The Guide to Donating a Car to Kidney Kars

Why donate a car?

The biggest reason to donate a car is that the repairs cost more than the value of the car.  Also, that car is taking up driveway space. Perhaps it’s collecting parking tickets, or your paying to store it. When having an old car costs more than it’s worth, the scale tips.  So, no matter how good of a mechanic you are (unless you have a tree that grows money) all cars have an expiration date.  So why not donate that car to charity?

Here are some of the top reasons to donate a car:

  1. Your teenager wrecked the family car/drove it without oil/didn’t maintain it.
  2. You bought a new car and didn’t want to accept the trade-in value on your old car.
  3. That dumpy commuter is 12-15 years old, and has over 200,000 miles on it. You can’t justify spending another $800 to keep it going (because you know there is no end to the number of $800 repairs it’s going to need from now on).
  4. The car had an accident. It’s not totaled, but what are you going to do with it?
  5. You bought or inherited a “classic” and intended to refurbish it, but lost interest (or money).
  6. A parent or close family member passed away, and you’re not sure what to do with their car.
  7. Did you win the lottery and buy all new cars? Do you need a tax break from all that money?

Does that sound familiar (except maybe #7)? So, the good news is, that regardless of your car’s condition, you can donate any car as long as it has wheels (even if they’re flat), and a clear title.

Where to donate your car?

Start by picking a local 501(c)(3) charity, in good standing with the Utah State Division of Consumer protection.  Out of state charities, sometimes get far less or very little of the money raised from your car donation. A big chunk goes to the agency advertising and managing their car donation phone calls.  Make sure the charity receives at least 75% of the money raised. Kidney Kars of Utah is managed locally. So Kidney Kars donations stay local, and benefit local kidney patients.  But how to get started:

  1. Call the charity you are intending to donate to (801) 226-5111. Ask them where there office is? How much of the money from your car donation benefits Utah/Idaho patients?
  2. If you don’t like the answers from the first charity, call another charity. Unfortunately, there are a lot of charities advertising online. They can’t give you specifics on how your donation will be used like a local charity.

How to donate your car

Now you feel good about the chosen charity. Get ready to give them some details about the car.

Here’s how to donate:

  1. Find your car’s title (this will be the hardest part of the donation process!).
  2. Call the local charity or go online to (be sure you’re on the local website!). Be prepared to answer a few questions: donor’s name, pick up address, phone number, email, VIN and title Number, mileage, and basic vehicle condition.
  3. Once the charity has the information, the next step should be getting a call from the tow company to arrange pick up. Kidney Kars can pick up a car in 24-48 hours (except Sundays).

How does car pickup work?

Once you’ve submitted the information to the charity about the car, the pick-up and towing is fairly straight forward and fast.

Here’s how the pick-up works:

  1. You will receive an email from the charity confirming your donation.  It will contain the phone number of the agency assigned to pick up your car.
  2. The towing company will call or text you from that number within 24-48 hours. They will give you a 3 hour window to estimate their arrival time.
  3. Remove all your personal belongings! That includes items in the glove compartment and in the trunk. The charity can’t be held responsible for items left in the vehicle.
  4. The towing company will ask you to leave the keys and title (signed over to the charity) inside the car.
  5. It’s not necessary for you to be there when they come to tow the car.

What to watch out for when donating!

  1. Be sure you are donating to your intended charity! Double check the website address in your search bar to make sure it’s  That way, you’re sure you’re calling the local charity office at (801) 226-5111!
  2. You should immediately receive an email confirming your donation from the charity.
  3. Check to be sure the phone number of the towing company matches the number you received via email.

See?  Easy peasy!

During COVID-19, Utah and Idaho Kidney Patients Need Help Now More Than Ever

Because kidney patients don’t have the luxury of staying home: #CoronaVirus

The Difficulties Kidney Patients Face

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. 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 Coronavirus. 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? Do they risk contracting Coronavirus 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.

