Thursday, August 6, 2009

Curious Item #3 -- The 'Donate your car' Billboard

Anyone who frequents the highways of the greater Tri-State area (or infrequents them, even) has probably seen this billboard. I first saw it from the window of a casino bus on the way to Atlantic City, probably somewhere around Elizabeth, NJ.

I find the billboard somewhat confusing, but there's one thing I'm sure about: This stereotypically cute little girl is exclaiming "Oh NO-ohhh!" (for proper reading, start on a root note of "Oh," go up a major 5th to "NO" and down a major 3rd to "ohhh.") She's expressing the kind of wonderment/slight dismay kids experience when a froggy (or perhaps a bunny) they wanted to touch hops away at the last second. But I don't think that's what's happening here.

Here's my Curious Question: What is she Oh NO-ohhh-ing about? So these "Outreach Center" people (which is probably the worst name for any organization ever. What are they outreaching to or for?) want you to donate your car. And they've wisely placed this ad on the highway, prompting people to consider having their broken-down car towed away as a donation instead of paying to fix it.

But is she Oh No-ohhh-ing about her own family's broken down car? ... "I know! Dad, instead of fixing the transmission, maybe we can donate our car to a family with a less-cute kid."

And what happens with the car, and how does it help kids? And is she a kid in need or just a cute image to draw you in to show you how, with a little help, cute children in need can become?

What I would hope is that these cars go to the children themselves. Seems only fair that kids in need of so many other things would get their own, personal free car (there IS justice in this world). What I would assume, however, is that the cars go to families in need (and therefore children in need).

Nope. In fact, turns out the cars are sold, and the proceeds go to help the children in some sort of undefined outreach-y way. I'm calling bobo on that. You, Outreach Center, will not be getting my non-existent car.

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