Last Spring Donate Life Illinois started a campaign to raise awareness for the organ/tissue donor registry. After visiting their website I learned that they were preparing for an Autumn face to face campaign in Drivers License Facilities here in Illinois and registered to be an organ donor and a volunteer.
After a few months, they sent me information about my training session in August. During training I learned about the need for organs and tissue, the donation process, and common myths associated with organ donation.
At that time I was asked to sign up for two shifts and chose the Central Chicago Facility located in the lower level of the James R Thompson Center. At the end of training they gave me a blue collared t-shirt with the Donate Life Illinois logo. The Secretary of State has asked their staff to wear the same shirts on the days we are in their facility.
Illinois has a long history of supporting organ donor registration and since 2006 when you tell the Secretary of State clerk you want to be a donor they send your information to the registry and print it on your license or ID. There are 100 million donors on national donor registries with 6 million in Illinois. 112,000 men, women and children are awaiting a life saving transplant with 5,000 in Illinois.
Today, I took my blue shirt and headed downtown for my first shift. The Secretary of State office has framed posters on organ donation encouraging drivers to “do the right thing”, and a card table for me to set up. I spent the morning letting visitors know we were handing out information on the organ/tissue donor registry and I was available to answer questions about organ/tissue donation.
Normally, when I help an organization that requires more than one shift I wait after all the shifts before writing my post. In this case, because the campaign is over at the end of the month, I am hoping it will raise awareness. If you have a license or ID renewal coming up, and the clerk asks you if you want to be an organ donor, please say yes because an average of 18 people die each day while waiting.
For those of you who live outside Illinois, you can also visit Donate Life America and find a registry in your state. You can be a hero with one simple act of compassion, and give hope to thousands of people with organ failure.
I Am. Are You?
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