HARRISBURG, Pa. — I love you with all of my…kidney?
Each year, Valentine’s Day coincides with National Donor Day, and Donate Life Pennsylvania is inviting everyone to get ready for February 14 with custom digital greeting cards that celebrate both occasions.
“I would let my heart be yours,” reads one of the cards. Another says, “I love you with all of my kidney.”
Beginning today, anyone can share the organ-shaped cards on social media, by email or by print-at-home cards. All three designs are available here: donatelifepa.org/realvalentines.
“The best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to give your heart to the person you love. I hope everyone has the chance to send a card, then share the love by registering as an organ and tissue donor. Roses and chocolates never last long, but the 30 seconds it takes to register as a donor can have a lifelong impact,” said Susan Stuart, president and CEO of the Center for Organ Recovery & Education in Pittsburgh.
Designated specifically to coincide with Valentine’s Day, National Donor Day was established in 1998 by several private companies, nonprofit health organizations and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a day to reflect on the need for organ, eye and tissue donations.
“Valentine’s Day is a great time to talk about love, but organ and tissue donors show what compassion looks like in action. February 14 is the perfect day to celebrate people who show how much they care for others by choosing to register. It only takes 30 seconds to register at donatelifepa.org/registration.” said Howard M. Nathan, president and CEO of Gift of Life Donor Program in Philadelphia.
More than 8,000 people in Pennsylvania are currently on the waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant. Each organ donor can save up to eight lives, and each tissue donor can improve up to 75 lives.
Anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can sign up to be a donor; there is no cost to donors and their families; and all major religions in the United States support organ and tissue donation and consider donation a final act of love and generosity toward others.
Donate Life Pennsylvania is a collaborative initiative between the Pennsylvania Departments of Health, Education and Transportation and Pennsylvania’s two organ procurement organizations, the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) and Gift of Life Donor Program (GOL). It is funded by residents of Pennsylvania through voluntary contributions included with driver’s license renewals, vehicle registrations and state income tax filings or through direct check donations to the Governor Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund in care of the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Trust Fund contributions are used to educate Pennsylvanians, build awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation, and increase the number of people who sign up to become organ donors on their driver’s license or state identification cards. More information is available at donatelifepa.org or Facebook.com/DonateLifePennsylvania.
About the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE)
The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 58 federally designated not-for- profit organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the United States. CORE works closely with donor families and designated health care professionals to coordinate the surgical recovery of organs, tissues and corneas for transplantation. CORE also facilitates the computerized matching of donated organs and placement of corneas. With headquarters in Pittsburgh and an office in Charleston, West Virginia, CORE oversees a region that encompasses 155 hospitals and almost six million people throughout western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, New York.
About Gift of Life Donor Program (GOL)
Since 1974, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 42,000 organ transplants and an estimated 600,000 tissue transplants. Gift of Life’s service area includes nearly 11 million people throughout the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, and in 2016, the organization coordinated over 49 organ donors per million population, ranking it among the highest in the world. For more information about organ and tissue donation or to register today, visit Donors1.org. It only takes 30 seconds to register.