Don’t let another chair go empty! Be an organ donor today!!
April is Donate Life month, and to celebrate, Lifeline of Ohio had their annual Day of Hope, Remembrance and Celebration today. Normally there’s a candlelight vigil in April, but this year they went all out, and we are having a 24 hour event to celebrate organ donation, organ donors, recipients, and all involved in the process of donating life!
I just got back from my volunteer shift, where I worked as a greeter at the volunteer sign-in table. I got to see so many great friends, especially the Sanchez family, whose son, Ian, is a heart recipient. My mom and his mom are good friends so it was great to see Ian, his parents, and his three sisters! Both his parents spoke about the way organ donation has touched their lives. It was great to see him running around and being a totally normal kid!
There was food to everyone inside a large (heated!) tent. We also had activities—people could write notes to their organ donors/family members who donated their organs, buy cookbooks written by recipients and donor families, write thank you notes to the BMV offices, who sign up so many organ donors when people renew their licenses, and light candles. They could also tell their own donation story at the “open mic”, which occured after each hour’s featured speaker had given his/her remarks in the green chair! (above photo)
Something that was also special was the photography session for all recipients and their families. A local photographer was there for eight hours today, and did photo sessions for free! Each recipient and their family was eligible. I had my shoot before my volunteer shift. It was a lot of fun! I’ll post the pictures once I get them.
There is always a lot of emotion at LOOP events—thanks for donors, tears, smiles, hugs, and a lot of joy. The organ donation family is widespread, and there’s always so much love at these events. I was very glad I was able to participate!
If you’re not an organ donor, go here to read about the process, and to sign up! There are more than 110,000 Americans on the list, and 18 die everyday as their waitt for organs. The list has exploded in the past 5 1/2 years—when I first started volunteering with LOOP, it was 96,000. Think about it, and then tell your family if you decide to be a donor! You can save 8 people, and improve the lives of 50 others, through organ and tissue donation.
And at an event like this, when you see so many people who are alive because of others…you know how vital organ donation is.