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|Focus||Needs of Jewish children underrepresented youth and their families|
|United States and Canada|
|Method||Personal guidance and educational resources|
|$40 million (annually)|
Kars4Kids is a multinational non-profit national car donation organization based in Lakewood, New Jersey and Toronto, Ontario which donates most of its proceeds to Oorah, an organization whose mission is to give children and their families opportunities to connect with their Jewish heritage and traditions. Kars4Kids is a United States based 501(C)3 non-profit organization. It is a gold level participant in GuideStar's information exchange, however, it receives Charity Navigator's "poor" rating of one out of a possible four stars. It was founded in 1994 by Rabbi Chaim Mintz, and is currently headed by Eliyohu Mintz.
In 2015 Kars4Kids reported revenue of $34.7 million and expenses of $30.8 million.
Donations to Kars4Kids benefit the Oorah (Joy for Our Youth, or J.O.Y.), a national organization with a stated goal of addressing the "educational, material, emotional and spiritual needs of Jewish children and their families", and whose mission, according to CharityWatch, appears to be "to persuade secular Jewish families to take on a more Orthodox Jewish lifestyle."
Kars4Kids offers financial assistance to students to help pay for private school tuition and GED testing. They also sponsor a youth program known as Chillzone, an after-school program teaching Jewish culture and moral values. Additionally, they sponsor the summer camp TheZone, which operates Jewish sleepaway camps in the upper Catskills region of New York State. They also offer small grants to other nonprofit organizations, and in 2016 Kars4Kids awarded $5,000 to Girls on the Run International.
The organization hosts regular coat and clothing giveaways for the needy nationwide, including in Harlem, New York, Washington, DC, and in Newark, New Jersey where they held a give-away together with then-Newark Mayor (and current U.S. Senator) Cory Booker.
Prior to the start of the 2012 school year, the Chairman of the NYC Housing Authority in partnership with Kars4Kids distributed school supplies and backpacks to more than 3,000 children in Queens Housing projects. Around that same time period with New York City Councilman James Vacca, they distributed free backpacks in the Bronx as part of a "back-to-school initiative aimed at helping struggling families with the rising expenses of school supplies."  In Brooklyn, Congressman Ed Towns and Kars 4 Kids distributed winter jackets to underprivileged children, including at the legendary Marcy Avenue Houses. 
After being contacted by the NYPD per the Moore family, the charity auctioned off a 2003 Ford Explorer in which two children drowned after being swept from their mother's arms during Hurricane Sandy. The auction proceeds went to raise money for coats for the needy. Kars 4 Kids worked with United States Representative Michael Grimm to distribute over 1,000 children’s coats and other assorted clothing items to Staten Island residents affected by the hurricane.
In 2014, Kars4Kids released an app for Android, Kars4Kids Safety, which aims to prevent accidental deaths of children left in hot cars, by providing reminders to their parents. The app syncs with the car's Bluetooth technology, to set off an automatic alert when the phone’s Bluetooth disconnects from the car’s.
Kars4Kids is famous for its jingle; the group's director of public relations stated that the song was written in the late 1990s by a volunteer, with music adapted from Country Yossi's song "Little Kinderlach". The jingle was first used in radio commercials broadcast in the New York City area, by 2004 the ads began to play in other markets such as Chicago, and later nationally as part of radio network ad time. In 2014, Kars4Kids introduced a television commercial featuring the jingle.
The jingle has become the subject of public ridicule, as critics have considered it to be an annoyance; it was described by San Francisco Chronicle journalist Peter Hartlaub as an "assault on [the] senses". On November 4, 2010, Don Imus was caught on a hot mic mocking a Kars4Kids ad during a commercial break of his radio show Imus in the Morning, telling the group to "go to hell" and jokingly blurting "I'll give you my Bentley, you moron." Imus later apologized. Vulture jokingly declared that the television version of the ad would bring end times. In 2014, it was referenced in a Saturday Night Live sketch parodying the talk show Charlie Rose, wherein the co-developers of the Central Intelligence Agency's "enhanced interrogation techniques" program claimed that the agency's other methods included Time Warner Cable customer service, TSA screenings, and the Kars4Kids jingle. In September 2016, the jingle was also referenced during an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, in which Oliver declared that the Clinton Foundation had become "the only charity that inspires more visceral anger" than Kars4Kids.
In September 2017, the New York Post interviewed the children who starred in the Kars4Kids TV commercial.
In January 2018, the Will & Grace season 9 episode "Friends and Lover" featured the characters Jack and Karen struggling to rid the song of a fictional version of the jingle, "Trucks4Tykes", from their heads. While the music of the parodic tune is roughly the same as the real Kars4Kids jingle, the words were re-worked.
Disclosure and effectiveness concerns
The organization has been criticized for inadequately disclosing its Jewish educational work. In 2009, Joy for Our Youth paid $65,000 in fines in Pennsylvania; while Kars4Kids paid $65,000 in fines in Oregon in settlements reached with the respective state attorneys general as a result of their contention that the organization had to more clearly state that the beneficiaries were of a "certain religious affiliation." In Oregon, the attorney general added that Kars4Kids failed to disclose that its offer of a "free vacation" for vehicle donors was designed to recruit people to attend timeshare presentations.
In 2017, the Minnesota Attorney General conducted a compliance review and submitted a 300 page report to the IRS. The report found that only 44% of funds raised by Kars4Kids went to good works, and that the charity had invested in a Ponzi scheme, in addition to losing $9.2 million from real estate projects controlled by the second cousin of the Kars4Kids CEO.
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