Alan and his wife Pamela had been giving to Hope International for nearly ten years when they decided to donate their 2005 Dodge Winnebago. At the time, their Winnebago was in the shop, not even drivable, had over 286,000 miles on the odometer and in need of some serious engine repairs. Alan wasn’t even sure Hope International would want it. The cost of taking it off his hands might be more than it was worth. So Alan was more than a little surprised when his broken down Winnebago resulted in a donation of $9,116, which went directly to HOPE International.

There are two things to love about this story. First is Alan and Pamela’s incredible generosity. And second: The unexpected value of something Alan thought might be worthless — $9,100 hiding in plain sight, just waiting to be used for something good in the world.

“The money brought in from the Winnebago is going to impact a large number of people,” Kevin Tordoff from Hope International said.

“We work in 17 countries, helping people who live in poverty help themselves. One thing we offer is small loans. Just a few hundred dollars is enough to help amazing entrepreneurs around the world turn their lives around. The number of loans we’ll be able to make from the donation of the Winnebago will be significant.”

So what made Alan decide to donate the Winnebago? About the time he was thinking about getting rid of it, he was on Hope International’s website and noticed they’d started taking donations of noncash items. When he saw that they also took vehicle donations right on the website, thanks to iDonate, he knew that was what he wanted to do. And the process of donating the Winnebago?

“The process was fantastic. It was more efficient than I was,” Alan remarked.

“I got a call from a very polite and well-spoken young lady from iDonate, who arranged the transfer. The next afternoon I got a call from my mechanic confirming the Winnebago had been picked up.” It was that simple.

For Alan, donating his Winnebago wasn’t in response to some hard push for vehicles. It was the result of simple awareness — just knowing that it was an option. Funny enough, that was exactly Hope International’s strategy.

“We have information about noncash giving at the base of our printed and electronic receipts,” Kevin at Hope International said. “We put it in the footer of our emails and newsletters. We know that it’s not always the right time for someone to get rid of their phone or their car, but if we keep putting these small reminders in front of people, we hope it will be in the back of their mind when the right time does come along.”

When the right time came along for Alan, his awareness of noncash giving resulted in a bigger gift than he ever expected. A vehicle that previously seemed worthless became incredibly valuable and will now help dozens of entrepreneurs around the world pull themselves, and their families, out of poverty. “I was so surprised,” Alan said. “I really couldn’t be happier.”

Of course, Alan’s Winnabego isn’t the only gift hiding in plain sight — sitting in driveways or parking lots.

Every year used car sales top $100 billion. What if just a few of those cars were donated instead?

With a little awareness and a little unconventional, incredible generosity, donors and nonprofits everywhere could make big things happen for the causes they love.