Read more

How to Get Rid of a Car |

How to Get Rid of A Car – Why You Should Consider Donating It

All cars, even once dependable cars (cars that have seen you through thick and thin) eventually come to the end of the road. There are a few ways to get rid of a car. It helps to think your options through, decide what your goals are in getting rid of the car, and ask yourself some questions. Here are a few ideas on how to get rid of a car:

How to Get Rid of a Car: 3 Possibilities

Sell the car for cash.

Or at least see how much you could potentially get for it. Depending on how old the car is, what model it is, and how much damage has been done or repairs are needed, you could either get a solid chunk, or almost nothing at all. The downside of selling a car is that it can take a lot of effort to go through the process.  Read more

March is Kidney Month! Are you the 33%?

March is National Kidney Month, and we are asking for your help in raising awareness about kidney disease. Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the U.S. and it is growing in prevalence. In fact, 33% of American adults are at risk for kidney disease and to get the at-risk population to take action, we must make kidney disease personal and relevant to them. World Kidney Day is March 12th, 2020 and the National Kidney Foundation is introducing a new campaign: Are you the 33%? to highlight the magnitude of that number. The campaign takes the conversation about kidney health to the next level and puts an actionable behavior in the hands of consumers, prompting them to take the kidney risk quiz and helping them become their own health advocates.

Here are 4 ways you can Take Action:

1. Raise Awareness Encourage your staff members, family, and friends to take the short one-minute kidney risk quiz to find out if they are at risk for kidney disease. Visit

2. Spread the News Educate your employees about kidney disease prevention on your company’s intranet or through an internal newsletter. Our toolkit is full of shareable content such as articles and videos that provide important kidney health facts and wellness tips.

3. Challenge Your Employees to Wear Orange Orange is the signature color for kidney disease. Ask your employees to join you and commit to wearing orange on World Kidney Day, March 12, to raise awareness about the importance of kidneys to overall health. It can be a shirt, hat or even a pair of orange socks!

4. Join the Conversation Social media is a great vehicle for raising awareness. Encourage your staff to post their “orange” photos and encourage others to take the kidney risk quiz using #MinuteForYourKidneys Our toolkit also has sample tweets and Facebook posts to make sharing easy. Join us on March 12th, World Kidney Day, or anytime during National Kidney Month to help us raise awareness for kidney disease! For questions or to find out more ways you can spread the word, contact your local National Kidney Foundation affiliate at (801) 226-5111 or visit

NKF of Utah & Idaho CEO and Boss Lady, Deen Vetterli

Deen Vetterli Conducts one of the first NKF of Utah Board Meetings, 1987


January 24th marks the birthday of Deen Vetterli, the Founder and CEO of the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho.  She single-handedly organized and laid the foundation for one of the  most respected and successful charity operations in the country today.  If you thought her amazing hair was big (in 1987, see photo), you should see her heart.  In honor of Ms. Vetterli’s birthday, we thought we’d reflect on her incredible achievements during 33 years of humanitarian service.  Ms. Vetterli’s sister Glenna Jones Shapiro (who was running the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona) called and suggested Deen take over the fledgling charter in Utah.  It had been organized into a small but passionate group of doctors, researchers, and others associated with the Division of Nephrology at the University of Utah and the Kolff Dialysis Center.  Fortunately for the fledgling organization, Deen had recently moved from Pasadena California and was struggling to shift gears from her successful career as a highly respected California Educator (and winner of The Valley Forge Freedom Award,  for writing American History Curriculum that is still used today in the Pasadena and California School Districts) to a ‘Utah woman.’  Deen came to Utah on the heels of many years as a Conservative Political Activist and Daughter of the American Revolution; and she was desperate for a real challenge in the Beehive State.  Deen soon learned from a family friend, Sentaor Orrin Hatch that the other sitting US Utah Senator,  Jake E. Garn , had recently given his kidney to his daughter Susan. Senator Garn had been Navy Pilot, a distinguished Mayor of Salt Lake City, and had recently flown around the earth a few times on a NASA space mission. Deen immediately recognized the position Senator Garn held in the community as one that would forever change Utah’s perception and knowledge of both kidney disease and living organ donation.  Ms. Vetterli set about creating The Gift of Life Gala, honoring Senator Garn’s “gift of life” to his daugther.  That was 1987.  She wrote hundreds (maybe a thousands) of letters and made calls from her bedroom office, with little or no assistance to pull off one of the most successful Gala events, not just in Utah, but in the country. She often laughs that the first letters were actually type-written on mimeograph paper for replication.  Sitting on the floor of her bedroom she spoke on the phone with the astronaut John Glenn and (then) President Ronald Regan’s offices asking for their support. No celebrity, politician or community leader was safe; and NO ONE dared say no.   Many of Utah’s highest ranking businessmen, have joked Deen Vetterli is a ‘Tiger-Lady’ and knew from experience that it was easier to do what she was asking, than to say ‘no.’  With that focus and drive, Deen put together a Board of Directors unlike any other in the United States. It is who’s who list of Governors, Senators, local celebrities, community leaders, Head Football coaches, and leading kidney doctors. The picture above was taken at one of those meetings; and as the viewer can see, she is a commanding presence in that space. She was a woman on a mission to save lives.

