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National Donor Sabbath

National Donor Sabbath is held every year during November. We encourage you to begin thinking about how your House of Worship can get involved in raising awareness for organ and tissue donation this year. Find our resources below.

National Donor Sabbath

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National Donor Sabbath, observed annually in November, seeks to educate faith-based communities about the need for organ, eye and tissue donors. This national initiative partners with faith leaders, houses of worship, and faith-based organizations to educate its congregations about the critical need for donors and to dispel myths and discuss religious beliefs about the donation process. It's important to note: All major religions in the United States support organ, eye and tissue donation as an unselfish act of charity.

More than 116,000 people across the United States, including more than 5,400 people in our region are listed for an organ transplant on the national organ transplant waiting list with thousands more awaiting corneal and tissue transplants. Gift of Life Donor Program provides speakers, brochures, materials, and religious resources FREE to faith-based organizations and houses of worship which promote National Donor Sabbath.

Download 2017 NDS Materials Order Form

2017 NDS Materials Order Form - 152.2KB
Click here to access the Materials Order Form for your House of Worship.

Plan a Donor Sabbath activity such as inviting a Gift of Life represenative to speak, hold a donor registration drive, host a donor workshop, organize a candle lighting ceremony, add information about National Donor Sabbath in the bulletin, newsletter, Web site and e-mail, or highlight a person in your congregation who has a donation or transplant story. A prepared "Letter to the Clergy" is attached to assist the public with providing a Donor Sabbath event, please see attached.

Download 2017 NDS Letter to Clergy

2017 NDS Letter to Clergy - 80.3KB
Please use this guide to approach local clergy members and community leaders about raising awareness for organ, eye, and tissue donation during National Donor Sabbath 2017.

Gift of Life Donor Program is seeking to partner with Houses of Worship and faith-based organizations to carry out activities that would increase education and donor designations for organ and tissue donation in Delaware, southern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania through the "It's About Life" Grant program. Grants of up to $2,000 each can be used to initiate a program or to enhance existing activities of organizations currently promoting organ and tissue donation.

For more information or to participate in National Donor Sabbath, please contact Leslie Jean-Mary at 1-800-DONORS-1, ext. 1172,

Stories of Faith and Donation

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Transplant Recipient Relied on Faith While Waiting for Kidney and Pancreas Transplants

At six years old, Philadelphia resident, Arlinda Griffin, was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. She was put on insulin and was restricted from all the sweets that children often love – candy, cookies and sugar of any type. By the time she reached her late teens, she began suffering from seizures that doctors said were related to her diabetes.

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National Donor Sabbath Profile: Liver Transplant Recipient Feels Gratitude for Gift of Life

Clarks Summit, PA resident, Diane Scheuer, was a teacher and mother in her early 30s when her life took a drastic turn. She was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, a chronic disease that slowly damages the bile ducts in the liver. Diane knew that she may need a liver transplant at some point in her life, but prayed that it wouldn’t be for many years.

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National Donor Sabbath Profile: Local Woman Relies on Religion While Waiting for Kidney Transplant

At 27, Manchester, PA resident, Sheila Beichner, started having recurring urinary tract infections and went to the doctor to find out what was going on. She was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, but was told by her doctor that she had one of the least aggressive forms of the disease. She didn’t have any major symptoms for nearly a decade.

National Donor Sabbath: Reverend James C. Burton, liver recipient

Since receiving his gift of a life-saving liver transplant in 2000, Rev. James C. Burton has been able to lead his church and inspire others to educate themselves about organ and tissue donation.

Clergy Spotlight: Rabbi Sussman on Organ Donation

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Clergy Resources, Minority Outreach, Professional Education, Media Resources

Joe's Story

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Joe thought his days of playing soccer were over when he was diagnosed with heart disease and needed a life-saving heart transplant to survive. Now, at 18, he is back on the field and living up to his nickname "The Blur" all thanks to his hero, an organ donor.

Click here to read Joe's story.


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