What We Did With Our Car

 

give away our car

When we decided to move out of our house and into an RV and commit a year of our lives to traveling, we had to decide what to do with our stuff in the meantime. We chose to sell almost all of it because we didn’t want the burden of maintaining it somewhere, either in a storage unit or at someone else’s house. We don’t know what we’re going to do when this trip is over, and we didn’t want our decision to be influenced by a pile of stuff waiting for us.

It made sense at the time.

Then it came time to start actually getting rid of said stuff. We had three garage sales and took many trips to Goodwill. I learned how to use eBay and the Amazon marketplace. We met some interesting people through Craigslist. Over the course of a few months, we managed to sell or give away the majority of our things.

But I still had a 2003 Mustang sitting in my driveway.

We couldn’t take it with us and we didn’t want to store it. Our plan was to sell it and put the money towards our trip. But then we heard about a family who needed a car…

Instead of selling the car, we worked with the team at LoveDrop to make our car a charitable donation in the eyes of the IRS.

I read somewhere that someone thought this was an irresponsible thing for us to do; I can understand how someone would think that. The truth is, it was way easier than selling it and we got to be part of something really, really cool in the process. We got to show our kids how people can come together as a community to transfer resources around and help each other out. We got to play like Oprah for a day, basically.

And it was awesome.

It might have been more responsible to work harder to turn that car into cash, cash we could have used to fix our SUV’s front end that went bad on our first day of driving. (Seriously). But I was sitting in my office with a car I didn’t want, reading about a family who needed a car. How do you just ignore that in lieu of being responsible?

change the world

I’m so impressed by what Nate and J do with Love Drop and I’m thrilled to be able to tell a few more people about their micro-giving group. Head on over to LoveDrop.us to find out how you can feel like Oprah (without giving away your car).

Responsibility be damned.

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  1. Suzy says:

    I stored my Dad’s 1978 V-8 Thunderbird in Florida inbetween the trips I made there. Eventually it was time to leave permanently and I put a notice in a paper that I wanted to give it to someone who really needed it and got a lot of calls. I ended up giving it to a woman who was trapped in her house after her car died.

    Yes, it’s a good feeling to help someone else.

  2. Lisa says:

    Someone seriously told you it was irresponsible? I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around how helping a family in need is irresponsible. I think what you and Jared did is awesome and generous and full of the thought of community, and illustrates that we are not at all separate from each other no matter how much we may feel that way most of the time.

    That video totally made me cry, by the way. Thanks for that.

  3. zengrrl says:

    If I’d known, I might have made you an offer on it. My car died two months ago and not even Chrysler has the part anymore. Guess that’s what I get for keeping a car for 20 years. But this is a good thing you did. =)

  4. Tina says:

    This is just about one of the coolest things I have ever seen. I am proud to know you and call you my friend. You are my hero. <3

  5. Selma says:

    I have spent the day reading horrible news about horrible people and then I read this and you have made me feel so good. What a wonderful thing to do. Thank you, thank you. You have restored me on this cloud-filled day XX

  6. Michelle says:

    This is so heartwarming. I do a similar thing in South Africa called Soul Circle on a much smaller scale and am now so encouraged to build on it.

  7. Dawn says:

    Absolutely FABULOUS!

    I cried when I watched the video.
    I cried again when I told my husband the story.
    And I’ll cry again when I have the opportunity to tell other people. And I will.

  8. Wow, just wow.
    Now I need to go get some more tissue.

  9. Penbleth says:

    This is an amazing thing you did Britt and Jared. May your goodness to others be forwarded to you many times.

  10. DeannaBanana says:

    I am one that doesn’t comprehend the irresponsibility in the giving. However, I have no trouble understanding your heart, being lucky enough to know you both and call you friend. Have I told you lately how incredibly proud I am of you and Jared?? Or how much I love you? <3

  11. Ann says:

    Anyone that could call you irresponsible after watching that video has to be totally heartless.That was one of the most beautiful and unselfish things I have ever seen. The world needs more people like you and Jared. I am a long time lurker but had to comment on this one.

  12. Peg Kerr says:

    Irresponsible? *boggles* How is it “irresponsible” to do whatever you damn well please with your own assets/possessions/money? And helping out another family, to boot?

    Someone seriously needs to get their ethics and priorities on order.

    Good on you! I’ve been a member of Love Drop since it started and was delighted to hear your name when I watched the video.

  13. Actually, I think helping others, when it’s within your means to do so, is very responsible…

  14. Hockeymandad says:

    You two really are amazingly special people. There is nothing irresponsible at all about donating anything to those in need for any reason. I can only hope and pray that if me or my family is ever in need of anything, we have people like you around us for support. You are excellent role models not just for your children but for all of society.

