Every day 75 people receive life-changing, if not life-saving organ transplants, but every day 20 people die while waiting for transplants, and at any given time more than 100,000 people are waiting for transplants, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. With more than 2.5 million deaths in the United States each year, the number of people waiting could be significantly lower if more people would register as donors.
By promoting National Donate Life Month this April, your library can make a difference. Promoting it will be easy with these free resources and with information from Gale Health and Wellness Resource Center:
Quick and Easy
- Life Goes On coloring page and activities from the Illinois Secretary of State
- Human Organs coloring page from Crayola
- Human Eye coloring page from Crayola
- Human Heart coloring page from Crayola
- Organ Donation and Transplantation – books for children
- Organ Donation and Transplantation – books for adults
Reliable Online Information for Adults:
- Who Can Be an Organ Donor? from American Society of Transplantation
- Donate Life America: Understanding Donation
- Donate Life America: National Donor Designation Report Card April 2011
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -National Vital Statistics System – Organ Donation Statistics
- MedlinePlus: Organ Donation
- Medline Plus: Organ Transplantation
- National Institutes of Health: Organ Transplantation
- Journal of the American Medical Association: Organ Donation fact sheet
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Offices on Women’s Health: Organ Donation and Transplantation – Frequently Asked Questions
Unwind by Neal Shusterman (Simon & Shuster, 2007). ALA Best Books For Young Adults, ALA Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
From the publisher: “In America after the Second Civil War, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life armies came to an agreement: The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, a parent may choose to retroactively get rid of a child through a process called ‘unwinding.’ Unwinding ensures that the child’s life doesn’t ‘technically’ end by transplanting all the organs in the child’s body to various recipients. Now a common and accepted practice in society, troublesome or unwanted teens are able to easily be unwound.
With breath-taking suspense, this book follows three teens who all become runaway Unwinds: Connor, a rebel whose parents have ordered his unwinding; Risa, a ward of the state who is to be unwound due to cost-cutting; and Lev, his parents’ tenth child whose unwinding has been planned since birth as a religious tithing. As their paths intersect and lives hang in the balance, Shusterman examines serious moral issues in a way that will keep readers turning the pages to see if Connor, Risa, and Lev avoid meeting their untimely ends.”
- About the Author
- Browse Inside
- Reading Group Guide
- Video Trailer for the Book
- Author Webpage
- Author Blog
- Author Twitter Profile
- New York Times Book Review
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Book: Simon & Shuster, 2004; Feature Film: New Line Cinema, 2009)
From the author’s website: “Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate – a life and a role that she has never questioned… until now.”
Earth Day / Arbor Day Story Time: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
The giving tree is a classic children’s story that demonstrates the same kind of self-sacrifice that organ donors make. It also ties in Earth Day (April 22nd) and Arbor Day (April 27th) :
- Stories about pioneering tree planters:
- Tree seedlings can be purchased inexpensively from the Arbor Day Foundation. Also, Disney is giving away tree seedlings to schools.
- Find your state’s donation information website at Donate Life America.
- Request a Presentation from Donate Life America – paper form (page 5) or online form.
- Find a local patient support group at Transplant Living.
- Find local community events at Transplant Living.
Donate Life America Promotional Materials
Add these interesting and helpful interactive links to your library’s website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed:
- The Interactive Body from organtransplants.org
- A Gift of Life from Nick News
- The Kidney Quiz from the National Kidney Foundation
- Heart Transplant Timeline from Discovery Health
- Register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor at Donate Life America