RIDE ON – A tow truck driver from DLJ’s Haulaway Ltd. watches as Rene Neumann signs her car over to him. Neumann is the first person to donate a vehicle to the Kidney Foundation here in Red Deer.

Old cars bring new life for kidney patients

Red Deerians now have a way to give their old cars new life thanks to the launching of the Kidney Car Program in Red Deer.

Rene Neumann was the first person in Red Deer to donate a vehicle as she signed over her 1995 Ford Escort Wagon which had 260,000 km to the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

According to Neumann, her car was in need of repair which would cost $5,000-$6,000 and to her it was not realistic to do the repairs. Her son-in-law mentioned to her that he had read about the Kidney Foundation of Canada and that they accepted vehicle donations.

Neumann looked into it and was disappointed to find out that there was not a program set up in Red Deer. She contacted the Edmonton branch and was pleased to hear that two days prior to the phone call it had been decided that Red Deer would be getting The Kidney Car Program and she would be able to be the first donor.

“When all lights are green you are on the right path,” said Neumann.

The Kidney Car Program is a fundraising initiative of the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is committed to patient services, public education, organ donation awareness and communications. The Foundation also raises funds to support innovative kidney research and provides support to persons living with kidney disease.

There are more than 30,000 Canadians currently being treated for kidney failure and more than 2.6 million Canadians suffer from kidney disease or kidney-related conditions.

It can strike anyone at any time regardless of age, gender or background.

The Kidney Foundation believes that donating a car is better than selling it because the generosity benefits kidney patients, and it is an easy, hassle-free way of getting rid of the vehicle. They take care of coordinating the pick-up of the vehicle and its disposal.

Flavia Robles, director of development for the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Northern Alberta and the Territories Branch had another reason for people to donate. “To quote Gandhi, ‘You can be the change you want to see in the world’.”

Donated cars are towed free of charge and are recycled or resold. The Foundation will determine if a vehicle is re-sellable by taking into consideration the year, kilometres, body condition, engine condition and the make and model.

Donors receive a tax receipt for the vehicle within the year of their donation.

Donors also have the option to have their vehicle appraised for a tax receipt value.

Once the Foundation has received the donation information, the vehicle will be towed away within 48 hours. Vehicles that are missing tires, are full of garbage, have a lien, unpaid parking tickets or outstanding debts or that cannot be accessed by a tow truck, will not be accepted.

In order to get involved and support the Foundation individuals, companies and organizations are invited to donate their old or unwanted vehicles to the Foundation and help those affected by kidney disease. In some areas the Foundation will accept RVs, boats, motorcycles and heavy equipment as well as passenger vehicles.

Anyone wanting to donate their car can complete an online form at www.kidney.ca or call the Kidney Car Hotline at 403-340-0871.

treid@reddeerexpress.com