Every day, there are opportunities within your local and online communities to help spread the word and educate others about the ongoing need for organ, eye, and tissue donation. Check out the list of recognized observances through the year to help you plan ways to get involved to save more lives.
January 1: The Rose Parade and Donate Life Float
Each year on New Year's Day, the Donate Life Float is a part of the Rose Parade. It honors the millions of people touched by organ, eye, and tissue donation, including living donors, donor families, transplant recipients and transplant candidates.
January: National Volunteer Blood Donor Month
National Volunteer Blood Donor Month highlights the importance of donating blood to give life. It encourages new people to sign up and honors past and present donors.
February 14: National Donor Day
National Donor Day focuses on five points of life: organs, tissues, marrow, platelets, and blood. Many health groups use this day to sponsor blood and marrow drives and organ/tissue sign-ups. National Donor Day was started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and its partner, the United Auto Workers. It is supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and many nonprofit health groups.
April: National Donate Life Month
During this month, many donation groups hold awareness events and donor recognition ceremonies. People across the U.S. celebrate the generosity of those who have saved lives by becoming organ, eye, tissue, marrow, and blood donors, and encourage more Americans to follow their example.
National Blue and Green Day: April 16, 2021
On this day, Donate Life America, encourages the public to wear blue and green and spread awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation. For yearly dates and resources, visit the Donate Life America.
National Pediatric Transplant Week (last week of April National Donate Life Month): April 18-24, 2021
National Pediatric Transplant Week gives donation and transplantation groups a chance to talk about ending the pediatric waiting list and share patient stories. Clinical partners also highlight their important work. The event also honors donor families whose children have saved and healed lives through organ, eye, and tissue donation.
July: U.S. Transplant Games (even-numbered years)
The Transplant Games are modeled after the Olympics and feature transplant recipients of all ages. Athletes receive medals, and living donors and families of deceased donors are honored. The National Kidney Foundation started the Games in 1990. They are held every two years.
August: National Minority Donor Awareness Month
During this month, many groups work to create a positive culture for organ, eye, and tissue donation in diverse communities. The National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program founded this observance in 1996. Outreach activities provide donation education and encourage donor registration. They also promote healthy living and disease prevention to decrease the need for transplantation.
November: National Marrow Awareness Month
This event seeks to recruit bone marrow, blood stem cell, and umbilical cord blood donors. It also educates patients about the option of unrelated transplantation.
November: National Donor Sabbath
On the Friday, Saturday and Sunday two weeks before Thanksgiving, faith communities focus on the need for organ, tissue, marrow, and blood donations. Faith leaders and donation professionals lead discussions on donation. Faith communities also sponsor donation awareness activities and registrations during this three-day celebration of life.