In New York, we pride ourselves on being progressive and generous.
But in New York City, participation in organ donation is at crisis levels—in fact, in 2018 it had the lowest rate of organ donor registration in the country. Thousands of city residents are on wait lists, and hundreds die every year from diseases that can be cured via donated organs. But as of now, only 35% of New Yorkers are registered organ donors.
Why does New York lag behind? No one is quite sure. But there are some factors we know about.
New York is an ethnically diverse state, and there are demographic and cultural influences at work that impact New York’s donor registrations. Statistics show that participation varies significantly between ethnic groups, with some registering at much higher levels than others. But other states with ethnically diverse populations have higher participation rates, suggesting that the solution may be to increase general awareness and peer group influence.
In addition, New York has many large faith-based communities, and donor advocacy groups must constantly work to combat the mistaken impression that religious doctrine prohibits the practice. This misconception persists despite the fact that most major religious groups view donation as a generous and compassionate act, and have endorsed organ donation for lifesaving purposes.
Meet the New Yorkers fighting to save lives.
LiveOnNY is the nonprofit organ procurement organization (OPO) that serves the greater New York City area. In past years they have struggled to increase the area’s participation rates. Now they are seeing some improvements and hope to build on their success. But they need your help.
Every year, two weeks before Thanksgiving, LiveOnNY partners with the national umbrella organization Donate Life America (DLA) and America’s houses of worship to promote organ donor registration. This year, the National Donor Sabbath runs from Friday November 15 through Sunday, November 17, providing an opportunity for leaders of the three major religious faiths to address their congregations. Together, congregations are able to learn about the organ donor shortage, celebrate life, and pray for those affected by donation and transplantation.
There are additional events for individuals, groups, and businesses to participate in scheduled throughout the year.
How can you get involved?
If you want to help your group talk about organ donation, a free resource guide for leaders is available for download here. This booklet is available in both English and Spanish.
Visit the websites in this article for more information about the donation crisis and upcoming event dates.
And of course, you can help in the most important way—by signing up as a donor. Register online here. Don’t put it off—register today!
Thank you for helping to save lives today!
Contact us today for more information.