In 1992, the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks created Trust For Life, an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of organ and tissue donation in the commonwealth of Kentucky.
Because issuing driver’s licenses in Kentucky is the responsibility of the circuit clerks, they were able to get legislation passed that allowed them to ask every Kentuckian renewing a driver’s license to donate $1 in support of organ donation awareness. Since 1993, the circuit clerks have collected more than $6 million from drivers, $1 at a time.
The Trust For Life has used this money to purchase advertising and to support a public relations campaign that has helped significantly increase organ and tissue donation in Kentucky.
The Trust For Life continues to promote organ and tissue donation by working with a consortium of other organizations that support donation on the Donate Life Kentucky Coalition. This group supported such projects as the successful University of Kentucky vs. University of Louisville Gift of Life Challenge and sponsors Team Kentucky at the biannual U.S. Transplant Games.
In 2000, the Trust For Life took on an added mission by establishing the Satterwhite Recipient Assistance Fund. The fund is designed to aid Kentucky organ transplant recipients in meeting financial needs that are not covered by insurance or other programs. Fundraising events like golf tournaments, silent auctions and cookbook sales support the fund.
Why we need organ and tissue donation
More than 102,000 Americans, including nearly 740 Kentuckians, are now on the national waiting list for lifesaving organ transplants. A new name is added to that list every 14 minutes, but, sadly, an average of 18 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant.
One donor can save or enhance up to 50 lives in need. But nearly 25,000 organs are buried or cremated each year in America, organs that could have saved lives. The need for organ, tissue, cornea and blood donors is great. Without donors, lifesaving transplants cannot take place.
In May of 2007, Kentucky joined dozens of other states in creating a state organ donor registry. Kentuckians now have the opportunity to document their willingness to become organ donors by joining the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry when they are issued a driver’s license or state ID. Individuals may also place their name on the organ donor registry online.
The Trust For Life encourages everyone to share their decision about organ donation with their family.