Tennesseans made donations $1 at a time at county clerks’ offices over past 20 years
Nashville, Tenn. (July 12, 2016) – The Tennessee County Clerks’ Organ Donor Awareness Foundation today announced it has reached a milestone of $5 million in donations in the same year that it celebrates its 20th anniversary. The funds, raised $1 at a time through the foundation’s “Donate a Dollar” program, are used to educate Tennesseans on the critical importance of organ and tissue donation.
“This extraordinary effort is proof that every dollar does make a difference,” said Chuck Kizer, Lawrence County Clerk and the current chairman of the foundation’s board. “Who would have imagined when we started the foundation 20 years ago that we would reach $5 million in contributions? What an enormous gift the citizens of Tennessee have made to the thousands of people across the state who are waiting on organ and tissue donations to restore their lives.”
The Tennessee County Clerks Foundation asks local citizens to donate $1 when they visit their local county clerk’s office to register a new automobile or conduct other business. The foundation works with the state non-profits, Donate Life Tennessee, Tennessee Donor Services, and Mid-South Transplant Foundation, to educate Tennesseans on the critical importance of becoming an organ and tissue donor.
“Tennessee County Clerks and their employees realize the importance of organ and tissue donations as a life changing decision with ramifications not only in our individual communities but throughout the entire nation. Rarely in our lifetimes are we presented with such an incredible opportunity to have such a profound effect on another individual’s quality of life, without any personal sacrifice on our part,” said Shelby County Clerk Wayne Mashburn. “The ability to raise $5 million in such a short period of time is a true testament not only to the giving character of the citizens of Tennessee but also to the ‘can do spirit’ of all County Clerk employees.”
Bill Kemp, Sumner County Clerk who served as the foundation’s original chairman, said, “We began working to pass legislation authorizing the creation of the foundation in 1995. It has been rewarding to serve alongside numerous county clerks supporting such a life-saving effort.”
The foundation’s board, which includes physicians, donor service professionals, and county clerk representatives, administers the funds. These funds have been central to the development of the Donate Life Tennessee online registry, the creation and distribution of educational materials, school-based programs, and recognition programs for organ and tissue donors.
“I am proud to serve on the board of an organization that has accomplished so much over the last 20 years,” said Davidson County Clerk Brenda Wynn. “Raising $5 million is a remarkable feat that speaks to the success of the Tennessee County Clerk’s Organ Donor Awareness Foundation. It serves as evidence that collectively we can make an impact on supporting organ and tissue donation by creating awareness and inspiring Tennesseans to sign up. I am excited to see what the foundation accomplishes next.”
About Donate Life Tennessee
Donate Life Tennessee is the state-authorized nonprofit organization responsible for managing the Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. Our mission is to save lives by inspiring people to sign up with the state organ, eye and tissue donor registry at www.donatelifetn.com. Our vision is that one day all Tennesseans will embrace organ and tissue donation as their personal responsibility.