By: Richard L. Smith
August is a significant month for celebrating National Minority Donor Awareness Month, a time to honor the selflessness of multicultural organ and tissue donors and their families.
This occasion also emphasizes the urgent need for individuals from diverse communities to register as organ and tissue donors. In New Jersey, NJ Sharing Network, the federally designated non-profit organization responsible for recovering donated organs and tissue, is at the forefront of numerous community awareness activities during this special month.
According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), nearly 4,000 residents in New Jersey are currently awaiting life-saving transplants, with 67% of them being people of color.
Understanding that one organ and tissue donor can positively impact eight lives and enhance the lives of over 75 individuals is essential.
Carolyn M. Welsh, President and CEO of NJ Sharing Network, expressed her team's unwavering dedication to educating and dispelling myths surrounding organ and tissue donation in New Jersey's diverse communities.
“Our caring and compassionate team of dedicated staff, volunteers and community partners are unstoppable in their efforts to help educate others and dispel myths and misinformation about organ and tissue donation in our diverse communities throughout New Jersey,” said Carolyn M. Welsh, President and CEO of NJ Sharing Network.
E. Denise Peoples, a Newark resident and double-lung transplant recipient, plays a vital role in promoting NJ Sharing Network's life-saving mission within local schools, faith-based organizations, and community associations throughout the year.
Throughout National Minority Donor Awareness Month, NJ Sharing Network's website and social media platforms will provide information on participating in local activities and events.
Informative videos, flyers, and social media messages will be shared to raise awareness. As part of their efforts, NJ Sharing Network has launched an outdoor advertising campaign featuring custom billboards, bus, and train posters in various communities across New Jersey.
Additionally, thanks to a community partnership, volunteers will be stationed at information tables within Walgreens stores.
NJ Sharing Network's dedication to raising awareness and dispelling misinformation in multicultural communities has garnered recognition and awards, such as the NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes Award and the title of "Champion of Diversity" from the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey for its #DonationNeedsDiversity program.
To learn more, get involved, and join the National Donate Life Registry as an organ and tissue donor, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org.
Your decision to become a donor could make a life-saving difference to those in need.