Greg Ostertag: the first NBA player to donate a kidney, and continue playing

Greg Ostertag was on KSL today (https://www.ksl.com/article/50665828/after-inconsistent-nba-career-former-jazz-center-greg-ostertag-is-living-the-dream) talking shop about his NBA career.

He admitted to driving fans crazy with his ‘inconsistent’ delivery.  It’s been 17 years since he played for the Utah Jazz, and people had their feelings.  But Ostertag is doing well and for the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho we couldn’t be more thrilled.  In 2002, Ostertag donated a kidney to save the life of his sister Amy (Hall) Ostertag, who was dying of complications from type 1 diabetes; upon his return he became the first player in NBA history to play after donating an organ. He has since been an advocate of organ donation.  While in Utah, he participated in a campaign which helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars through our Kidney Cars donation program which provided direct medical/financial assistance to Utah kidney patients.  So to us, Greg Ostertag will always be the best player in the NBA league.  We wish him well, and thank him for being an organ donor to his sister at a time it was still a relatively new idea.  He was courageous, he saved lives, he was unselfish.  AND, by the way….he played some basketball.

The time your daughter got a BFA in graphic design because she grew up doing all the Kidney Kars/ TowKars.org graphics

Special thanks to my daughter for these designs to help promote towKars.org  for the December 2021 year-end Kidney Kars promotion of the NKF Utah & Idaho.

For the past 10 years she has  volunteered by taking the high quality photos at our yearly events (every Kidney Walk, Golf Tournament, and Kidney Camp). She has volunteered to run the art therapy sessions at the youth camps, done a lot of heavy lifting (boxes of t-shirts, banners and TONS of bottled water). She and her brother have traveled long distance through Idaho and Utah with their mama to meet hundreds and thousands of kidney folks over the years.  We know and deeply admire the people we serve. We are grateful for their examples of emotional and physical resilience to fight for their lives.  We are always enriched by their attitudes and friendships.  Fulfilling a charitable mission to serve Utah and Idaho kidney patients requires volunteers year after year. To use a phrase: IT TAKES A VILLAGE.  I am grateful part of the village is my own kids.  They haven’t always come willingly because teenagers have their own lives. But they have grown up seeing how Kidney Cars donations are a vital, life-blood key to our ability to generate the funds given to the neediest people who require: expensive medical care, hundreds of miles of transportation per week, stable housing, and specialized kidney nutrition (just to stay alive).  We wish each patient who qualifies for a transplant to get one. We wish for better medical and data driven technologies to one day end, or at least delay the onset of kidney failure.  But in the meantime, while we serve those with the greatest needs:  We’re grateful for the generosity of Utah and Idaho Kidney Kars donors who donate their cars to fund National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho services.  We are grateful to the social workers who help us find kidney patient in greatest need and in some cases answer their prayers.  Kidney Kars donation save and preserve lives.  I am glad my children see how wonderfully generous and resilient people can be when we try.  So if you have an old car to donate, and you want your donation to benefit Utah and Idaho kidney patients, I am proud to say there is one clear choice: www.towKars.org  Utah’s #1 original car donation since 1990. Your charitable car donation is the ‘horsepower’ behind our mission.   Donate before December 31st for a 2021 tax deduction.  Thank you!

Why donate your Kidney Car in December 2021

Why donate your Kidney Car in December?

Aside from the obvious (snow-towing & parking violation situations) it’s also the end of the tax year.  Charitable car donations made in Utah and Idaho before December 31st will provide you with a 2020 tax write off. So if you’ve got a car on the street or in the driveway you’re not using, put it into gear for the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho kidney patient programs by donating to www.towKars.org or call locally 9-5/M-F at (801) 226-5111  Donating in December assures more help to Utah and Idaho kidney patients during the critical holiday and winter months.  When it’s hard for patients to afford both heat and medications, your car donation provides us with the funding to help them.

What about the free towing?

  • it’s FREE
  • takes as little as 24-48 hours (or more if you need time to get it ready!)
  • you do NOT have to be there when the car’s towed

What about the tax deduction?

The IRS allows donors to claim one of two values as the deduction.  Obviously newer model vehicles with lower miles will give you the best tax deduction. But we also accept any vehicle with a clear title, 4 inflated tires and a complete engine/transmission (doesn’t need to work, it just needs to be IN THE CAR).

  1. Up to $499 (generalized tax receipt)
  2. The Car’s actual selling price

So you can claim either the $499 or the car’s actual selling price, whichever is highest.  The National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho is required to notify you of the car’s selling price over $500 so you can make the choice how much to claim.

Who benefits from my towKars.org Kidney Kars donation?

