Ways to Get Involved with Organ Donation
When it comes to organ donation, there are many ways to show your support that go beyond registering as a donor. The Division of Transplantation (DoT) provides plenty of materials to help you get involved, which can be used in conjunction with the initiatives outlined below.
If you’re on the fence about becoming a donor, or you are already a donor and want to do more to help, keep reading to learn about all the avenues you can take.
Organ Donation Awareness at Work & School
Give your 9 to 5 or class schedule a little more purpose by bringing organ donation into the mix. You can educate the people you work and learn with by joining the U.S. Division of Transplantation’s Workplace Partnership for Life Campaign (WPFL) in the following ways.
Through your job, you can sign up to become a workplace partner, which entails:
- Organizing organ donation awareness events within your workplace.
- Keeping people up-to-date on organ donation news.
- Encouraging your coworkers to register as organ donors.
- Sharing videos and information about the benefits of organ donation.
The DoT also has a hospital organ donation campaign, which is specifically for hospitals wanting to spread the word about organ donation to their staff, visitors, and patients. By going straight to the source, hospitals have had a lot of success in recruiting new donors. In 2017, over 1000 hospitals participated in the hospital organ donation campaign, and added 26,975 donors in just 7 months.
Still not sure about how effective these initiatives are? Consider this: millions have registered to be organ donors through the workplace partner campaign alone. With each donor’s potential to save 8 lives, that’s around enough organs to help the entire state of Virginia!
By joining one of the WPFL’s occupational initiatives, you’ll walk away from your job with more than just a paycheck in your pocket. Even after clocking out, you’re working towards making a huge difference in someone’s life.
The Campus Challenge
The Workplace Partnership for Life Campaign also extends to colleges and universities. If you’re interested in getting your school involved, start by sharing information about the WPFL’s Campus Challenge with your college or university’s:
- Student Life team (e.g. RAs, counselors, student body officers).
- Health and Athletics departments.
- Student groups/clubs.
- Campus administration.
Once your school is on board, you can begin thinking about:
- Organizing events to teach students about organ donation and give them the opportunity to register as donors.
- Creating social media campaigns.
- Pitching articles and press releases to your school newspaper.
- Coordinating with other campuses on joint efforts to raise awareness and recruit donors.
Be sure to reach out to your state’s organ donation network(s) for hands-on help in getting your school involved.
Making Organ Donation Social
Showing your support for organ donation isn’t limited to work and school. In fact, you can get involved from the comfort of your own home! Or, if you’re feeling social, by participating in an event or local organization where you may just be the recipient of a few new friends.
Social Media & Organ Donation
One of the easiest and most effective ways to connect with your family and friends is through social media.
You can link up with the Division of Transplantation through:
By connecting through these social media channels, you can easily share news and facts around organ donation. Plus, when you share with a friend who then shares with a friend, the network of people who know about organ donation continues to grow. The more people who know about the benefits of donation, the more potential organ donors (and lives saved) we have!
Organ Donation Events
Regardless of where you reside, there are several national organ donation events you can participate in (and get your friends and family to participate in) to spread awareness:
- Month of January: National Volunteer Blood Donor Month.
- Celebrating blood donors and the difference they make while encouraging others to donate as well.
- January 1: The Donate Life Float at the Rose Parade.
- Whether you’re in Pasadena or watching the parade from home, the float is a great jumping-off point for telling your friends and family about organ donation.
- February 14: National Donor Day.
- Health organizations put on local organ/tissue donor events where you can register to be a donor and learn about the impact your donation makes.
- Month of April: National Donate Life Month.
- Organizations involved with every step of organ donation put on events and push to spread awareness about the benefits of becoming a donor.
- April (date varies): National Blue and Green Day.
- Put on by Donate Life America, people are encouraged to wear blue and green and attend organ donation events put on by local businesses and organizations to show their support for organ donation.
- Month of July (during even-numbered years): U.S. Transplant Games.
- Recipients of donated organs compete in an Olympic-style tournament, where both the athletes and the donors’ families receive medals for their feats.
- Month of July (2nd and 3rd weeks): Every Community Has Opportunity (ECHO).
- Donate Life’s initiative to help multicultural communities learn about organ donation and register more donors through events, contests, and public outreach.
- August 1-7: National Minority Donor Awareness Week.
- A week devoted to bringing awareness and support for minorities’ needs for transplants, and teaching minority groups about lifestyle choices to lower their chances of needing organ donations.
- Month of November: National Marrow Awareness Month.
- A month in which people are encouraged to donate marrow, blood stem cells, and umbilical cord blood for those in need of these lesser-known types of transplants.
- Month of November: National Donor Sabbath.
- A few weekends before Thanksgiving, several religious communities focus on the importance of donating organs and encourage members of their faith to join the cause.
Remember, your support doesn’t have to be limited to these national days and events. By volunteering with one of your local organ donation organizations, you can help year-round and meet people who are just as dedicated to changing lives as you are.