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Organ fund donations surpass record

Organ fund donations surpass record
When renewing vehicle tags, state residents have the option of contributing $1 toward organ donor awareness services throughout the state. Weakley County residents have proven they are no exception to donating toward such a worthy cause.

In a recent press release, Weakley County Clerk Pat Scarbrough announced that just this year, state clerk’s offices have collected a quarter of a million dollars.

“Tennesseans have given generously when renewing vehicle tags and helped educate more people than ever on the importance of organ donation and ‘Saying Yes’ when applying for or renewing your driver’s license,” Scarbrough cited in the release.

The effort is a part of the County Clerks Organ Donation Awareness Foundation incepted in 1996. County clerks throughout Tennessee collect the money each year and donate it to the foundation for research and development of organ transplants.

“We are proud of the role the citizens of Weakley County played in funding the efforts of Donate Life Tennessee Registry. This registry will increase the number of registered donors and save lives. We are making it easier for all Tennesseans to join their one million fellow citizens who have already decided to give the gift of life,” Scarbrough added.

“The Tennessee County Clerks Organ Donation Awareness Foundation (TCCODAF) provided the funds for the development, implementation and public launch of the ‘Donate Life Tennessee’ Registry. The Foundation collects money to support statewide donation education through its program that gives Tennesseans the opportunity to ‘Donate a Dollar’ for organ and tissue donation when they visit a county clerk office. Over two million dollars has been raised since the inception in 1996. We will continue to expand our efforts across Tennessee,” Tom Redmond, executive director of TCCODAF, cited in the release.

“This is great news for the more than 2,164 Tennesseans currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant and the thousands more who need tissue transplants to enhance their quality of life,” Scarbrough noted.

“Today marks a significant historical milestone for the field or organ and tissue donation and transplantation education in Tennessee, thanks to the generosity of Tennesseans,” Lisa Clark, senior public relations for Donate Life Tennessee, said.

“On behalf of Donate Life Tennessee and the thousands of Tennesseans waiting for life-saving transplants that will have renewed spirits. We celebrate the success and thank the Weakley County Clerk and staff. More importantly, action has been taken that will save lives, restore sight, heal burns and enhance the lives of thousands of Tennesseans,” Clark added.

“Tragically, one-third of the more than 99,000 Americans currently waiting for life-saving organ transplants could die due to the critical shortage of donors, but Tennesseans can make a positive impact on that statistic. Anyone who checks YES to become a donor when applying for or renewing a driver’s license or I.D. card will be registered in the official Donate Life Tennessee registry. A small red heart is placed in the upper right-hand corner of the driver’s license photo to show that person is registered. A donor has the potential to save eight lives as an organ donor and improve up to 50 others as a tissue donor,” Clark noted.

Tennesseans can register to be a donor with Donate Life Tennessee at or at any TDOS Driver License Center.

For those who have previously registered as a donor through TDOS, Donate Life Tennessee will help them fulfill their desire to donate by adding them to the Tennessee Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. State law requires that every time an applicant renews a driver license, he or she must mark YES on the application to be a registered donor.

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 kept confidential and stored in a secure database, accessible only to authorized OPO personnel.