Photo: Flickr (Ahuren) - with modifications
While there are many individuals who are aware of - and taking action for - the increasing need for organ donors, there are still many people who have not. Whether it's a lack of awareness for the growing need, forgetfulness to follow through and register, or a number of other obstacles, it presents an opportunity for action. Are you registered as an organ donor?
This November 14 - 16, learn about National Donor Sabbath and consider how YOU can take part - and encourage others to do the same - in the movement to Outlive Yourself through the power of organ donation.
What is National Donor Sabbath?
Because the need for life saving organ transplants is so great, clergy from across the entire United States have been instrumental in initiating National Donor Sabbath - the annual event organized in an effort to educate parishioners from all walks of faith about the facts that suport organ donation, and speak truths into the myths that keep people from taking action.
When is National Donor Sabbath?
Annually, National Donor Sabbath takes place two weekends prior to Thanksgiving. This year November 14-16th has been designated the National Donor Sabbath weekend.
Why participate in National Donor Sabbath?
Today, most faith communities across the globe are supportive of organ donation and the individual choices of its members to give the gift of life. Many view donation as a selfless act of compassion and generosity.
Since people often turn to their faith leaders for help when dealing with life and death issues, National Donor Sabbath provides an opportunity for faith communities to share their views and engage members in the conversation.
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches and families are gathered together, it is the perfect opportunity to have the simple discussion about the very sensitive act of organ and tissue donation. In most instances, telling your family members of your decision gives them peace of mind about what you want.
How can I participate in National Donor Sabbath?
- Connect with faith leaders to devote a few minutes of service to share how impactful the gift of life is.
- Invite parishoners who have been personally touched by organ donation to share why registering to become an organ donor is so important
- Use the Outlive Yourself pledge at TaylorsGift.org/outliveyourself to hand out at service to encourage attendees to share with family and friends.
- Print handouts, bulletin inserts, posters, and more from DonateLife.net
- Check out the Resource Guide for Faith Leaders: Sharing the Gift of Life
- Connect with your local OPO and arrange for a recipient or donor to share their story with your congregation: Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs)
During National Donor Sabbath weekend, faith leaders, donor families, transplant recipients, and donation and transplantation professionals will be participating in many church services and programs in this concerted attempt to increase awareness of the need for the life saving and enhancing gifts or organ and tissue donation.
The Growing Need for Organ Donors
- More than 100 million people, around the world, are registered organ donors, but the need for organs keeps growing.
- Currently, more than 124,000 Americans are on the organ transplant waiting list - according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN)
- Not everyone will receive an organ in time - an average of 18 people on the list will die each day, waiting for organs.
Did You Know?
- The need for a transplant doesn’t impact just the recipient but the whole family as well - spouses, children, family, friends, and whole communities are often affected by the needs of a person in need.
- One deceased donor can actually save up to eight lives with the gifts of organs and 50-100 additional lives can be saved or enhanced with the donations of tissue, bone and blood products. Someone is able to see his or her mother or hear her voice maybe for the first time in their lives.
- Skin and tissue grafts can save the lives of burn victims, and whole face transplants are giving individuals their lives back just to name a few examples.
- Donation doesn’t have to wait until a tragedy happens. More and more “living donors” are “paying it forward” - both to people they know and even to complete strangers - making a huge impact in the world of organ transplants. And then there are the “chain reaction donations” that use technology and data to help decrease the waiting list.
How Will You Outlive Yourself?Is there any greater feeling than knowing you can save someone else's life? As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, we invite you to consider taking a moment to reflect on a life-giving, life-saving act of selflessness - organ donation. Register to become an organ donor, talk with your family about your decision, make a pledge to Outlive Yourself, and help celebrate National Donor Sabbath. It all starts with you. And yes, YOU can make a difference.
Information from OrganDonor.gov