Philanthropy: Technology & Organ Donation

By:  Dave Lee
Associate Editor

With so much focus of the tech world placed in analysis, marketing, debate, and discussion, it is always nice to come back to a place of philanthropy. In my case, I was reminded today of organ and tissue donation and the profound impact it has on lives, families, individuals, and the community.

Donate Life California (DLC), www.donatelifecalifornia.org, is a nonprofit Organ and Tissue Donor Registry dedicated to saving the lives of thousands of Californians awaiting life saving transplants, nearly 21,000. Organizations like DLC provide a second chance and the opportunity for individuals to lead a fulfilling, fruitful, and rewarding life. In practical terms, an organ donation could save the lives of eight people and a tissue donation potentially enhances the lives of an additional 50 people. As of today, January 15th, over 7.7 million individuals nationwide have registered as a tissue/organ donor.

In technology terms, most of the registries were non-existent prior to 2004. The ability to build, maintain, and coordinate these registries have seen advancements. In 2006, DLC and the DMV began the process of allowing you to register as a donor when renewing or applying for a driver’s license. As part of the process, “Donor” pink dots are pre-printed on ID cards and driver’s licenses. Many other state and health agencies have teamed up to bring this same system into your area of the nation.

Nonprofits, such as DLC, utilize their websites as a means of communicating their efforts and visions. Please consider DLC’s eCampaign. Their eCampaign “is a free, simple, tool designed to inspire your community to save lives by signing up on the statewide registry to become organ and tissue donors through a unique URL customized with your story and picture.” DLC will keep track of the number of people that sign up through your unique URL. This is truly philanthropy and tech working in tandem to improve the quality of life of our nation and neighborhoods.

Be sure to find the registry in your part of the world and sign up today. We have the power to donate life and save life. I hope this serves as a reminder to many of us as to the fragility and tenderness of life. In my opinion, that means more than any marketing gimmick or tech debate we can have.