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By Hartsville Vidette Staff Reporter

 

The Tennessee County Clerks Organ Donor Awareness Foundation is pleased to announce they have reached the $4 million mark in donations since its inception in 1996. 

“Thanks to the dedication of our state’s county clerks, we have been able to raise money to provide our citizens with education on the importance of organ and tissue donation,” Janice Butler, president of the Tennessee Association of County Clerks said. 

She and Tom McRedmond, foundation executive director, recognized the continued dedication and commitment of Tennessee County Clerks at their recent spring meeting. 

Trousdale County Clerk Rita Crowder and her staff received a commemorative plaque in recognition of this milestone. 

“We are pleased to be a part of saving lives through this program. I want to thank the citizens of Trousdale County for their continued generosity and support of organ and tissue donation,” Crowder said. “Many of us have a connection to organ donation. We know either an organ recipient or someone currently waiting on a life-saving transplant. We also knew a donor who passed on the gift of life.” 

The Tennessee County Clerks Association launched the foundation in 1996 to support organ donation education in Tennessee. The foundation works in cooperation with the non-profit Tennessee Donor Services and Mid-South Transplant Foundation to educate Tennesseans on the importance of becoming an organ and tissue donor. A board comprised of physicians, donor service professionals and county clerk representatives administer the funds. This financial support played a critical role in developing the Donate Life Tennessee online registry. 

Contributions help create and distribute educational materials, develop school-based programs and produce events to recognize organ and tissue donors. 

Currently in the United States there are more than 119,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. More than 2,500 of those live in Tennessee. Every 18 minutes a patient on the waiting list dies – and every 10 minutes another person needing a life-saving transplant joins the waiting list.

As of August 2013, over 1,850,000 Tennesseans registered to donate their organs through the Donate Life Tennessee Organ & Tissue Donor Online Registry or via the Department of Safety. On average nearly 3,500 people register weekly. While the rate falls far short of the nationwide goal to register 50 percent of each state’s licensed drivers, Tennessee’s registry is growing quickly. 

Tennesseans can register to be an organ donor by simply checking “yes” when applying for or renewing their driver’s license or online at www.DonateLifeTN.org.

Donate Life Tennessee is a non‐profit, state‐authorized organ and tissue donor registry, administered by the state’s two organ procurement organizations (OPO), responsible for facilitating the donation process in Tennessee: Tennessee Donor Services and Mid‐South Transplant Foundation. The Donate Life Registry assures that all personal information is confidential and stored in a secure database, accessible only to authorized OPO personnel.