NEW PROVIDENCE – While New Jersey Organ and Tissue Sharing Network (NJ Sharing Network) works to educate New Jersey residents year round about the critical need for more organ and tissue donors, the month of April, associated with renewal and spring, is also National Donate Life Month. The awareness month honors the generosity of organ and tissue donors and their families and commemorates all transplant recipients. As part of this year’s awareness effort, NJ Sharing Network, in collaboration with Donate Life New Jersey and Donate Life America, will host the inaugural National Donate Life Blue and Green Day on April 20.
National Donate Life Blue and Green Day aims to radically increase the number of people registered on state donor registries by drawing attention to this life-saving decision on both a local and national stage. New Jersey residents are encouraged to wear blue and green on April 20 and post their pictures on Donate Life New Jersey and Donate Life America Facebook pages for a chance to win prizes and to further build momentum for the awareness campaign.
“Donate Life Blue and Green Day is a great way for all New Jersey residents to help raise awareness of organ and tissue donation and increase the number of registered donors in our state,” says Joe Roth, president and chief executive officer of NJ Sharing Network. “More than 110,000 people nationwide, including 5,000 New Jersey residents, are awaiting life-saving transplants. Community mobilization efforts like this campaign will ultimately save lives.”
Legislators, newscasters, corporations, hospital employees, and community residents in New Jersey and across the nation will be unified in their support of blue and green, with events at designated businesses, motor vehicle agencies, municipalities, and public meeting spaces. Participants are also encouraged to partner with local restaurants, malls, media, and community organizations to help spread awareness about organ and tissue donation and transplantation.
“I’m alive today because someone decided to be an organ donor,” says Jim Rhatican, of Berkeley Heights, a liver transplant recipient. “It’s a gift of love. More lives could be saved if more people registered as an organ donor.”
New Jersey ranks 41 out of 50 states, with only 31 percent registered organ and tissue donors. National Donate Life Blue and Green Day will serve as an important call-to-action to help New Jersey reach the national goal of 50 percent registered donors. Statewide participation will highlight the critical shortage of organs and the 5,000 New Jersey residents awaiting a life-saving transplant.
National Donate Life Blue and Green Day is one of several national opportunities in the 20 Million in 2012 campaign to partner in support of organ and tissue donation on a local level. Additional events include a Donate Life Flash Mob and Donate Life’s Linking Hands for Life campaign. To find out more information about how to get involved with any event, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org.
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