My name is Garry McDonald and I opened “Charity Auto Sales Inc. Penticton ” March 1st, 2011. I am usually private and reluctant in talking about what I have done or am doing in regards to charity. However I realize I have to be transparent running a charity used car lot and my intent is to inspire others by offering a unique way to help those in need.

In May 1991 I sponsored three children from developing countries and in 2002 I had ten sponsored children through three different organizations (charities). Presently I sponsor six while helping these charities with different projects. Click here to view images.

Years ago when I had a large car lot, I thought of one day sponsoring 100 children through the support of vehicle sales. On average a sale should sponsor a child for a year or two along with overhead expenses and a modest salary for myself. Although sponsorship is more than providing education, nutrition and medical, it is the child knowing that someone half a world away cares about them, especially orphans. So sponsoring a large volume would be difficult if I had to discontinue for any reason being that sponsoring of a child is approximately a 15 year commitment.

The charities I sponsor and support projects through, send me seasonal or annual magazines and if there is one thing that they all agree with is that clean water is needed. We need clean water everyday to survive, to grow crops, for live stock. The list is long, water is life.

Many people, mostly women and girls in developing countries spend hours every day fetching water, (a lot of times contaminated water) to drink and cook with at the risk of rape and or worse. I recently read that in the Democratic Republic of Congo where the majority of rapes take place are on long trips to fetch water. Just one water project in this region reduced the incidence of rape by an astonishing 70 percent.

1 billion people on earth are without safe water. More than five million people die each year from the effects of unclean water. More than 10 times the number killed in war. If that many die, can you imagine how many suffer with related diseases. 60% of infant deaths worldwide are due to water related diseases such as cholera and diarrhea.

I always felt that sight was one of our most precious gifts, but without clean water trachoma can run rampant. Trachoma if left untreated can be very painful and will blind its victim, it is common in 48 countries. In 2004, 146 million people were infected and it already had blinded six million people worldwide. Trachoma is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia Tracheotomies and is transmitted via hands, clothing and flies that have touched an infected persons eyes or nose. The bacterium spreads rapidly in communities where people don’t have enough water to wash their faces and hands regularly.

We are so blessed here in Canada that it is hard to fathom what other humans in the same world go through. One torture of an experience that fills me with compassion and desire to reach out and help is the guinea worm or known as the fiery (fire) serpent a parasite that lives in contaminated water. Once ingested, the worm can grow up to 3 feet long while still inside the body. Once the worm fed on what food it can a lot of times in a mal-nurished body, it works its way down through the body only to break out in the lower extremities. It secretes burning acid to eat a hole in the skin of the host and exit the human body, usually around the ankle area.

One woman who suffered with the fiery serpent several times wrote: the area where the worm exits feels like it is on fire and is so painful that you can hardly move. Although it works its way through the human body for more than 3 months it can take a month for the fiery serpent to fully exit the acid eaten area.

Also the children are fearful of this living thing inside their body. You cannot pull on the worm. If it broke, it could cause further infection, they tie the spaghetti like worm around a twig and twist it each day. It is a long painful nightmare of a process absolutely unbearable if there is more than one worm coming out from different parts of the body at once.

Although it has almost been eradicated, thanks to former President Jimmy Carter and his relentless 20 year campaign to terminate the guinea worm, there were still an estimated 25,000 cases in 2007 according to the world health organization. If we can spare even one person from this fate along with others who suffer from any of the many water born parasite causing disease and illness it will be well worth the mission.

So I changed directions from sponsoring as many children as I can to working on bringing clean water to people suffering in developing countries. I have had a dealer’s license since 1982 almost 30 years. In 1993 I started Main Motors on Main Street Penticton where the new KFC is located.

It is amazing how things come your way when you have an objective that is good, helping others in need. When I first imagined going to work raising money to help others I was renting the sales lot on Main Street. Since then I have been blessed with the tools to do this work without having to draw a modest wage, or any wage at all. In 2006 I had the opportunity to purchase the property where I am presently located at 772 Eckhardt Ave West Penticton, a small car lot of 15-20 vehicles. At the same location I have five other rental units. November 2010 I paid off my mortgage and the rental income from the six units including Charity Auto Sale at fair market rent allows me to now donate my time and 100% of the sales profit after operating expenses.

Thanks to Jim Damberger of Canadian Areothermal, another blessing who just entered into a five year lease of the property, helps make the project possible.

The project: I hope to raise enough money (profit from vehicle sales) to buy a used drill rig and send it to Africa or where needed to drill water wells. I have been corresponding with a registered charity in Ontario run by volunteers with a overhead under 5% “Lifewater.Ca” who do great work and are happy to assist me in my endeavour. Once the rig has landed I hope to then sponsor wells to be drilled. It still costs between $3000 to $6000 for a well to be completed. There is piping, hand pump, labour, fuel, maintenance, education, etc.

I hope to offer geological coordinates so purchasers/supporters of the projects will be able to “google earth” and see exactly where their well is or will be located, although we may need 3 to 6 supporters per well. If it is not feasible to purchase a drill ring and ship it to where it is needed, I will directly sponsor wells to be drilled or concentrate efforts in relieving suffering in developing countries.

Just imagine not only purchasing a vehicle you want or need, but also providing that kind of impact where your dollar works twice, supplying clean water to a community of approximately 500 people for 20 years or more. Not everybody can make that kind of donation, especially these days, but almost everybody has a vehicle. I can also provide almost any type of vehicle given a little notice and exactly what the purchaser requires. Because it is a pre-purchase order I may be able to save them money as well being its in and out and I don’t have to sit on it paying interest etc. Two half loaves still make a loaf. All purchasers/supporters also receive a wall plaque of acknowledgement and appreciation of the wonderful gift they provided to people who need us the most. Here is you changing a little piece of our world for generations. Water is Life.

It is a lot of work running a car lot by oneself, buying, selling, back and forth to shops, bookwork, part detailing, minor repairs, lot arranging etc. now charity work and landlord, at present I am even the car washer. My hours of operation are 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm or so. Although I would welcome a volunteer sales person, hopefully someone with a fixed income like a retired sales person willing to put in a few mornings a week or even a car washer to help out every other week. It is all for a great cause and hopefully with a little support from people who desire to help the suffering in our world we will create something special, who knows this may be how charities of the future will operate, raising money through commerce. If someone asks why I am doing this, a poem comes to mind, called:


We are all related we are all family– We are no different black or white– We all feel fear we all feel Love– We all mourn when our child is taken by disease– We are assisting our brothers who suffer–
WE are because we are the family that can!