Weekly Feature

2012-04-04 / Editorial

Spindle items

DARLENE DONOHUE
Ken-Ton Editor

CHEERS TO LIFE — The Bee editorial staff recently started a jeans day, during which we are allowed to wear denim pants in the office during our production day as long as we pay a couple of bucks for the privilege. This collection of cash is then forwarded to a local charity.

Last month, we raised $106 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This month is National Donate Life Month, so we will be looking to contribute our jeans day contributions to Upstate New York Transplant Services.

As you are reading this, more than 105,000 people nationwide are waiting for lifesaving organs, including nearly 500 in Western New York. Thousands more are waiting for life-enhancing tissue and eye donations, with 118 people added to the national organ transplant waiting list on a daily basis.

The good news is that every day, approximately 74 American citizens will get a new lease on life by receiving an organ transplant. Through organ and tissue donation, you have the capability to save and enhance the lives of up to 50 individuals.

The Erie County Auto Bureau plays a significant role in saving lives through the New York State Donate Life Registry. To date, 179,444 county residents have enrolled through the Department of Motor Vehicles, according to a release from County Clerk Chris Jacobs. Ninety-eight percent of all New Yorkers who sign up on the registry do so through the DMV.

Anyone can be a donor regardless of age, race or medical history. Many people can be hesitant about organ and tissue donation simply because they do not know enough about the program or were never asked. By registering as an organ donor, you are giving consent for the recovery of your organs, tissues and eyes for the purposes of transplantation and research at the time of your death. Signing up is simple — but there are specific steps you need to take. The first and most important step is to discuss your wishes with your family — make sure they are aware. The next step is to sign up for the national registry.

Individuals can enroll in the Donate Life Registry and add the “Organ Donor” designation to their driver’s license or ID by simply signing the “New York State Organ and Tissue Donation” consent box on any license or non-driver ID application.

Brochures, posters and enrollment forms will be available at all DMV locations in Erie County. If you have further questions on how to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry, contact the Erie County Auto Bureau’s Call Center at 858-7450. For complete information on organ donations, visit the website www.organdonor.gov or www.unyts.org.

IN YOUR SPARE TIME — The North Tonawanda History Museum is seeking volunteer trainees for a number of positions. Ideal candidates should be available on a regular schedule so that work can be planned around their service. Even a two-hour commitment weekly or biweekly can be very useful. Longer or more frequent service is always valuable in gathering, preserving and presenting the history of North Tonawanda. Opportunities exist at all times from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. except Sundays. Volunteer applications can be downloaded from the museum website or may be obtained at the History Museum at 54 Webster St., North Tonawanda.

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