If you use the local Utah & Idaho kidney kars website towKars.org to donate, 38% goes directly to serve over 3,000 Utah and Idaho kidney dialysis patients through Medical Financial Aid.  The National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho provides aid to help patients with: medical bills, medications, rent, utilities, transportation, medical kidney nutrition supplements, and dental bills.  Most of the financial aid is provided to patients trying to become eligable for the kidney transplant waiting list.  This requires patients to pay off medical bills, have 100% updated dental work (any cavity or infection can cause a donated kidney to reject), and keep the patient in stable housing.  The medical kidney nutrition is vital, since it allows the patients blood work to show healthy ranges of nutrients important to sustain a donated kidney (iron, oxygen, calcium, etc).

 

Make sure to donate locally to ensure maximum use of your donation.

Most car donation programs are not local to Utah and Idaho, and do not benefit Utah or Idaho patients.  So donating to towKars.org assures you maximum accountability that your donation is going where we say it’s going.  Donations made locally help local friends and family.

 

Make your car a Kidney Car, a car that saves lives.

M-F/ 9-5 (801) 226-5111 or www.towKars.org

 

 

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 www.towKars.org and using the appropriate (car, boat, RV, or motorcycle) sections of the www.towKars.org 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!

 

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

Kidney Kars / www.towKars.org (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 / www.towKars.org 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: Kidneyut.org/who-we-are/#annual_report

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 (www.towKars.org)! 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 www.towKars.org  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!

29th Annual National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho Golf Tournament

https://www.ksl.com/?sid=46347179&nid=294&title=college-football-talking-season-is-here-but-first-the-coaches-go-golfing

For 29 years, the coaching staffs at BYU and Utah have come together in June to support the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho for a charity golf event raising thousands of dollars annually for the publicly funded nonprofit organization.

 

But with new NCAA legislation extending the recruiting period into June and both schools offering seven-on-seven camps deep into the summer, both BYU coach Kalani Sitake and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham had plenty of conflicts.

Neither one of them wanted to miss the event Monday, though — Sitake even got a speeding ticket as he drove from Provo to Hidden Valley County Club in Sandy to arrive in time for the annual luncheon.

“Even coaches get speeding tickets,” Sitake quipped.

Monday’s luncheon was appointment viewing for Whittingham, too. Even without the obligation of the losing coach singing the opposing school’s fight song.

“June is a lot more busy for coaches than it used to be, with the satellite camps and more official visits in June,” he said. “It’s a lot different than it once was, but I just have to make time for this.”

The event began with legendary BYU coach LaVell Edwards and has brought together every coach in the rivalry since, including Utah’s Ron McBride — still seated at the center table, across from Sitake and next to former BYU and NFL tight end Chad Lewis.

To Sitake’s right sat Whittingham, laughing like a buddy-cop duo of former coaching colleagues who played at the same school and coached together at a rival institution.

In those 29 years, the group has raised funds to help the roughly 468,000 Americans with kidney disease who are receiving dialysis treatment or the 1,316 people from Utah and Idaho currently awaiting a life-saving organ transplant.

“It’s the cause that matters, and I’m honored to be affiliated with it for so many years,” Whittingham said, “as well as coach McBride before that, and I think even coach (Jim) Fassel before him. It does a lot of good for the National Kidney Foundation, and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

While getting ready for a season where the Utes look to build off the only successful postseason in Pac-12 football, and as the Cougars try to turn things around from last year’s disastrous 4-9 campaign, it was good to take time away from the grind of 24/7 college football.

The rest will come soon enough.

“You go through these parts where you know it’s around the corner,” Sitake said. “The hardest part is vacation; you need to take time off. But if everything is done correctly, I think we will be ready. I’ll spend some time with the family in July, but right now, I’m pleased with how hard everyone is working — especially the players.”

 

Does It Make Financial Sense To Donate a Car to a Kidney Kars?

for-salehttp://www.edmunds.com/sell-car/does-charity-car-donation-still-make-sense-under-tougher-irs-rules.html

It’s easy to donate a car to charity if all you want to do is get rid of it. Simply call a charity that accepts old vehicles, and it will tow your heap away.

If you want to maximize the benefits for both the charity and yourself, however, it’s more complicated. Until 2005, it was easy for taxpayers to deduct the entire “fair market value” of a donated vehicle from their taxable income, reducing the taxes they’d have to pay to the Internal Revenue Service. (The IRS defines fair market value as “the price a willing buyer would pay and a willing seller would accept for the vehicle, when neither party is compelled to buy or sell and both parties have reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts.”)

Allowing taxpayers to deduct the full fair market value for all those donated vehicles cost the IRS a lot of dollars, however, so the agency tightened the rules. Today, you can only deduct a vehicle’s fair market value under very specific conditions. We’re going to walk you through those conditions, with the usual proviso that you should discuss these issues with your tax preparer before you act. Also note that if your state or locality also levies income taxes, other rules may also apply.

