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american flag with the stars replaced with hearts and words declaring february 14 notional donor day

Showing love with chocolates and roses isn’t the only way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. February 14th is also National Donor Day – a time to recognize those who have helped save people’s lives by donating blood, bone marrow, tissue, or organs, and to consider doing so ourselves.

As we think about promising our love to someone this Valentine’s Day, it might also be the time to extend that kindness to our fellow citizens with the gift of life. In the time it takes to make a dinner reservation, you can register to become an organ donor; all you need to do is say “Yes.”

Across the country, more than 120,000 people are waiting for the gift of life from an organ donor. Trauma, bone damage, spinal injuries, burns, hearing impairment, and vision loss are all reasons why someone may need an organ, tissue, or blood donation. Every 10 minutes someone is added to the organ donor waiting list, and every year thousands die waiting for a donor organ that never arrives.

Five Ways to Help

  1. The best and easiest way to become an organ donor is to sign up when obtaining or renewing your driver’s license online at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) website, or in person at a RMV branch.
  2. If you are over 18 years old, and don’t have a driver’s license, you can register as a donor with Donate Life New England.
  3. Blood transfusions are responsible for saving millions of lives annually, and residents can donate blood at any of these locations across Massachusetts.
  4. Citizens of the Commonwealth can help other Massachusetts residents with expenses directly related to an organ transplant via the Organ Transplant Fund.
  5. If you wish to be a bone marrow donor, request a donor registration kit from Be The Match, the national marrow donor program.

National Donor Day pays tribute to people who have donated of themselves, often to help save the life of a person – or persons – they’ve never met. As you enjoy this Valentine’s Day with your loved ones, think about the thousands of people still on the transplant waiting list and the families who love them. You can give them the gift of life today by becoming an organ, tissue, or blood donor; each one of us has the power to “Pledge our Heart” in more ways than one this February 14.

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