It is no secret that Feb.14 is Valentine’Day, a day when millions of lovers across the nation show their appreciation for one another. The heart is a key concept in love and plays a major role in Valentine’s Day festivities.
However, it is not the only organ that is celebrated on the beloved day in February. National Donor Day is also scheduled for Feb. 14 this year.
National Donor Day is a day to increase awareness about organ donation and the lives that can be saved. In the United States, where more than 120,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ donation.
According to Organ Donor.Gov, National Donor Day was started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and its United Auto Workers partner with the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and many nonprofit health organizations.
Organs, marrow, blood, platelets and tissues comprise the five different types of donations that this observance focuses on. Several different nonprofits across the nation typically sponsor blood drives and organ sign-ups.
For many students, donating blood can seem less intimidating than the process of becoming an organ donor. “I’m not an organ donor but I actually give blood often,” said FAMU student Nicole Sims.“It’s never really an inconvenience and I always know that I am helping someone out.”
The restrictions with COVID-19 have had an impact on students volunteering to give blood. Resources such as Big Red Bus have slowed down drastically due to the pandemic. Most of the blood drives target high schools and colleges, and make it clear that all donors must be at least 16 years old.
There are several ways to observe Donor Day. If you are a donor or have had an organ donated, you can share your story. No matter if you have been directly impacted or you know someone who has, it is important to note that a single donor can save up to eight lives and help more than 75 people.
Students who are struggling to decide if becoming an organ donor is worth it, should consider researching miracle stories online. The beauty in donating and saving lives is unmatched.
“I have been registered as an organ donor for a little over five years. I’ve seen the effects of what a transplant can do,” Tallahassee native Jadeysa Bryant said.“My aunt passed away and was able to give three different families a new start.”
When Valentine’s Day rolls around on Sunday, and you feel your heart flutter from the thoughts of that special someone, take a moment to consider the beauty in having a heart at all. Anyone looking to become a donor should visit and for more information on the process of organ donation. Be sure to use #NationalDonorDay to post on social media.