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Annual Events

National Donate Life Month
April is National Donate Life Month, a time when communities across the country bring attention to the critical shortage of organs and tissue for patients through various activities and events, and encourage individuals to become organ/tissue donors. Ceremonies are held to honor those who have donated and saved lives, to mourn those who have died while waiting for a transplant, to provide support for patients whose lives depend on finding a donor, and to celebrate the lives saved and improved due to donation. Virtual Campaign

National Minority Donor Awareness Week
National Minority Donor Awareness Month is celebrated in August to educate people about the need for more minority donors and the facts surrounding organ, tissue and blood donation. The observance also promotes healthy living and disease prevention.

Of the more than 100,000 people on the transplant waiting list nationally, 65% are minorities—but minorities make up just 35% of donors annually. African Americans make up the largest group of minorities on the waiting list at 37%, followed by Hispanics, Asian Americans and American Indian/Alaska Natives. Most people on the waiting list are waiting for a kidney. While anyone of a racial/ethnic background can be a match for another person of a different race, sometimes better matches for some diseases can be found within one’s own ethnicity. Virtual Campaign

National Donor Sabbath
Every year two weekends before Thanksgiving in November, the Secretary of State's office joins clergy and health-care professionals across the country in celebrating National Donor Sabbath, an annual donor awareness observance in faith communities. This is an opportunity to dispel myths surrounding donation, and to inform congregants that most religions support organ/tissue donation as an act of charity. National Donor Sabbath Virtual Campaign

Clergy encouraged to speak to worshipers about donation the second weekend in November is celebrated as National Donor Sabbath. Clergy are encouraged to talk to their worshipers about the benefits of donation and invite donor families and recipients to share their transplant stories with fellow members. "During National Donor Sabbath, we share positive stories about transplantation with the religious community, especially letting individuals know that all major eastern and western religions embrace donation," said Secretary of State Jesse White. "That is one of the many misconceptions existing about donation, that religious views prevent donation. It's simply not true." If you have a place of worship, please consider spreading this important message in November. For more information, please contact the Secretary of State's office at 800-210-2106. Virtual Campaign

Request Materials or Speakers

The Secretary of State's Organ/Tissue Donor program has made it a priority to educate the public about organ/tissue donation. While our state continues to be the leader in registering potential donors, there are still 5,000 people on the waiting list, and 300 people die each year because of organ shortages.

The Secretary of State's Organ/Tissue Donor Program has developed a comprehensive list of materials to assist you in your efforts to help raise awareness about organ/tissue donation. All materials are free and may be duplicated as needed. These requests are for Illinois residents only. However if you have a legitimate out-of-state request, please contact the organ/tissue donor program.

To request materials, please call 800-210-2106 or write to:
Organ/Tissue Donor Program Michael J. Howlett Bldg. 501 S. Second St., Rm. 451 Springfield, IL 62756-9000.

Available Materials

Request a Speaker
Illinois residents age 16 and over are invited to join the Illinois Organ/Tissue Donor Registry by registering online, calling 800-210-2106, completing and mailing a registration card, or visiting a Secretary of State facility. If you registered before January 2006, you must re-register to ensure that your wishes to be a donor are honored. The Secretary of State's office provides information about organ donation, the critical shortage of donated organs and how to become a potential organ donor. To schedule a donor program staff to speak to your group, event, class etc., please call our hotline at 800-210-2106 or contact us directly at 217-782-6258.