Organ, eye and tissue donation is the ultimate act of kindness, and Colorado and Wyoming are among the most generous states in the country when it comes to signing up to become a donor. However the need for transplantable organs is an ongoing public health crisis and residents need to be reminded of the importance of saying Yes, even among these unprecedented times. That’s why we’re kicking off National Donate Life Month with an invitation to communities across our region to #ShowYourHeart with an act of kindness from home.
Many in our community rely on that kindness to survive life threatening illnesses. Without the kindness of 191 organ donors last year, 596 people right here in our community would not have gotten a second chance at life.
We could all use a little kindness, especially during challenging times like these. We encourage members of our community to lift each other up by celebrating with us this April! Here is how to take part, including several ways to show your support from home:
Share Your Acts of Kindness and Follow Along with #ShowYourHeart on Facebook
- Perform a Genuine Act of Kindness: Throughout the month of April, support your friends, family, coworkers and neighbors with acts of kindness.
- Share your act of kindness on Facebook: using #ShowYourHeart and tag @DonateLifeColorado OR @DonateLifeWyoming to get a digital code for a free $5 Starbucks gift card to save for yourself or gift to someone else.
- Pass it On: Discuss organ, eye and tissue donation with family and friends and encourage them to share the love!
Not on Facebook, no problem! Connect with a family member or friend who is and ask them to share your act of kindness on your behalf.
Need some inspiration? Here are some ways you can support your community virtually or from a safe distance:
- Visit DonateLifeColorado.org or DonateLifeWyoming.org to sign up to become an organ, eye and tissue donor and discuss your decision and why you support donation with your family
- Transplant recipients can write a letter of hope and healing to your local transplant program for waiting recipients
- Donate canned goods to a local food bank
- Email or write to an old teacher or mentor who inspired you.
- Buy/deliver groceries for an elderly neighbor
- Send a “thinking of you” note to a friend you haven’t seen in a while
- Support local businesses by shopping online
- Check-in on someone that lives alone (give them a call, offer to drop off groceries etc.)
- Support someone in the healthcare industry by buying them a meal or writing them a thank you note
- Support local restaurants by ordering takeout or delivery
- Post a positive message on a nursing home Facebook page
Advocates for Life Give Back in Honor of Loved Ones and Donors
Many of our Advocates for Life volunteers are donor families or recipients that honor their loved ones and donors year-round, but they are using National Donate Life Month as a special opportunity to honor donors while paying it forward. Here are some ways our volunteers are giving back to help raise awareness around organ, eye and tissue donation:
- Terri Reed, Colorado Springs, CO: In memory of her son Travis and his kind, generous spirit, Terri makes and handout care packages to the homeless community. Each year, she adds another bag in remembrance of his birthday. This year, she and her family are also painting 2,000 rocks to scatter throughout Colorado Springs—each representing someone in our community waiting for a lifesaving donation.
- Rob Fettner, Aurora, CO: A two-time heart transplant recipient, Rob is one of the original members of the Bearded Villains, a local charity focused on giving back while celebrating brotherhood. He helps run the Rocky Mountain chapter, and the group recently hosted a benefit that raised nearly $1,000 to support organ and tissue donation.
- Pat Thomas, Cody, WY: To honor her daughter Kathleen, Pat Thomas has hung a banner in downtown Cody in April in honor of National Donate Life Month and continues to perform her own acts of kindness throughout the year to pay it forward. This year, she will continue her tradition of sharing her daughter’s story to raise awareness around the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation. By becoming an donor, Pat’s daughter Kathleen was able to restore sight to two different recipients and save and heal the lives of many others.
National Blue & Green Day
Let’s see your Donate Life colors! On National Blue and Green Day, April 17th, show your support for organ, eye and tissue donation by wearing blue and green, or better yet, changing your porch lights to blue and green!
More details on how to participate, including #ShowYourHeart terms and conditions, can be found at DonorAlliance.org/NDLM