  15. Momma says:

    This I know for sure…you will NEVER be sorry you gave things away. We’ve done it (given all our possessions away-no strings attached) several times, and not ONCE have I thought ”wish I didn’t give that away”. The feeling we’ve always had after giving was the ‘rightness’ of it all. Your car was given with careful research, removing any irresponsibility from the giving. Even Oprah had to learn giving can be dangerous.
    Have you felt that feeling yet-the one where you realize it’s freeing to own so few material possessions? Granted, that can only happen when we make that decision ourselves, not when we’re forced to be material-poor. But, boy I love that freedom!

  16. J. Money says:

    YES!!! And we all love you SO MUCH for doing that!! Both Love Drop and the Stlanaker family were overjoyed and still in shock weeks later! Haha… you guys are truly what we’re all about: Community. Everyone coming together to make a huge impact in someone’s life, and we are beyond blessed to have you in our lives now. Thank you thank you THANK YOU Britt & Jared and the wee ones! :) To Good!

  17. Whatever money you would have made selling the car, will come back to you over and over.

    You are good people.

  18. Toni says:

    Irresponsible?? IRRESPONSIBLE???? Someone ACTUALLY said that???? They just don’t get it. Though, so thankful you and your family DO! I’m just balling at your generosity. You guys are amazing.

  19. MiMi says:

    I don’t see how donating your car to someone in need is irresponsible. You put someone else before yourself…and that’s the greatest gift. :)

  20. martymankins says:

    I seriously can’t imagine someone being so bold as to claim donating your car to charity is irresponsible. I guess I don’t share their view of irresponsible.

    Nice story.

  21. crazy proud of yinz. overwhelmed with emotion. and love.
    this is a good thing, a very good thing.

  22. muskrat says:

    cool! we gave one to “no longer bound,” an organization that helps guys with drug problems learn to fix cars for a living as part of their rehab.

  23. Lynda says:

    I don’t think donating your car is irresponsible. I wish more people would give out of the goodness of their hearts.

  24. Poppy's Mom says:

    I love giving things away to people who really need them and I think that was a wonderful thing you did with your Mustang. You loved that vehicle and now every time you think of it there will be a really warm spot in your heart!

  25. You guys rock! Its amazing to see that there are still people willing to give, even when they could have benefited from selling.

    Love Drop is AMAZING! I was honored to participate in person in one drop, and have been helping behind the scenes online since. Once you’re involved, there’s no leaving!

    Hope you and your family enjoy your travels!

  26. I think it’s really cool that Love Drop linked to your blog so we could all see where the car came from. I was especially curious to read your story, because we “accidentally” gave our car away recently. We let a lady borrow it who needed it. We were having trouble selling it, and we figured it might as well help someone instead of sitting in our driveway. Then she wanted to buy it and offered to pay $100/month for what would have been a couple of years. Then she lost her job. We had already signed the car over to her (maybe not so smart) … and we then did a lot of praying. Then my husband started reading the book “Radical” by Francis Chan. The dude writes about living a radical Jesus life. Giving it all to the poor. Going the extra mile. Not owning anything, but seeing our possessions as blessings to share with others. It ain’t Oprah. It’s Jesus. And sometimes it’s hard, but we realized we had a chance to either let the debt hang over this lady’s head or wipe it clean. We who have been given so much, can we not give a little to others? Yes! So we wrote her a letter basically saying to not worry about it anymore. We told her that have enough (not a ton, but enough) that it is a trust journey for us, and is this not what Jesus called us to do for others? The week after that, someone gave us a truck!!!!! They didn’t know about the car we’d given away. I mean, we hadn’t gone around tooting our horn. But the story gets told, and people’s hearts are changed … and we only pray that other might dare to live this “radical” life that we didn’t really mean to live, but really … it feels kind of … peaceful. Namaste!

  27. I want to tell you guys thank you once again for participating in Love Drop, and helping us change lives for another family. You and Jared are incredible people, and we’re all fortunate to call you friends. Y’all are awesome.

    (Plus you let me drive 1,000 miles in a convertible Mustang! Cross that off my bucket list…)

    Much love!

  28. Kandace says:

    I think it is Fabulous that you did that.

    knowing how expensive travel can be & seeing you be willing to give you’re car away instead of getting a little more travel money… Well it gives me that much more hope for the people of the world.

  29. Marinka says:

    I’m really trying to figure out how that is irresponsible. I’m all about being judgmental, so I’d hate to think that I’m missing out on something.

    • Neeroc says:

      I’ve been reading the comments to try and figure out how it could possibly be irresponsible, and your comment made me snort loud enough that I woke up my napping kid. Totally worth it. Even if I’m still baffled by the irresponsible thing.

