When driving became more of a burden than a convenience for Beltrone Living Center resident Marge Pecoroni, she tried to figure out the best way to get rid of her 2001 maroon Mercury Sable. Selling it would be a lot of extra work and it was in too good of a condition to just send it to the junkyard.
She quickly realized she could donate it straight to her residency at Colonie Senior Service Center. Although Pecoroni, who has multiple sclerosis, had no idea what the center would do with her car, she handed the keys over on Dec. 11, and now enjoys riding the center’s van transportation system.
“For me, it was the easiest way to do it,” Pecoroni, 62, said. “It was convenient and they made it very easy.”
As for her car, CSSC already had seven medium capacity passenger vans and one station wagon. To find its proper home, CSSC got in touch with the Senior Services of Albany, which is always in need for cars for their Meals on Wheels program, and delivers about 1,000 meals a day to Albany County homebound seniors. On Wednesday, Jan. 23, the car became the newest addition to the Meals on Wheels fleet.
The car has 58,000 miles on it and Board of Directors President and Acting Executive Director of Senior Services of Albany Raymond Smith said there is a good amount of cargo space. They will refit the car with shelving to hold meals for about 20 to 25 people.
“As far as we know, it’s in excellent condition,” Smith said.
This is the first car donated by CSSC, and Executive Director of CSSC Ed Neary said a car like this is great for the Meals on Wheels program, which also delivers to Colonie homebound seniors.
“It’s a good way to take a good car and put it to use for hopefully a few more years to come,” Neary said.
Neary said he encourages other community members to donate their cars, as well.
“In many cases (seniors) come to the realization as Marge did that it’s probably better to give up the car now instead of drive it. In those cases, what do people do with their cars? I’m sure they can sell them or hand them off to their grandkids looking for their first car, but it’s not so cool to get a Pacer anymore,” Neary said.
Neary said there are several places where donated cars can be put to use, including for Catholic Charities and other volunteer programs.
“Stories like this will be about the genuine good nature and generosity of the people in our community,” Neary said.
Pecoroni said she’s happy her car will be helpful for the community.
“If you’re not going to use it, maybe somebody else can put it to good use,” she said. “That made me feel good.”