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Melwood FAQs

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What can I donate?

We accept cars, trucks, motorcycles, and boats on road worthy trailers, RVs, jet skis, and snowmobiles for donations. As a rule, all vehicles with state issued titles are accepted.

I lost the title to my vehicle. Is it necessary to have a title to donate?

Yes, all vehicles donated are required to have a clear title and lien release (if applicable) in the name of the individual who wants to claim the donation.

My vehicle has not run in years. Can I still donate to Melwood?

Sure, Melwood accepts vehicles regardless of age or condition.

How long will it take to pick up my donated vehicle?

Most vehicles are picked up within 72 hours. Options are available for drop-off at Melwood in Upper Marlboro, next day pickup, and, in limited cases, same day pickup.

What happens to my donated vehicle?

Donated vehicles are sent to a local auction for sale. The money received is used to support Melwood’s mission of providing employment and training to individuals with disabilities, including veterans and wounded warriors, in the Washington D.C. metro area. Melwood does not keep or utilize donated vehicles in support of our mission, make material improvements, or sells vehicles at a substantially reduced rate to needy individuals.

I have a quick question about donating, what is the best way to get an answer to my question?

The vehicle donation website offers live chat. Simply click on the “Live Chat” tab and you will be immediately connected with a Melwood service representative who will respond to your question. This service is available during normal business hours. You can also send us an email at [email protected]

How much can I claim for my donation?

Generally, if you intend to claim $500 or less on your tax return you may claim the fair market value of your vehicle. If you intend to claim a deduction of more than $500 on your tax return tax law generally limits your deduction to the amount of the sale of the vehicle. Since individual tax situations may vary, we recommend checking with a tax professional to best determine your deduction. Melwood has been designated as 501(c)3 charity since 1963.

Will I receive a receipt for my donation?

Yes, you will receive three separate receipts. Your first receipt will be provided to you by the towing company when they pick up your vehicle. Upon notification from the towing company that your vehicle has been picked up, we will send a second acknowledgement, an official letter thanking you for your donation. Upon sale of your vehicle, we will send you an IRS Form 1098(c) with accompanying acknowledgement letter to your address of record. We process IRS Forms 1098(c) on all donated vehicles regardless of sales price or tax-deductible amount.

Do I have to be home when you pick up my vehicle?

No. In fact, most of our donors are not present at the time of pickup. Be sure you clean your vehicle of all personal items and leave the title and keys in the vehicle or other agreed to location. Our towing company will always call before picking up a donated vehicle. At that time, you can advise them where you will be leaving the title and keys.

I am ready to donate, how do I get started?

There are two options available: you can call our toll-free number (1-877-635-9663) or you can donate online. Both will require you to have your title in hand. When calling, we will obtain information about you and the donated vehicle. Donating online is also available. Normally within hours, your donation will be processed with an email sent to you including all the processing instruction and how and where to sign on the title.

I have a family member or friend that would like to donate their vehicle to Melwood, but lives in another state, can you accept these vehicles?

Absolutely, we have the capability of picking up vehicles in all states including Alaska and Hawaii.

Who benefits from donations?

Contributions to Melwood help individuals with disabilities to earn their own way.
Each year, Melwood provides job training, employment, and recreation for more than 2,100 people with disabilities.

Are donations tax deductible?

Yes, Melwood is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, charitable contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.
Individual circumstances will vary greatly, so you should consult your tax advisor for clarification.

How careful is Melwood with donated funds?

Melwood is extremely careful and efficient with precious donated funds.
Please visit GuideStar and Charity Navigator to review Melwood’s ratings from each of those organizations.

What do I do if I want a refund on my donation?

You may request a refund of your donation by submitting a written request with the exact credit card name and information to:
Melwood Chief Financial Officer
5606 Dower House Road
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

How does someone with disabilities enroll in Melwood to participate in the training and placement services?

Contact Intake Manager, Princess Ezeofor at 301-599-4527 or [email protected] to speak about enrolling in services.

To apply for a job reserved for people with disabilities, complete the application form.

Do you take adults with disabilities from other states?

We employ adults with disabilities through the AbilityOne Program who live in Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia, and we currently provide ongoing services for adults with disabilities who live in Maryland.

Where is the Vocational Horticultural Center located? Can people visit it?

Yes, the Garden Center and greenhouses can be visited by the public. To schedule a visit, please contact Pam Robey, Horticulture Program Grower (301)-599-4526 or [email protected].

What is the procedure for filing a complaint, dispute, or to report a violation?

Melwood Employees, Program Participants, Guardians/Caregivers, Volunteers, or Visitors who wish to file a complaint, dispute, or to report a violation can use one of the following confidential reporting methods:

English speaking: 855.901.0005                                  Spanish speaking: 800.216.1288

Email: [email protected]

This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  It is provided for reports that may cover, but are not limited to, the following incidents:

  • Ethical Violations
  • Unsafe Working/Program Conditions
  • Quality of Service
  • Vandalism and Sabotage
  • Improper Conduct
  • Discrimination
  • Alcohol and Substance Abuse
  • Threats
  • Fraud
  • Bribery and Kickbacks
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Misuse of Company Property
  • Theft and Embezzlement
  • Violation of Company Policy
  • Falsification of Contracts, Reports, or Records

Regular business issues and matters not requiring anonymity should be directed to the employee’s supervisor, the Director of Program Administration, Melwood Human Resources, or the Melwood Legal Department.