  30. Alisa says:

    I have to wonder why you are COMPLETELY ignoring Chicago on your RV trip. You are truly missing out.

  31. Bethany says:

    I think you did an amazing thing!

  32. Alise Barr says:

    that is awesome. just awesome.

  33. Jody says:

    Absolutely wonderful! What a way to start your journey… Great to learn about Love Drop. There are so many caring people in this world… !

  34. More power to you and your husband.
    Enjoy your adventure.

  35. I don’t know as I would call that irresponsible. Unusual, perhaps, but irresponsible?
    Irresponsible would have been if you had just decided to park it in someone’s backyard, and expose to the elements. Irresponsible would have been (if there were payments on it, I don’t know, of course) deciding not to make the payments, and let the bank come and get it. Just because.
    But giving it away to someone who needed a car, and would put it to use, that’s not irresponsible.
    It’s not *profitable* but not profitable is not the same as not responsible.

  36. Faiqa says:

    Commenting from my phone, so not sure if this has been said, but I find the idea that what you did could be “irresponsible” short sighted. Human beings are not just responsible for themselves, but for each other. You showed somebody that people are good. That people care. That need is answered.
    I think that might be the most responsible behavior in the world.

  37. Leigh says:

    The day that Nate & J let the Love Drop forum members know that they had found a car was full of gratitude and relief. As a community we knew that it would be difficult, yet everyone rolled up their sleeves and dove in. We’re so thankful to you for recognizing the Stalnaker’s need and bestowing a gift you had to give.

    Recognizing how interconnected we are while making decisions to support community AND lovingly modeling your values for your children is just about the most responsible behavior I can think of!

    Safe travels!

  38. NickieNix says:

    Please pass the Kleenex!!

  39. Jana A says:

    THAT is the most amazing video ever. Now I have to go reapply my makeup. Britt, y’all are absolutely freaking amazing. xoxo

  40. Neeroc says:

    It’s not irresponsible, it’s beautiful. A wonderful way to start your adventure.

  41. naomi says:

    LOVE that Nate got to cross off something on his bucket list …

    everyone has already said all that needs to be said already, so I’ll just say ditto.

    (except that sometimes “irresponsibility” is a signal to some that what they’re about to do, is quite possibly the BEST thing they’ll ever do … actually)

    ((that made no sense. what i mean is that maybe the person who said it was irresponsible was just scared of doing something HUGE in their own life … ))

  42. Kathryn1124 says:

    I don’t get the irresponsible comment, like everyone else.

    Giving things away is just what we’re supposed to do, I think. We give everything away, I don’t care what it is, if we don’t need it anymore and it’s useful, we will give it away to someone who needs it.

    Awesome thing you did for that family, Britt and Jared.

  43. What a wonderful thing you did giving away your car! I don’t see how anyone could find it irresponsible. It is a great testament to you and your family that you share what you have with others that are less fortunate. The money you would’ve gotten from the sale of the car wouldn’t change your life but receiving the car will change someone else’s. It feels so good to give and I’m proud of you! :-)

  44. kristin Fogle says:

    Someone seriously told you this was irresponsible!? That someone must suck! I am so proud of you and Jared! I better be seeing you on your way through Ohio. I supopse if you don’t come to Cleveland, I could come find you elsewhere. Also, if you want to hit up Cedar Point this summer while you are through here. Let me know, I have yet to have gone there.

  45. [...] can read Britt’s account here which includes a wonderful [...]

  46. Randy and I watched this together last week. You embody so much of what we have set out to do with our family: purposeful living (I don’t do nearly as good of job at putting it to words as you do…). It’s not always easy. And even when it IS easy, you still have to put up with self-doubt when some dolt tries to tell you you’re stupid or irresponsible or ruining your children.

    Listen to me, girl: You’re doing it RIGHT. It’s the majority of America that needs to take a lesson from you and your family and re-evaluate what they consider “responsible”.

    *end rant and stepping down from soapbox*

  47. [...] car. The Love Drop team was able to surprise them with one, thanks to the generosity of LLP reader Britt Reints and her husband Jared. You can watch how it all went down [...]

  48. Amy says:

    I think it’s a wonderful thing that you did! I looked at the Love Drop website and wanted to let you and your readers know that donations to them, however, are not tax deductible. Check their FAQ section for an explanation as to why. Continue to give to them if you feel touched by their stories, for the sake of giving. As a CPA, I felt it would be irresponsible of me not to let you know!

    • Miss Britt says:

      Amy – yep! They’re very clear on that. We actually had to go through a few channels to make the car donation a tax deduction and still have it wind up with that family.

  49. [...] to me that we’ve given up a lot more than cable recently. Sure, we’d given up a house we loved, a car we enjoyed, and a whole lot of stuff as we prepared for a year on the road, but there had been (and [...]

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