Because kidney patients don’t have the luxury of staying home: #CoronaVirus
Each year the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho serves 3,000 dialysis and transplant recipients in those states. There are over 500,000 kidney patients in the country who, on a good year, struggle to pay their medical bills, housing or transportation to and from dialysis. WWW.TowKars.org is the primary source of that funding. When the price of gasoline soared to $4.00 a gallon in 2008, some patients, literally could not afford the fuel to drive themselves to dialysis. We received good-bye letters from patients, thanking us for helping them through kidney failure–but they were giving up on dialysis. Think about that. They were choosing to die quietly, because of the cost of gas.
Today, we have a different challenge: sheltering in place because of the Corona-virus. But self-quarantine and shelter in place isn’t an option for kidney patients. Staying at home to limit pathogens while in groups, churches, at the grocery story, or gas station seems like a great idea when you have food in the fridge and don’t need to go to a clinic several times a week to stay alive. Hospital/clinic environments are especially dangerous to the immune-suppressed (which is every kidney patient in America). But kidney patients can’t NOT go to dialysis, even when the healthcare system is overwhelmed by a pandemic. How do patients decide? Risk Corona-virus by going to dialysis in order to stay alive, or stay at home and die of kidney failure? Hopefully they don’t have to decide, and you can help.
Kidney Kars donations have been funding Utah and Idaho kidney patient programs since 1991. We provide medical financial aid to thousands of Utah and Idaho kidney patients a year. Thirty-eight percent of our total budget is allocated to saving patients lives, keeping them healthy and well while on dialysis until they can get a transplant. Kidney Kars / www.towKars.org donations has given the NKF of Utah & Idaho the ability to say ‘yes’ to every patient request that is needed. As the pandemic slows down, we foresee patient requests doubling or tripling in the weeks to come.
It pains us that charity organizations, outside of Utah and Idaho, pay aggressively to advertise their car donation programs here. Programs, like Kars4Kids out of New York State. Donating to out-of-state charity programs take precious resources, out of our community for projects that, for the most part, do not benefit people here. Kars4Kids may sound and look a lot like Kidney Kars, but they far from it. In fact, they’ve been barred from operating in several states because of misleading and aggressive advertising. We do not want to speak ill of other non-profits. However, their tactics, as well as their radio/online advertising budget is beyond our ethical non-profit comfort zone. Last Friday a gentleman come into our Provo, UT office with his title in hand. He was certain he had just donated by phone to Kidney Kars / www.towKars.org and wanted to give us his car keys and title. Unfortunately, he had accidentally donated to Kars4Kids because neither he, nor the phone operator in New York (or wherever) had helped him distinguish between his intent to donate to Kidney Kars of Utah & Idaho and Kars4Kids. The donor was displeased to learn his mistake too late; he had a neighbor on dialysis he was hoping to encourage and benefit by donating to Kidney Kars at www.towKars.org
So please, when considering making a life saving car donation, please do your homework first. If you want to keep your donation local, make sure you are donating to a local charity; a charity in the state, whose mission benefits locals you know need the help. www.TowKars.org is the literal life-blood funding for thousands of Utah and Idaho patients. So before handing over the keys and title to just anybody, be sure the charity operators are in Utah or Idaho, and that the website features a Utah or Idaho address and phone number. Lives are at stake, now more than ever. www.towKars.org