Bob McCorkle, KIDNEY RECIPIENT
National Donor Sabbath is part of a donation initiative launched by the United States Department of Health and Human Services in 1997. Observed on Friday through Sunday two weekends before Thanksgiving, the national designation consolidated the individual donation efforts of many faith communities into a national effort for all faiths who wish to participate. The three day observance seeks to include the days of worship of major religions practiced in the United States.
Donation and transplant professionals join faith communities to focus on the lifesaving and enhancing gifts passed to others through organ, tissue and blood stem cell donation. Faith leaders, donor families, and transplant recipients participate in services and programs to increase awareness of donation and transplantation. Those who donate heal and strengthen not just their recipients, but families, friends, and the larger community.
Many people turn to their faith leaders for help when dealing with life and death issues. Nearly every religion in the United States officially supports organ and tissue donation or supports the individual choices of its members. Donation is viewed by most religions as an act of compassion and generosity, and National Donor Sabbath is celebrated in many houses of worship, often with a transplant recipient sharing a personal story of receiving “a second chance at life.”