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Donating to kidney disease charities is a great way to show your support for people who have chronic kidney disease (CKD), are on dialysis or have had a kidney transplant. These charities exist to raise funds for education, research, prevention and screenings.
It’s a good idea to do some research before picking a charity to support, using such websites as www.give.com, www.charitynavigator.org, www.charity-charities.org, and the site of your local Better Business Bureau. To help you get started, here are some organizations we’re familiar with here at DaVita®, several of which we support as a corporation and as individuals:
Here are five ways to support kidney charities:
You could offer to help out at the office of a kidney charity, doing general office tasks or helping to plan fundraising events. Or, if you want to be in direct contact with people affected by chronic kidney disease, consider spending time with dialysis patients. At DaVita dialysis centers, for example, volunteers called Village Greeters visit dialysis patients and their families, create theme days and birthday cards, make sure the waiting area is tidy, and do other tasks to help the center’s teammates create a calm, welcoming atmosphere for patients.
Bridge of Life — DaVita Medical Missions are a way to help dialysis patients abroad. You can donate money or become an ambassador to the place that needs a dialysis center in the community. Bridge of Life has already helped build centers in Cameroon, the Philippines, Ecuador and India.
2. Giving money
Most organizations do not have a minimum financial donation; even the smallest amount is appreciated. Many kidney organizations accept donations through their websites, but you can always phone if you have questions on how to give.
Two advocacy organizations that will gladly accept financial contributions of any amount are Dialysis Patient Citizens and Kidney Care Partners. Dialysis Patient Citizens encourages patients and health care providers to partner for better dialysis outcomes, and advocates with the federal government for policies that support dialysis patients and their families. Kidney Care Partners, which also advocates for people on dialysis, includes patients, their care partners and health care professionals.
The American Kidney Fund has an innovative fundraising tool: selling a timeshare, with the proceeds going to help kidney patients pay medical expenses that aren’t covered by insurance. The Fund’s website also has a list of other gifts you can donate.
If you make United Way donations at work, you can earmark a portion of your donation to a kidney charity.
Finally, consider leaving assets to a kidney charity in your will.
3. Participating in a fundraising event
You can help kidney patients and your own health at the same time by participating in a fundraising walk, run or other activity. Tour DaVita, for example, supports the DaVita Village Trust, which provides education and no-cost kidney disease screenings throughout the United States and helps provide medical missions for places in need.
The National Kidney Foundation also holds fundraising events that use exercise as a means to increase knowledge about kidney disease, including the Kidney Walk and the Golf Classic. Donations go to kidney disease screenings, public and professional education initiatives, research and patient advocacy.
4. Donating a used vehicle
The National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Cars program accepts used cars, trucks and boats as donations. So does America’s Car Donation Center. The company’s website lists hundreds of charities you can choose to support, including the American Kidney Fund and the Kidney and Urology Foundation of America. Most donate-your-car programs will tow the vehicle away for free, and the donation is tax deductible when you donate to an IRS-approved nonprofit.
5. The ultimate donation: a kidney
Time, money, real estate, SUVs — they’re all great gifts. But how about the ultimate gift: life. That’s what kidney donors give. Learn about donating a kidney from The National Kidney Foundation’s Living Donor Council. More than 75,000 Americans are currently waiting for kidney transplants, and although the number of donors is increasing, the supply still is not keeping pace with the need.
Learn more about being a kidney donor from the DaVita.com article, What’s it like to donate a kidney?
Kidney disease is a major health problem and you can help those with the disease by donating money, vehicles, time and even your own kidney. Kidney disease charities advocate for patients, fund research, and work for disease prevention through education and screenings. Once you find a favorite kidney charity, talk to your friends, neighbors and coworkers about how they can get involved, too. Get the word out today by sharing what you've found on the DaVita.com Forums.
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