Let’s be honest, when most of us hear the word “BMV,” (or DMV depending on where you’re from) we immediately think of waiting in long lines, filling out forms or taking unflattering driver’s license pictures. While this ubiquitous administrative agency is commonly associated with the more mundane responsibilities of vehicle ownership, what often goes unnoticed is the crucial role the BMV plays in encouraging organ donor registration.
In fact, a large percentage of Americans who have registered to be organ donors did so by way of a local BMV. Each day, thousands of customer service representatives in BMVs across the nation perform the simple yet profound act of asking each customer if they want to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor. As a result of their efforts, it is estimated that over 130 million Americans have joined the donor registration list since the inception of this vital partnership.
National BMV Appreciation Week: What Is It?
That’s what National BMV Appreciation Week is all about: it’s an opportunity to honor BMV partners all over the country for their commitment to continue adding names to the nation’s Organ Donor Registry. Although there are several different channels through which a person can sign up to be an organ donor (e.g., online registries, mobile apps, etc.), the BMV remains far and away the largest source of donor registrations in the country. National BMV Appreciation Week, which will take place on September 25-29, 2017, is a time in which the Donate Life Community can acknowledge and express their gratitude for the invaluable contribution BMV partners all over the country provide through their donor registration efforts.
The Life-Saving Power of Donor Registration: One BMV Committee Chairman’s Story
Perhaps nobody is better suited to talk about the importance of organ donation than Bill Kenny, chairman of the Warren County Clerk/DMV Committee in Lake George, New York. In June of 1994, Kenny was given less than 48 hours to live after having spent three months awaiting a liver transplant in NYU Hospital. On June 12th, a matching liver was located, which came from a 19-year-old Mississippi man who had unfortunately perished in an automobile accident. After a 16-hour surgery, Kenny was given a new lease on life through the power of organ donation. Kenny is now in his seventh term as chairman, and he is one of the most dedicated organ donation advocates in his local area.
So is National BMV Appreciation Week an occasion worth celebrating?
You bet it is! With every new person that signs up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor, a new opportunity is created to save and improve lives. The ripple effect created by donor registration can actually be exponential, because one organ, eye or tissue donor can enhance up to 50 lives. Just think about it: by simply answering “Yes” when the BMV clerk asks you if you want to be an organ donor, you set off a chain of events that can have a positive and lasting effect on dozens of people’s lives. In fact, that simple decision you made at the DMV one day could eventually prove to have an impact that outlives you by several generations.