The 9th Annual "Lap4Life" run/walk at Chadwick Lake Park
It was 72 degrees and sunny. It was a beautiful fall day in New York. But, what made October 6, 2015 truly a beautiful day wasn’t the weather.
The challenge to inspire New Yorkers to register as organ donors is daunting. Despite studies that show over 90% of New Yorkers support organ donation, just 25% are registered donors. This inertia is not unique to organ donation. New York ranks as one of the lowest in blood donation, volunteerism and voter participation. For LiveOnNY, this equates to a challenge: develop and execute innovative approaches that tap into the positive feelings New Yorkers have about organ donation, and move the well-meaning New York community to action.
Enter a simple idea, Organ Donor Enrollment Day. Take the energies of LiveOnNY, the donation community, community-focused organizations and elected officials, and put them into one singularly focused day. For one day, make the subject of organ donation and the opportunity for enrollment, ubiquitous.
This simple idea had big potential. Hundreds lined-up to join LiveOnNY, from recipients and families of donors, to small and large businesses, to hospitals and community leaders. The media took notice too. Some towns went as far as to proclaim October 6th as Organ Donor Enrollment Day.
When the dust settled, New York had unofficially broken the official record for most enrollments in one day (2,262, Illinois) with over 3,100. Beyond that, news coverage of organ donation sparked by Enrollment Day far exceeded expectations. ABC, NBC, Z100, ESPN Radio, WFAN, Daily News, Newsday and others covered the subject of organ donation and Enrollment Day, reaching millions. Further, the donation community, those who have been touched by donation, had been energized.
Yes, the sun shined and the temperature was perfect. But, October 6th, 2015 was made truly beautiful by 3,100 potentially lifesaving donor enrollments, millions of impressions for the cause and a great feeling of comradery. Even more, the Day engendered hope: New Yorkers do care, New Yorkers will take action and New York can do great things. For these reasons, it’s clear there’ll be many more truly beautiful days ahead in New York.