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ABOVE: Helping the community join the Donor Registry at First Cathedral in Bloomfield, CT were LifeChoice hospital development specialist Jean Reyes de Gonzalez (left); LifeChoice advisory board member Nancy Tyson-Alexander (center), and LifeChoice executive assistant Heidi Nicome (right).

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Important Dates

February 14: National Donor Day

Focuses on five points of life: organs, tissues, marrow, platelets, and blood. Many nonprofit health organizations sponsor blood and marrow drives and organ/tissue sign-ups across the nation. National Donor Day was started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and its United Auto Workers partners with the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and many nonprofit health organizations.

April: National Donate Life Month

Organ procurement organizations, transplant centers, national donation organizations and other organizations sponsor special awareness events and donor recognition ceremonies to promote donation awareness and registration. National Donate Life Month was established in 2003. Every day in April, people across the U.S. make a special effort to celebrate the tremendous generosity of those who have saved lives by becoming organ, tissue, marrow, and blood donors and to encourage more Americans to follow their fine example.

July: U.S. Transplant Games (even-numbered years)

At the games, transplant recipients compete in Olympic-style athletic events and celebrate the life-enabling gifts of organ and tissue donors. Medals are awarded to winning transplant recipient athletes. Living donors and donor family members receive medals of a different kind at separate recognition ceremonies. The Transplant Games illustrate the ability of transplantation to extend and enhance life.

July: Donate Life ECHO

The Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) and Donate Life America (DLA) joined forces in 2015 to develop Donate Life ECHO, which stands for Every Community Has Opportunity. The observance has two objectives: one is to focus on the power of sharing one's personal decision to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor with members of one's community; the second is to encourage registered donors to ask members of their personal networks and extended communities to talk about organ, eye and tissue donation and register as donors. Through the ECHO concept of reiteration and repetition-with people sharing the life-affirming message of donation within their community-more lives will be saved and healed. Multicultural communities play a critical role in America's transplant system. They save and heal lives as donors of organs, eyes and tissue, need lifesaving kidney transplants in disproportionately high numbers, and serve patients and families as healthcare professionals.

November: National Donor Sabbath

On Friday through Sunday, two weekends before Thanksgiving, faith communities across the Nation focus on the critical need for organs, tissues, marrow, and blood, and their life-enhancing capabilities. Faith leaders and donation professionals lead discussions of issues concerning donation, and faith communities sponsor donation awareness activities, donor registrations, and speakers during this three-day celebration of life.


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Volunteer

Volunteers, including donor family members, transplant recipients, professionals and others who are passionate about donation and transplantation dedicate hundreds of hours each year to helping the public understand the importance of organ and tissue donation. Through their stories and knowledge, they inspire people to save lives.

From encouraging towns and cities to raise the Donate Life flag and marching in local parades to setting up Donor Registry information at health fairs and making regular visits to the Motor Vehicles Department, volunteers make their mark on the community.

LifeChoice and New England Donor Services are incredibly grateful for all volunteers who support our mission.

If you are interested in volunteering with LifeChoice, please contact Jennifer Cray.



Driver's Ed and School Resources



For Driver's Education and High School Teachers

Introducing organ and tissue donation to your students:

It's important to educate students seeking a driver's license about signing up to become an organ and tissue donor. Here is some language that may help you make your students aware of why they should consider registering as a donor.


Sample script:

When you get your driver's license, you will be asked if you would like to join the organ and tissue donor registry. If you choose to be a donor, your name will be added to the donor registry and a red heart will be printed on your license. It is important to consider all of the facts about the donation process and what it means to be a registered donor so you can make an informed decision.

Currently, close to 120,000 people are waiting for a life-saving transplant. Sadly, 18 people die each day because an organ is not available for them. Each year, up to 1,000,000 people receive donated tissue that can restore their sight, prevent amputation, and heal burns. One person can save and improve the lives of more than 50 people through donation.

It is important to discuss your decision with your family. Studies show that 95% of families would support their loved one's decision to donate. Unfortunately, many families never have the opportunity to discuss donation before it is too late. Please consider the information you learn about today and share it with your family.

In a recent poll released by the Division of Transplantation, 95% of Americans surveyed strongly support the concept of organ and tissue donation. Unfortunately, there are many myths about donation that prevent people from learning the facts and registering their decision. Please consider the stories and information you hear today and take the opportunity to make an informed decision about donation.


Additional resources:

LifeChoice offers complimentary resources for Driver's Education programs in Connecticut and Massachusetts to teach students about the importance and benefits of organ and tissue donation. The "Your Decision to Donate" DVD provides students with the knowledge and resources to make an informed decision about donation and encourages them to share this information with family, friends, fellow students, and the larger community.

"Your Decision to Donate" DVD - FREE

Q&A about the Donor Registry/Q&A about Organ and Tissue Donation - FREE

Emergency Contact Cards - FREE


To order additional materials or request a speaker, please contact:

Caitlyn Bernabucci
Public Education/Community Relations Specialist
LifeChoice Donor Services
860-286-3120


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