News & Events

NYODN Plans Most Active Donate Life Month Ever

04-03-2014



Celebrated each April, Donate Life Month features an entire month of activities that highlight the impact of organ, eye, and tissue donation here in New York, educate New Yorkers, and encourage enrollment on the New York State Donate Life Registry.  The impact of organ, eye and tissue donation in New York alone is profound with 21,000 lives saved and more than 6,000 improved over the last 35 years.  However, despite the success, the lack of registered organ donors is contributing to a humbling statistic: every 15 hours a New Yorker dies waiting for an organ.  

“The need for organ donors has never been greater, especially here in New York where more than 10,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ,” said Helen Irving, President and CEO of the New York Organ Network.  “Becoming an organ donor isn’t the first thing people want to think about, but it is an act of true selflessness.  That act of selflessness could someday save the lives of eight others.  And, as many families of organ donors have expressed, a loved one donating organs can provide a sense peace, comfort, and even pride.  During Donate Life Month we shine a bright spotlight on the fantastic power of organ donation with the ultimate goal of making it a societal norm.” 

Only 22% of eligible New Yorkers (age 18 and older) are enrolled on the New York State Donate Life Registry (compared to the national state average of 47%).  To help raise awareness, NYODN will host events and spearhead initiatives, including:

  • Zaro’s Bakery Partnership – For a second consecutive year, Zaro’s Bakery, the New York City-based, family-owned business is partnering with NYODN to show their support for organ donation. For the entire month of April, Zaro’s will provide in-store support with signage, staff t-shirts, messaging on coffee cup sleeves, personalized donation story card distribution and activity on social media.  Zaro’s unprecedented support is being driven by owner Stuart Zaro, who has a personal connection to the cause as he witnessed the renewal of life for a close friend of his whom recently received a double lung transplant.
  • Library Campaign – During April, more than 200 libraries throughout the five boroughs, Westchester, and Nassau and Suffolk counties will help drive organ donation awareness through the “Change the Ending of Someone’s Story” campaign that will be delivered via flyers, posters, tent cards and organ donor enrollment forms.   Libraries will also give away similarly-themed bookmarks.
  • Other Activities – To complement these efforts, over 80 donor registry enrollment drives will be held throughout New York City, Long Island and five counties in the lower Hudson area.  Transplant centers are also sponsoring special events and flag raisings to honor donors and their families, celebrate recipients and educate the public.  Additionally, the Greater New York Hospital Association is encouraging hospital leadership to promote donation and enrollment on the state registry.  Further, many donation-specific community groups are sponsoring events to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation, including the Remember and Rejoice ecumenical service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on April 26th.

Organ donation remains one of the top healthcare priorities on a local and national level.  One of the highlights of the approved New York State budget is funding to launch a public-private partnership with the goal of increasing enrollment in the New York State Donate Life Registry, and, ultimately, saving more lives through organ donation.

To sign up as an organ donor, or to learn more about NYODN April Donate Life Month activities, please visit: www.donatelifeny.org

 

 

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