Local School’s Auto Shop Program Gets Helps from Wayfinder Startup

Making Waves
December 20, 2019 By Jackie Connor

Philanthropy is contagious during this most giving time of the year and startup companies, like CarDana, are no exception.

UCI Beall Applied Innovation startup CarDana utilizes artificial intelligence and web-based technologies to reduce inefficiencies, save costs and bring transparency to the entire car donation process.

“Our mission at CarDana is to glean the highest possible value to our partner charities from each and every vehicle donation,” said Anthony Glenn, founder and CEO of CarDana. “It warms our hearts, especially this time of year, to be able to contribute our skills and talents and have the outcome benefit so many underserved youth in Orange County – it’s exactly why we are here.”

They recently facilitated a donation from an anonymous donor, who donated her 2005 Honda Accord to Court Appointed Special Advocates-Orange County (CASA-OC).

The donor rated her vehicle to be in poor condition due to the car’s perceived mechanical issues. However, Glenn suspected the repairs were manageable and reached out to an auto shop teacher at Valley High School in Santa Ana to see if his students might be able to diagnose and repair the car’s electrical components and cooling system. Not only would repairing the car bring more money to CASA-OC, but it would also provide a hands-on, real-world experience for the students.

“We are so thankful for this great opportunity to work with CarDana and allowing our Auto Academy students to apply their skills in a real-life setting with this donation,” said Marcie Stoddard, program director. “Through this opportunity, students are not only practicing their technical skills but are also able to give back to the community. A win-win for all.”

With their skills and training, the students were able to fix the vehicle and because of this, CASA-OC agreed to split the donation’s proceeds, approximately $2,500 with the high school’s charitable foundation, High School Inc., which benefits the school’s auto shop program.

“Thank you to the students and teachers in Valley High School’s Automotive program for refurbishing a 14-year-old Honda Accord that was donated to us through our partner CarDana,” said Matthew Wadlinger, chief communications officer at CASA-OC. “Your efforts increased the value of the vehicle, which enables us to further our mission of providing a powerful voice and a meaningful connection for local foster youth who have experienced abuse, neglect and abandonment. It’s heartwarming to witness local organizations come together with purpose and a shared goal of benefiting our communities children in need.”

Find out more information about CarDana.

*Main photo courtesy of CarDana

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