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Junk cars can help people in need

The donation of this van raised $1,700 for the Rosemount Family Resource Center. The donor received a $2,000 tax deduction.

Last spring. Teresa Paetznick was working with U-Pull-R-Parts manager Keith Olson on a work project, when she casually mentioned that the business should do something to help the Rosemount Family Resource Center.

The suggestion got the wheels turning in Olson's head, and as she was heading out to the parking lot, he made a suggestion. U-Pull-R-Parts could accept donated vehicles for the center, sell them or strip them for parts and then give the money it makes back to the center.

"It was a coincidence that it even came up," said Paetznick.

It's a good thing for the resource center it did, because the opportunity has already raised more than $1,000. Paetznick volunteers at the center once a month with her neighbors.

The idea was brought to 360 Communities and they were in full support, said volunteer coordinator Shira Rabinowicz. The Rosemount Family Resource Center is run by 360 Communities.

Olson said the auto recycler has done similar fundraisers for other charities and is happy to work with the Rosemount Family Resource Center.

"It's a great opportunity to put back into the community," said Olson.

Olson said the program is simple. Anyone can donate any automobile regardless of condition to the center. If its running and in decent physical condition, U-Pull-R-Parts auctions the vehicle off. Otherwise the vehicle is sold for parts.

U-Pull-R-Parts takes a small fee for processing and donates the rest to the Rosemount Family Resource Center, Olson said.

A van donated recently sold for $2,000 and $1,700 will go to the resource center.

The person who donated the car will receive a $2,000 tax reduction. Olson said the minimum tax deduction that can be received is $500.

Donating a car is easy. Those interested just have to fill out a form and turn it in. The donor can either bring the vehicle in or U-Pull-R-Parts will tow it in. The form is available at

"We can accept vehicles in any state. It's an easy way to get rid of an eyesore and everybody wins," said Olson.

Rabinowicz said the center is grateful for the opportunity to raise money.

"It's just such a great program," said Rabinowicz.

The Rosemount Family Resource Center serves more than 500 people a month. The center provides programming for all ages and runs a food shelf.

"The need keeps growing," said Rabinowicz.

For more information on the program visit www. or

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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