The Gala for Senator Garn was a smashing success, but she did not stop there. Other noteworthy Gift of Life Gala Honorees were: Senator Orrin Hatch, Dr. LaVell Edwards (Head Coach of BYU Football), Ed Garrison (CEO of the space program at Morton/Thiokol), Dr. Willem J. Kolff (creator of the dialysis machine), James (Jamie) Redford, and many others.  Not to be one to rest on her laurels,  Deen went on to create one of Utah’s  most well known, and beloved golf tournament traditions in the history of Utah.  She earned the support of the head football coaches of the University of Utah and the BYU (at the time, it was a bitter, blood thirsty rivalry between the two schools). The coaches “Rivalry For Charity Golf Tournament”  is still the highlight of the Charity Golf season, 31 years later. She has tirelessly sought support from the Utah public by instigating one of the country’s first ever ‘Cars for Charity’ programs and named it Kidney Kars — with a “K” like Kidney. Which, consequently, is when I came into the picture to witness and assist this tour de force of a woman.  Under Deen’s precise focus (and through her personal experience, as the daughter of the Jones Car Dealership Empire in Arizona) she created the Kidney Kars program.  To this day, Kidney Kars of Utah is one of the country’s most original, successful, and highly respected car-for-charity donation programs.  Kidney Kars donation income has sustained tens of thousands of Utah kidney patients, making tens of millions of dollars available to the mission of the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho for: medical/financial patient aid, local medical research, the promotion of organ donation and kidney disease awareness.  She has worked in coalition with other organizations to promote oran donation.  Those Utahns, who unfortunate enough to live with kidney disease, have a great champion in Deen Vetterli. Her greatest treasure are the cards and small thank you letters from those who have been on the receiving end of the programs of the NKF of Utah & Idaho. She asks her staff to read them and contemplate the mission of the organization in order to do their best job on their behalf. Deen sometimes weeps reading the letters of gratitude from those who have attended the kidney camps (for transplanted children and of the families affected by kidney disease). Her gratitude to have meaningful work and her dedication to the success of her staff is a testament to her desire to serve this population. Her drive to help others is unparalleled.

As a young college graduate in 1991, I came to work for Deen at the NKF of Utah to help run the Kidney Kars program.  One day,  Deen called me into her office to relay that a close friend, serving as an Ambassador to Russia in Vladivostok, had called to ask if she would help a young Russian boy get treatment for kidney failure somewhere in Utah. She asked for my suggestions.  Instead, I asked “if we help this one young man, who else will we have to help? Where will it end?”  Deen simply looked at me, put her hand over mine and and asked “When someone asks you to help save someone’s life, and you have the power to do that– what would you do?  I don’t know about you, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”  Deen’s certainty about saving one life, sank into my heart. As the saying goes “For whosoever saves a life, saves the world.”  In that moment, I decided I wanted to be on this woman’s team for as long as she’d let me stay.

