If you have volunteer service hours to earn, or have a personal story or interest in organ/tissue donation, Organ/Tissue Donor Program is here to help! Regional coordinators and Life Goes On Committees can help you set up an event to promote awareness in your community and register donors. Contact us to learn more and brainstorm about ways you can make a difference in your community.
Life Goes On Committees have been established in communities across Illinois to suggest, implement, and promote events to increase awareness of the importance of organ/tissue donation and increase the number of Illinois citizens registering as donors.
There are currently Life Goes On Committees in Bloomington-Normal, Carbondale, Charleston, Chicago, Macon County, Mattoon, Peoria, Rockford, Springfield, and Vermillion County. These committees are always looking for new members. Please contact us to find out about joining an existing committee, or to start a new committee in your area.
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts can earn a Donate Life scout patch for promoting organ/tissue donation. Scouts can host a donor registration drive, or create educational presentations about donation and its importance in the community. Scouts can help save lives while learning about an important medical advance and its impact on others around them. For more information, please contact the Organ/Tissue Donor Program.
Each year, the Illinois Secretary of State's Organ/Tissue Donor Program hosts the "Wave Away the Waiting" event held on the plaza of the James R. Thompson Center to celebrate National Minority Awareness during the first week of August. Dozens of volunteers and health care professional participate in the event. A registration table is available at "Wave Away the Waiting" for people to join the Secretary of State's Organ/Tissue Donor Registry. In addition, the Jesse White Tumbling Team performs as well as other musical artists.
Nationally, minorities comprise 59 percent of the waiting list for organ transplants; however, in 2018 they accounted for only 33 percent of those who donated organs, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.
According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network:
In Illinois, 6.6 million people are registered as organ/tissue donors, yet there are approximately 4,700 people waiting for transplants. Minorities are disproportionately affected by illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes, which can lead to the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant, increasing the number of patients on the organ transplant waiting list, according to United Network for Organ Sharing. News Release Wave Away the Waiting Flier