You Must Itemize Your Return
If you want to claim fair market value for your car donation to reduce your federal income taxes, you must itemize deductions, says Twila D. Midwood, an enrolled agent based in Rockledge, Florida. An enrolled agent is a tax expert who can represent clients before the IRS.

If you’ve always filed 1040EZ tax returns and you plan to keep filing them, you won’t be able to deduct any amount for the car donation. You can file a regular 1040 tax form and itemize, even if the donated auto is your only deduction. That’s usually not the best choice, however, unless you like paying a lot more taxes to the IRS than you must.

“For tax purposes, because a donation is a deduction from your income, the tax benefit relates to your tax bracket,” Midwood says. “It’s not a dollar-for-dollar item.”

Here’s the math: Suppose you are in the 28 percent tax bracket. Your donated car’s value, and thus the deduction, is $1,000. “The $1,000 deduction will save you $280,” Midwood says. If you’re in the 15 percent tax bracket and you donate a car worth $1,000, it will only reduce your taxes by $150.

If instead you take the standard deduction, which in 2012 was $5,950 for a single individual or $11,900 for a married couple filing together, you save thousands of dollars over filing an itemized return only for the purposes of detailing your car donation.

The only way that donating a car nets you any tax benefit is if you have many deductions, and if their total sum, including the car, exceeds your standard deduction.

The Charity Must Qualify
Your city councilman’s campaign organization and your hobby club may be nonprofit organizations, but donating a car to them won’t give you any tax benefits. Only “qualified” charities can provide those for you. A qualified charity is one that has been approved by the IRS as an “exempt-status” or 501(c)(3) organization, Midwood says. Most organizations will state in their advertising or receipts that they’re a 501(c)(3) if indeed they are one, she says. “If you’re not sure, ask.”

Religious organizations are a special case. They do count as qualified organizations, but they aren’t required to file for 501(c)(3) status.

To help you determine whether a charity is qualified, the easiest thing to do is visit the IRS’s exempt organizations site.

You also can call an IRS toll-free number: (877) 829-5500. If you do this, you’ll have to listen to some recorded information about tax forms that probably don’t apply to you. You’ll then be given the option to “Press 2” to talk to a customer service rep about exempt organizations. Note that the waits can be quite long: up to 30 minutes.

You can always donate as much as you want to charities, but the IRS limits how much you can claim on your tax return. “Charitable donations can’t exceed 50 percent of your gross income,” Midwood says.

How To Deduct Fair Market Value
These are the four IRS rules under which you can get the maximum deduction (the fair market value) of a donated car:

1. When a charity auctions your car for $500 or less, you can claim either the fair market value or $500, whichever is less.

2. When the charity intends to make a “significant intervening use of the vehicle.” This means the charity will use the car in its work, such as delivering meals to needy people.

3. When the charity intends to make a “material improvement” to the vehicle, which is “anything that increases the car’s value and prolongs its life,” Midwood says. “It can’t be a minor repair or maintenance; it must be something like fixing the engine or systems that run the car,” she says.

4. When the charity gives or sells the vehicle to a needy individual at a price significantly below fair market value, and the gift or sale is part of the charity’s mission of helping the needy who need transportation.

How To Determine Fair Market Value
To recap, the IRS defines fair market value as the price a willing buyer would pay and a willing seller would accept for the vehicle, when neither party is compelled to buy or sell and both parties have reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts. Neither the buyer nor the seller can be an auto dealer. Both must be private parties.

Edmunds.com makes it easy to determine your vehicle’s fair market value. And, as Midwood says, your assessment has to be “an apples-to-apples comparison.”

IRS Publication 4303 explains this in more detail: “If you use a vehicle pricing guide to determine fair market value, be sure that the sales price listed is for a vehicle that is the same make, model and year, sold in the same condition, and with the same or substantially similar options or accessories as your vehicle.”

Here’s an example: Let’s say your car is a 2003 Honda Accord DX sedan (the lowest trim level). It has 200,000 miles and it’s in “average” condition. Edmunds estimates it would be worth $1,862 in a private-party sale in Southern California. You can’t instead claim the $5,318 private-party value of a Honda Accord EX sedan (a much higher trim level) with 100,000 miles in “clean condition” (a condition grade that’s one step up from “average”).

Getting Fair Market Value Is Rare
It’s not realistic to expect that your car will meet one of the most stringent fair market value requirements. Take it from 1-800-Charity Cars, which says it is the largest car donation charity in the United States. It picks up donated vehicles from across the country and gives as many of the cars as possible to people who need transportation. According to the charity, few donated cars are suitable to give to the people it serves.

“If 5 percent go to our clients, I’m thrilled,” says CEO Brian Menzies. “Although we take any car, about one-third go straight to salvage, i.e., junk.” The rest are auctioned and the proceeds go to the charity of the donor’s choice, he says.