What a debt of gratitude, we owe Deen Vetterli for putting her drive for success, and ability to teach and lead, for the service of our fellow Utahns (and now Idahoans) in need because of kidney disease. We live in a state where living donation is common, and where every single Utah citizen is willing to donate a car to Kidney Kars to share the burden of their friends and neighbors on dialysis or in need of a kidney transplant.

Happy Birthday to one of Utah’s most astonishing women, Deen Vetterli.

Who, I might add, is going to kill me if she ever reads this.


What about Motorhomes, Trailers, Boats or other recreational vehicles?

Does the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho accept Motorhomes, Trailers, Boats, wave runners or other recreational vehicles?

Yes! However….

We do NOT offer free towing for any vehicle other than passenger cars and trucks.

So yes, we can accept them if you’re willing to deliver your donation to a location in (North) Salt Lake City.

We do take motorhomes, trailers, boats, wave runners, snow machines, school buses, box trucks, cargo vans, cherry pickers, road pavers (and alot of other things). But these types of items must be delivered by the donor.

So, if you can deliver the recreational vehicle or equipment yourself, then go ahead and submit the donation to and using the appropriate (car, boat, RV, or motorcycle) sections of the website. If you check the box asking if you are willing to the donated item, it will allow you to continue the submission.
If you do NOT check the box acknowledging that will deliver the item, the website will NOT allow you to submit or continue the donation.

If you have questions about donating anything other than a car (and you believe the item to be valued at $1,000 or more) please call the National Kidney Foundation of Utah office for more details.

You can call 9-5/M-F (801) 226-5111 to discuss the details about donating a boat, motorhome, trailer, wave runner, snow machine, or any recreation vehicle or any other machinery.


Thank you!


Fastest Car Pick Up for Charity Car Donation in Utah

Charity car donation is popular for a couple of reasons. I’d say the biggest reason is, you have a broken car sitting in the driveway or garage that is taking up valuable space.  If that car’s repairs cost more than the value of the car, it’s a great time to consider donating. Once you’ve finally decided you’d rather donate that car to charity, than do anything else you probably want car gone like, yesterday.  The good news is, we’re happy to help.  In order to donate your car, first find the title! That’s the hardest part, we promise. Then call us 9-5/M-F at (801) 226-5111 or 1-800-tow-kars (1-800-869-5277); or easier yet at any time of day use our website  The process to give us the information will take you 3-5 minutes. You answer the questions we need to both pickup the car, and get you a tax receipt. Once we have that, we get it to our towing guys, and the car is usually picked up in 24-48 hours (Unless you need more time to clean it out of personal belongings or need to coordinate pick up with a 3rd party like a mechanic, or storage unit manager). So, unless there’s a problem, you can expect pick up in less than a day or two.  The Monday following the car’s pickup, we will email you your tax receipt! Kidney Kars donation is simple, fast, free, and your donation benefits over 3,000 dialysis and transplant patients in our area. Thank you for donating to Kidney Kars of Utah!

Which charity car donation program in Utah and Idaho is best? How do car donations work?

Kidney Kars / (The National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho) has been taking kidney car donations in Utah and Idaho since 1991; and is one of the country’s best and most legitimate car donation programs. Utahns love their tax deductions and so Kidney Kars / has remained the number one choice for charity car donation in Utah for 29 years! Yep! Little ol’ Utah runs one of the best and largest car donation program in the country. This is because 2/3 of Kidney Kars donors come from repeat kidney cars donors and word of mouth referrals from former donors. To us, this is the highest compliment and testament to the work we do in our own community. In addition to asking a friend or neighbor ‘what charity program is best’ for car donations, a lot of people Google “how does car donation work?” or “what car donation program in Utah is best?” So we get a lot of referrals from search engines as well.  But we’d like to give Utahns a word of warning about Googling the ‘best car donation program in Utah or Idaho.’  Unfortunately, since Kidney Kars of Utah started in 1991, a lot of national charities have also started their own car donation for charity programs. They take the money from our community and give it to a national branch. Unfortunately, very few of those national charity car donation programs you see advertised online (or who come up when Googled) are actually IN UTAH. You can always call Utah State Division of Consumer protection to ask for information about Kidney Kars, because we are IN UTAH.

