Source: http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/Content/Childnet/Safer-Internet-Centre/downloads/Research_Highlights/Munro_OnlinevulnerabilityReporttoDFE-Final-October2011.pdf

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

5 Internet Terms You Only Pretend To Understand



[Source: KnowYourMeme.com & NetSmartz.org]
  1. You keep hearing about “the cloud,” but what is it exactly? This video’s easy explanation will clear up any misunderstandings. 

  2. If you’ve ever wondered about those barcodes you see on products and posted at business storefronts, read this article to learn about QR codes and why you should care.

  3. If you’re new to Twitter, you might be confused about all those # symbols. Those are called hashtags. Learn how to use them here and read about trending hashtags here.

  4. You’ve probably heard of Internet trolls, but you might be using the term incorrectly. This blogger explains what a troll is and is not.

  5. Where did LOLcats come from? Who is “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy”? These are both Internet memes. Visit Know Your Meme to brush up on these pop culture trends.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Junior Flyers Club: How to Prepare Your Children for Flying Solo

If you thought it was tough to put your child on the school bus for the first time, imagine sending them on their first trip to school alone on a cross country flight. Although children probably love the idea of being “grown up” enough to travel by themselves, it is only natural for a parent to be a worrywart; after all that’s part of the job.

If your child will be attending school out of town on a regular basis, there is no doubt that it will be a big change for everyone in the beginning. And though there may be some times that your child will be a bit homesick and you as a parent will doubt your choice to have your child so far away from you, the benefits of attending a private or boarding school in another area provide a solid structure and educational background that can prove priceless for their future.

BoardingSchoolReview.com suggests that boarding schools can help teach your child to be responsible and learn life lessons. In addition, they will be offered some of the best academic opportunities, with small classes, top-notch teachers, well-stocked media centers and libraries, and be surrounded by exceptional arts and sports programs.

Peace of Mind

If your child will be away from home for extended periods of time at school, it is a good idea to have an identity protection service, such as Lifelock, in place. Knowing that your child’s identity and personal information is secure with a security service can give you peace of mind knowing your child securely is protected from identity theft while away from home. A company like Lifelock will protect your child's information at home or away.

For your child to take advantage of these educational opportunities, it is often necessary for them to travel to school, which sometimes means they will need to travel alone. The children often adapt better to their solo travel than the parents do. Fox News ran down some tips for parents of children traveling alone to help make sure your child is safe and your worries are eased.

Constant Contact

If possible, equip your child with a cell phone for use during their solo travel. It is also a good idea to prepare them with a backup plan of a calling card and also the knowledge of how to make collect calls, in case there is an issue with the cell phone. When they get to their school and housing, setting up instant messaging or Skype will definitely keep you in contact as they study away from home.

Contact and Flight Information

It is imperative that your child has a list with all of the flight and contact information pertinent for the trip. This should include name, phone number and address for whoever is picking them up when they land, as well as their flight number, destination, and your contact information. Make sure the children know their flight information, itinerary, and contact info of the person they will be meeting when they reach their final destination.

Flight Selection

Early morning flights are the best for children traveling alone, as they are typically not delayed. In addition, direct flights make the most sense because this ensures no issues with connections or delays.
Allowing your child to fly solo requires a lot of faith in your child and the airlines, but with a little planning and using some helpful tips, you and your child should be able to properly navigate the solo travel situation in no time. Keeping stress low is key for both you and your child.

Safe Travels & Happy Holidays!