The primary mission of the Grand Priory of America’s Charitable and Hospitaller work is to support our two Flagship Programs: Organ/Tissue Donation Awareness and Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy). Our vision is to create awareness and to educate people in the importance of these programs in saving lives around the world, and to support projects that work towards these goals.
Introduction to Organ/Tissue Donation Awareness
Organ donation begins with people, individuals who decide to become organ donors, but it does not end there. There are public safety officers who bring patients to the emergency room, nurses and physician assistants in donor hospitals who must identify and refer donation-eligible deaths, transplant recovery professionals and transplant coordinators from organ procurement organizations that discuss donation with next of kin, and surgeons and surgical teams from the transplant centers who perform the actual operations.
Today more than 120,000 people are on the organ donor waiting list. Despite the more than 31,000 transplants that occurred last year, approximately 22 people die every day while waiting. While the system certainly produces some heartwarming stories, it also produces far more heartbreaking ones than it should—these just don’t get told as loudly.
The organ recovery system has room to improve, and the goal of saving as many lives as possible through organ donation should be prioritized above all else. There are numerous opportunities and ways to increase organ donation, and through that, organ transplantation. More people will gain a new life, an improved quality of life, and be able to reenter, enjoy, and contribute back to society. All of us, working together, can achieve this goal.
Efforts of the American Association of the Order of St. Lazarus, our Charitable Arm
To encourage organ and tissue donation and registration awareness, St. Lazarus members have supported the Transplant Games of America. We have sponsored ORGANIZE, Donate Life America and the Legacy Donor Foundation, groups instrumental in facilitating donor registration around the country.
We provided financial support for the students at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts to produce a video designed for teens to encourage them to register as organ donors when obtaining their first driver’s license.
The White House Program for Organ and Tissue Donations, administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has designated us a partner.
Links to Organ/Tissue Donation Awareness
State-of-the-art transplant organ donor network through social media
Donate Life’s Rose Parade Float
The Donate Life float and its riders represent millions of people touched by organ, tissue and blood donation, including living donors, donor families, transplant recipients and transplant candidates.