LOUISVILLE Leaders from Volunteers of America, Kentucky Organ Donors Affiliates (KODA), and Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life announced a groundbreaking milestone in their “Hope and Healing” partnership. The organizations teamed up in 2019 to create an innovative program to help increase organ donations in Kentucky and surrounding states. Under the partnership, Volunteers of America, one of the region’s largest providers of addiction recovery services, was the first nonprofit in the area to directly register individuals as organ donors. The organization has now registered more than 500 program graduates as organ donors.
The partnership is crucial because Kentucky is increasing the renewal period for drivers’ licenses from four years to eight years, meaning that fewer Kentuckians will be asked each year if they want to join the organ donor registry as they apply for or renew their drivers’ licenses.
More than 2 million Kentuckians are currently on the organ donor registry, but over 1,000 Kentuckians are in need of lifesaving transplants. In the United States, 20 people die waiting for an organ transplant each day because there are not enough registered donors.
“The most common reason we hear people saying ‘No’ to registering as a donor when they get their license is that they assume they can’t,” said Shelley Snyder, executive director of the Kentucky Circuit Clerks’ Trust For Life. “Many people assume they are too old or have too many medical issues. This is a myth. Everyone can register, and there are no limits. Each registered donor provides hope to those on the waiting list.”
Organs recovered from individuals who have a history of alcohol and drug usage are safe, healthy, and acceptable for donation. This innovative partnership to increase donors across the state has also received attention from national organizations.
About Donate Life KY
Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) is an organ procurement organization whose mission is to provide organ and tissues to those in need while maintaining respect for those who gave. The mission of Kentucky Circuit Clerks’ Trust For Life (TFL) is to educate and encourage Kentuckians to register as organ and tissue donors while obtaining a driver’s license and beyond. These organizations partner in education and outreach and use the combined, national Donate Life brand; learn more at www.donatelifeky.org.