History of the Ministry
2C8 Corporation, "The Car Ministry," was started in Falls Church, Virginia in 1984. It is one of the first car donation charities. The Car Ministry accepts donated cars and trucks for the purpose of giving them to the poor and needy plus those in fulltime Christian work. Thousands of vehicles have been given over the years.
In 1986 the IRS gave final 501(c)(3) status to 2C8 Corporation as a non-profit charitable organization. Donors can make tax-deductible contributions to the car donation program. Contributions include donated vehicles and financial assistance. Since the vehicles are given away, donors are able to take the fair market value as a tax deduction.
The Car Ministry insists that the donated vehicles must run well and pass Virginia safety and emission tests before they are given. Most charitable organizations simply pass them through or sell them without repair, a disservice to needy people who cannot afford to pay for immediate car problems. Repair work has been done by a number of local shops over the years.
People are referred to the Car Ministry by social workers and pastors. Once given a vehicle people have opportunity to get to work and take care of family needs. Between 50 and 150 vehicles are given each year depending on the number donated. There are many more applicants than available vehicles.
Local churches, from many denominations, are regular financial supporters of the car charity. Individuals also give financial support. Finances continue to be a serious challenge. Funds are needed to continue this work.
The Virginia DMV, requires all car charities to have a limited license. It also requires transfer of the vehicles through a fully licensed motor vehicle dealer. An arrangement with Penn Auto facilitated this requirement for many years but the paperwork was cumbersome.
In 2009 The Car Ministry became a fully licensed dealer. This has allowed the charitable work to go forward with simplified paperwork and allows the purchase and sale of some cars and trucks with profits going toward support of the charitable work. Vehicle purchases are made on a custom basis so that customers obtain the vehicle desired.
ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Roger Penn founded 2C8 Corporation (The Car Ministry) in 1984. When growing up he lived in Washington, D.C., and Provincetown Massachusetts until WW2. Then he moved with his family to California where his father was making airplanes and later in the aerospace industry making specialized parts. Before the end of the war, Roger and his Mother moved back to Chevy Chase, Maryland where he completed his grade and H.S. education. Roger had a lifelong interest in automobiles.
Roger is married to Julia Henderson and has two daughters, Leslie and Melanie. Leslie is married and employed as a government worker in Frankfort, Kentucky. Melanie is a professional singer and actress and is currently living in New York City and has performed leading roles in productions off-Broadway and throughout the US.
Roger holds several degrees including B.A, and M.A. from The American University, and PhD from the University of Iowa in Communication.
Employment has included military service in the U.S. Army, first in Ordinance and then in USAR in the Signal Corps. as 1st Lt., and Executive Officer of the 307th Signal Company. He resigned from the military to pursue graduate education. He was employed as an Associate Professor of Communication at the American University in the 1960's and as Educational Media Specialist for the U.S. Postal Service Training and Development Institute in the 1970s. From there he moved to the U.S. Department of Labor where he served as Chief of the Training and Educational Development for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration until 1984.
During the period from 1969 to February 2009, Roger owned and operated a small car business, first as a part time work of representing Avanti Motor Corporation, a producer of limited-production custom cars, and later as an automobile dealer in Northern Virginia. In this capacity he has managed new and used car sales and service for over thirty years. He has recently reopened a sales office in Falls Church, Virginia in order to facilitate this ministry. He has also served as Vice President and President of Region 4 of the Virginia Independent Automobile Dealers Association and has received the Quality Dealer Award for that Region.
Because of interest in the car business and his concern from the poor and needy he was led into forming the 2C8 Corporation (Car Ministry) and has served as President and Director of that ministry since the start.
Roger is active in his church and he and his wife, Julia, have assisted in the formation of new churches in Virginia.