The National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho Kidney Kars office is in Provo, Utah. So whether you’re in Utah or Idaho, we process your donation locally.  Donated Kidney Kars are then sold, parted or recycled in order to raise money for our kidney patient programs: medical financial aid, transportation to and from dialysis, transplantation costs, nutritional supplements (to keep patients healthy enough to qualify for the kidney transplant waiting list), patient educational scholarships, family and youth transplant camps, medical research, free kidney health screenings and way too many financial, patient, education and community programs to list here without getting super boring. But you can find a complete list of our programs on our Annual Report located online at:

So there’s a bit of  danger in simply Googling “Who accepts car donations in Utah?” Lots of charities take car donations, but chances are, if they are an out of state charity (and using 3rd party business to advertise, take calls for and manage their car donation program) the business claims a big chunk of the monies earned from your car donation. Sometimes out of state car donation programs are reaping as little as 50% or less of the funds raised.  But not Kidney Kars of Utah and Idaho (! We are able to accept the donations in Utah and Idaho, sell/part/recycle the donated cars to give 100% of the funds raised to our charitable mission (Utah and Idaho patient services/community services/medical research).

So the next time someone asks you which charity in Utah takes car donation, tell them it’s the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho’s Kidney Kars! How car donations work is, you can call us 9-5/M-F (801) 226-5111 or donate online at  We’ll gather information about the car, who to call and where to pick it up and then we email you a tax receipt! You can always feel good about keeping your Kidney Kars donation local because you know there are over 3,000 Utah and Idaho dialysis and transplant patients who benefit from our services.

Tell a friend!

Thank you for my Kidney Patient Educational Scholarship!

Dear National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho,

I’d like to thank everyone for the wonderful work/service you do changing lives; I especially want to thank all those that played a part in and made my receiving this Kidney Patient Educational Scholarship possible. I understand that the majority of the donations come from Kidney Kars donations. So my parents are donating their 2003 Acura to you when we arrive to Utah. I so look forward to continuing my education and one day hope to be a doctor, like so many doctors who cared for me as a kid when I was sick with kidney failure.  I want to bless the lives, and pay the blessings forward!  This scholarship makes this possible! I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to make the most out of y newfound energy and live!


Kendon H.

Again thank you for everything, may the kidney foundation and all it’s employees be blessed for all their efforts

August 18, 2019
Dear National Kidney Foundation of Utah ,
My wife Nicole and I would like to express utmost thanks for the one time payment that applies to help with our rent . It came at a much needed time and has truly been a blessing and a miracle in our lives .
It has been a hard year for my wife and I. My kidney function started to decline drastically last December (2018). I was treated for sepsis in March due to an infection which resulted in cellulitis caused by kidney failure . In April we were in a serious car accident in which my wife broke her ankle. She was out of work for nine weeks and I was her caretaker even though I was currently sick.
In July my kidney dropped below 15% and I started dialysis. I had surgery just a week earlier to put in my fistula but required  AV access in the chest because the fistula wasn’t quite ready.
Currently I’m in dialysis and doing physical therapy for the accident but also neuropathy and muscle failure caused by sepsis .
It’s been an emotional roller coaster for us this whole year, which is why I described this assistance as a miracle, because that’s truly what it is. We couldn’t be more thankful for the timeliness or help, and for that our hearts are full of gratitude .
Again thank you for everything, may the kidney foundation and all it’s employees be blessed for all their efforts .
Sincerely ,
Matt and Nicole O