As chairman and CEO of Optic Outdoor Signs, James Neumann of Chicago manages an advertising system of over 300 billboards, reaching more than 45 million potential customers monthly. As an active philanthropist, he routinely makes contributions to charitable organizations, offering funds to nationwide groups and his own time to local food kitchens. A charity such as Kars4Kids is well-supported by those like James Neumann, benefiting both from his direct donations and from the media exposure of a well-run advertising campaign.
Kars4Kids, based out of New Jersey, began in 1995 by offering to haul away a donor’s automobile – regardless of its condition – either repairing and reselling the vehicle or dismantling and salvaging it. The charity benefits from the sales of restored vehicles and spare parts, while donors can write off their gifts as deductions from their taxes, as well as receive vouchers for free hotel stays in most states. For the children it serves, Kars4Kids offers mentorships, summer camps, and after-school centers, as well as tuition assistance and GED funding for older students. In recent years, Kars4Kids has also partnered with other charities and local governments to distribute backpacks and coats for children.
Aside from its work, Kars4Kids is certainly best known for its somewhat infamous radio jingle. Though the group has long advertised in print and on billboards, its radio advertisements have stood out for their infectious tune, a source of pride for Kars4Kids despite whatever critics and detractors it draws. If anything, such recognition just proves how memorable it is, and soon after it came to television in 2014, Kars4Kids saw its contributions increase by nearly 50 percent. Kars4Kids keeps the full origins of its signature song a secret to this day, revealing the writer of the melody, but not the lyric, other than sharing the fact that he was a volunteer.