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Unyts is calling on members of all faiths to honor those who have given the lifesaving and healing gifts of organ, eye and tissue donation by celebrating National Donor Sabbath. This year’s observance will take place November 13-15. During this time, donation and transplantation organizations across the country work closely with communities of faith to bring the message of donation to congregations and encourage their members to register as donors.

In New York State, more than 10,000 people are currently waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. However, just one in three New Yorkers is registered as a donor. More than 122,000 men, women and children are on the national transplant waiting list. On average, 22 people die each day because an organ was not available in time. 

Registering today can provide hope to those desperately waiting for the gift of life. Registering your decision to be a donor can also relieve your family from the burden of making this important decision on your behalf during a time of trauma and loss.

For many, faith plays an important role in the decision to register as a donor. All major religions in the United States support donation and believe it to be an act of love and generosity. Click here to read about different religions’ views on donation.

We invite people of faith and members of Western New York congregations to join Unyts in honoring donors and helping to save and enhance lives in our community.

What you can do:

-- Share information regarding National Donor Sabbath with your faith leader or congregation. 

-- Address the need for organ, eye, tissue and blood donation through sermons, prayers and faith groups. Sermon ideas are available at this link. Samples of past National Donor Sabbath sermons from several churches can also be found at the following links: Baptist Sermon #1; Baptist Sermon #2; Judaism Sermon; Methodist Sermon; Presbyterian Sermon; Roman Catholic Sermon.

-- Provide a clear statement on your religion’s position on organ, eye, tissue, & blood donation. Members of your congregation may be unaware of the great need for donors.

-- Organize a sermon, reading or testimonial by transplant recipient, donor family or living donor.

-- Ask a member of your spiritual community who has been affected by donation to write a personal story for your bulletin or religious press.

-- Encourage your community to pray for people awaiting transplant and those who have given the gift of life. Request a minute of silence during services.

-- Host a donor registry and/or blood drive to encourage people to sign up on the organ donor registry and donate blood.

-- Share information through bulletins, newsletters, and web communications. Click the following links for bulletin announcements and a fact sheet regarding donation.

-- Hold a candlelight ceremony or prayer breakfast with speakers including local patients and donor families. 

To register as an organ, eye and tissue donor visit unyts.org/checkyes.

For more information and materials during National Donor Sabbath or at any time, please contact Community Engagement Coordinator Esmeralda Sierra at 716-512-7955 or via e-mail at esierra@unyts.org.