Tonawanda News — The Erie County Auto Bureau is encouraging residents to register as organ donors for “Donate Life” month, Clerk Chris Jacobs said in a statement.
Jacobs said his office is launching a year-long initiative in an attempt to increase the number of registered organ donors by 30 percent. To do so, 22,000 drivers must be added to the state Donor Registry.
The clerk’s office has conducted training for all auto bureau staff so that employees can better explain the importance of becoming an organ donor, and one employee at each office is an “organ donation ambassador.” The county has also partnered with UNYTS and will run public service announcements on local networks in an attempt to increase the number of registered donors.
One organ and tissue donor has the ability to save or enhance the lives of up to 50 people. More than 10,000 state residents are waiting for a life-saving transplant and 118 people are added to the waiting list everyday.
Thousands of other people are waiting for life-enhancing transplants, such as eye donations.
“With so many of our neighbors and friends on the waiting list, it’s startling that New York State as a whole has one of the lowest organ donor rates in the country – with only 22 percent of adults registered as donors,” Jacobs wrote. “Nationwide, the average is 45 percent.”
All motorists who come into the Erie County Auto Bureau offices are encourage to enroll in the state Donate Life Registry. Those with questions can contact the call center at 858-7450 or visit www.erie.gov/clerk/donatelife.