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How to Celebrate 2021 Donate Life Month

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Through a month-long series of events and promotions, Legacy of Hope (formerly the Alabama Organ Center) recognizes National Donate Life Month in April. The celebration, established by Donate Life America to raise awareness about organ donation, will showcase the various perspectives of families and individuals touched by donation and transplantation.

Each year, Legacy of Hope plans various local Donate Life Month promotions and events to provide education and raise awareness about the need for organ, eye, and tissue donation. Almost half of the U.S. population are registered as donors, but the number of patients in need still outpaces the number of available organs and tissue. On average, 21 people die each day because the organs they need are not donated in time. More people are making this gift of life each year. More than 39,000 organ transplants from 18,300 donors brought new life to waiting recipients in 2020.

The importance of donation is reflected in how lives are touched, a fact that Legacy of Hope both acknowledges and celebrates through events that inspire and motivate organ donation, says Ann Rayburn, RN, BSN, CPTC, director of professional education for Legacy of Hope.

“What we hope this Donate Life Month will do is help people connect with the idea that, in their loss, if a loved one is a donor, then the family may have some positive element to hold on to during a difficult time,” Rayburn says. “It can change the focus of a tragedy, especially in the case of unanticipated deaths. I can’t tell you how many times families have told us that this donation, which saved another life, is the one good thing that came out of their loss.”

Color Schemes and Themes

Legacy of Hope plans many promotions around National Blue & Green Day, a major event within Donate Life Month that encourages registration for organ donation. Blue & Green Day specifically works to establish the Donate Life brand through color recognition, but the color combination is a fairly recent branding effort.

“The blue and green brand has not yet had as much time to catch on as colors for other health care causes have,” Rayburn says. “We are encouraging supporters to wear blue and green on Friday, April 16, and share on all social media platforms. Our long-term goal is that one day the public will instantly associate that color combination with organ donation.”

Also back this year is the “Garden of Life” theme. Traditionally, Donate Life America has a new theme each year. However, based on positive feedback for 2020’s “Garden of Life,” and in light of the impact of COVID-19 on related events last year, that theme returns for National Donate Life Month 2021.

The garden’s living elements serve as symbols of hope, courage and transformed life, themes that repeatedly are found in the donation and transplantation journey. Just as plants, insects, and other components of a garden work together to form an interconnected living system, it is possible to nurture and enrich individuals and communities through organ, eye, and tissue donation.

Legacy of Hope offers another opportunity to promote organ donation through a mural the organization commissioned last year. The mural, which depicts a pair of wings against a blue background, is located at the corner of 5th Avenue South and Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard. Individuals who register as donors are encouraged to take selfies standing at the mural with wings “attached” and share on social media. The mural offers a QR code that easily links to the national donor registry.

“The wings tie in beautifully with our logo,” Rayburn says. “The imagery of the person registering brings hope to the people waiting for a lifesaving or life-enhancing transplant. That mural is a beautiful reminder of the power of organ donation and its ability to save lives. By sharing images in front of the mural, we can inspire Alabamians to sign up to become donors and share stories of hope.”

Learn more about the Legacy of Hope mural here.

More Donate Life Events

Other Legacy of Hope promotions and events include:

  • Donate Life Alabama License Plate
    Plates are available through the DMV and can be pre-ordered online and personalized. Each plate is $50, with $41.25 of the funds used to support public education about the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation.

  • Donate Life Month Coloring Contest – April 1-16
    Click here and print the Donate Life Month coloring sheet for kids to color and share. Legacy of Hope will feature these beautiful creations online the week of April 18-24. Take photos of their work and email them to ashleyanderson@legacyofhope.org.
  • Blue and Green Day is Friday – April 16
    Wear your blue and green and share on all social media platforms. Tag photos with the hashtag #LegacyofHopeAL.
  • Donor Dash for Life 5K Race – Saturday, May 1
    Legacy of Hope will host a 5K run/walk race at Veterans Park in Hoover. Participants are invited to register today at this link.

Click here to register as a donor, learn more about Legacy of Hope, and for information on getting involved with events for National Donate Life Month.