The point that Menzies is making is this: Unless your car is in good or excellent condition, it will most likely be sold at auction or to an auto salvage yard. In that case, your deduction is based on the car’s selling price, not your fair market value estimate.

Note that this price is not something you’ll know when you donate the vehicle. “An organization has up to three years to sell the vehicle,” Midwood says. “If they sell the vehicle within three years, they must notify the IRS and the donor.”

If the April tax deadline is approaching and the charity still hasn’t sent you a notification of your vehicle’s sale, such as an acknowledgement, receipt or form 1098-C, you have two options.

Paperwork Is Important
According to IRS Publication 526, the first option is to file Form 4868 to request an automatic six-month extension of time to submit your return. Your second option is to file the return on time without claiming the deduction for the qualified vehicle. When the charity finally sends your notification, you can file an amended return using form 1040X to claim the deduction. You’ll have to attach a copy of the notification to your 1040X.

Getting tax benefits for a donated car requires a lot of documentation, whether the car is junked, sold at auction or given to a charity’s client. IRS Publication 4303 has all the details. One tip: Keep all the papers or electronic files. You’ll need them at tax time.

Another Approach to Car “Donation”
Besides giving your car directly to a charity, there is another way your vehicle can help a charity and also maximize your tax benefits: You can sell the vehicle yourself and donate the proceeds.

“If the qualified organization is going to sell the vehicle in order to receive cash, then it would make sense for an individual to sell the vehicle to a private party to maximize the amount of cash proceeds,” Midwood says.

“Privately selling the vehicle might generate larger cash proceeds than if the organization were to sell the vehicle, she says. “The donor would then make a cash contribution to the organization.”

Selling any car can be a hassle and selling one that’s on its last legs poses challenges of its own. How you proceed depends on your goal. Are you focused on getting rid of a junker with minimum effort and you’d look at the tax deduction as a nice bonus? Then donating your car makes good sense.

If your goal is to maximize your tax deduction, carefully review the steps here and then make your decision. Whatever you decide to do, parting with your old car could help a nonprofit carry out its mission. And it also might make room in your garage for a new car.

Woman gets kidney in a 68-person kidney donation chain

http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/05/11/kidney-donation-chain

 

wasau woman

A Wausau woman is the last link in a 68-person kidney transplant chain of donations that started in Minnesota, spread across the country and ended at the University of Wisconsin in late March.

After living with renal insufficiency for 30 years, 77-year-old Mitzi Neyens’ condition had begun to worsen in the past two years, she told Press-Gazette Media. She was able to take part in the massive organ donation chain after De Pere school teacher Megan O’Leary donated a kidney to a matched recipient in exchange for a matched kidney for Neyens, her long-time family friend.

“I was more anxious to get disqualified and not be able to donate,” O’Leary said about the donation process. “Most people say it seems like it would be hard, but to me it wasn’t, it just kind of felt like the right thing to do. I wasn’t nervous about it at all.”

The chain began in Minnesota with a woman who wanted to donate a kidney to no one in particular. Thus began the process of coordinating 34 kidney exchanges.

“It’s unheard of,” said Karen Miller, the paired kidney exchange coordinator for the University of Wisconsin transplant program. “It’s very, very difficult. So many things can happen during that process: a donor gets sick; a donor backs out; a recipient gets sick; somebody dies.”

The National Kidney Registry, which uses a computer to link organ donation chains, and 26 hospitals nationwide helped coordinate the kidney exchanges involving 68 people.

“It’s always amazing when transplants occur,” Miller said. “Was I surprised? No. As you get into paired kidney exchange I always hope for the very best and want every paired kidney exchange, every match, to proceed. That’s honestly unrealistic, that’s never going to happen.”

More than 2,500 Wisconsin residents are among the estimated 123,000 Americans in need of an organ transplant.

About 2.6 million people are registered donors in Wisconsin, and about 2 million more are eligible, according to advocates.

Make your car a Kidney Kar! Happy Earth Day!

REduce- REuse- REcycle!
Make your car, a Kidney Kar! (Tax Deduction, Free Towing)   Donate www.towKars.org

 

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World Kidney Day

 

deen orrin linda garyWere you aware that Wonder Woman Loves Kidneys?  Linda Carter was a spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho, along with Senator Orrin Hatch, and actor Gary Coleman (who passed away in Payson, Utah in 2010).

In honor of March is Kidney Month and World Kidney Day (not to mention your viewing pleasure) see Wonder Woman Linda Carter take on the bad guys (two criminals obviously representing High Blood Pressure and Diabetes) and then tossing them to the dirt: <div id=”fb-root”></div><script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1″; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));</script><div class=”fb-post” data-href=”https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153013266574695″ data-width=”466″><div class=”fb-xfbml-parse-ignore”><a href=”https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153013266574695″>Post</a> by <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/TonyHawk”>Tony Hawk</a>.</div></div>

LOVE YOUR KIDNEYS!