I would like to know where I can purchase some of your plants. Do you have a greenhouse or nursery location?

We sell plants grown and tended by people with disabilities throughout the year at public events. To stay up to date with the list of events where you can purchase plants, please sign up for our email service. You can also make an appointment to visit the greenhouses by contacting Pam Robey, Horticulture Programs Grower at 301-599-2716 or [email protected].

Why do you subcontract some of your services?

We must consolidate our energies on our main service functions and on the mission of employing persons with disabilities. We believe in strong partnerships with the commercial industries and other rehabilitation programs that may serve persons with disabilities. The proper selection, management, and maintenance of these partnerships add depth and value to our endeavors.

How quickly can Melwood respond to our need for services?

Melwood’s size, in terms of qualified workers and financial stability, allow for timely response to our customer’s needs. Projects in the area of assembly, sorting, packaging, handwork, etc. can be scheduled into our routine production schedules quite easily. Melwood can be competitive with commercial companies, in terms of responses to RFPs and solicitations for work in the community. The set-aside process for the Federal Government is dictated by regulations and more information regarding the process can be found on the NISH website.

How do you achieve quality control?

Our quality control programs are different for our various service areas. Paramount to all programs is a multi-tiered level of suspicion and inspection, written policies and guidelines for staff to follow, and rewards and recognition for a job well-done.

How do you compete with the other companies in your industries?

We must follow good business practices, bid with fair market prices, and provide satisfaction to the customer – the same as any other business. The fact that approximately 75% of our workforce consists of persons with disabilities is just an added dimension to our organization.

How can you provide quality services, using persons with disabilities?

Trained, professional staff that provide supervision and on-the-job training are the keys to our success. We also have specific training methodologies for varied levels of disability, function and capabilities.

What kinds of activities are offered at camp?

We have so many things to do here, including swimming, horseback riding, climbing wall, arts & crafts, sports, campfires, nature hikes, high and low ropes, and much more.

As a camper, will I get to try every activity?

Like we said, we have so many things to do here – and we’re always inventing new things, too. Every overnight camper will get to try all of the activities we offer at least once. Our day campers also get a great sample of the activities; but our high ropes course is a special challenge offered to overnight campers only. Camp is all about being outside and trying new things. However, sometimes things like the weather can affect how we schedule our activities. We will make every effort but cannot guarantee that if an activity is cancelled; it will be made up. You can be sure of one thing: no matter how long you’re here, you’ll be busy with a fun-filled mix of good old camp favorites and things you’ve never even imagined.

What if I feel like I’m missing home?

We’ll be keeping you busy doing all that fun stuff, and we discourage our campers from calling home during camp. Our staff is well trained to look out for the signs of missing home, and they know how to make campers feel better. If a camper continues to miss home for more than a full day, our staff will call home to discuss options to help the camper continue at camp for the rest of the session. If for some reason it becomes necessary to leave camp early, we regret that we cannot offer a refund. We hire staff and purchase equipment and supplies based upon the number of campers who register each year.

What if I don’t know anyone else at camp?

Camp Accomplish is an incredibly friendly place. We are very experienced at introducing campers, and then they just kind of take over and become great friends. We see it happen day after day, summer after summer. And sometimes camp is a great opportunity to start over – without having to be exactly what your schoolmates sort of expect you to be. You make some of your closest friends ever, right here at camp.

What if I am missing some of my personal belongings when I return home?

While we make a valiant effort to help campers keep track of their belongings, inevitably we have lost and mixed up possessions. We encourage you to pack older, less costly clothing items and to leave valuables at home. There will be a lost and found box on the day campers head for home. Please take a look if you think you might have left something behind. Unfortunately, we cannot be responsible for missing items.

I’m a parent/guardian. Can I schedule a camp visit?

In order to provide for the safety of our campers, we do not allow visitors during any summer session. If it becomes imperative that you see your child, please contact the Camp Director. We do, however, encourage email as a means of communication. Feel free to contact your camper by emailing [email protected], and put the camper’s name in the subject line.

Can campers bring food to camp or receive care packages?

Overnight campers enjoy three meals and a snack here every day. Day campers enjoy two meals and a snack before they return home. Packages are a great way to show campers that someone at home cares. Please be aware that any food arriving in a care package will be stored by counselors. We strongly discourage campers arriving with food in their luggage.

Speaking of food, how does Melwood handle special dietary needs?

We try to accommodate all campers and staff, while serving three meals and two snacks to the entire camp daily. Every meal has a vegetarian option, and campers who do not like the meal being served will be offered alternatives. If you have a special diet, please let us know well in advance and we will do what we can to accommodate you. We are happy to be able to provide gluten and casein-free meals to campers with special dietary needs.

Is there an opportunity to talk to the counselor and find out how everything went?

You are more than welcome to call or email the Recreation Center while your child is here to check in. While the person answering the phone may not immediately have an update on your child, he or she will be happy to take a message and make sure you receive a call back from an administrator.

What is the Melwood Recreation Center?

Where is the Melwood Recreation Center located?

What programs does the Melwood Recreation Center offer?

Does the Melwood Recreation Center serve people of all ability levels?

I don’t have any special needs…can I still participate in Melwood Recreation Center programs?

I would like to visit the Melwood Recreation Center—how can I schedule a tour?

Explore Our Programs

Learn more about our efforts in support of our mission and vision.

Vehicle Donation Program

For over 16 years, we’ve operated one of the most successful car donation programs on the East Coast, processing over 200,000 vehicle donations.

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