NATIONAL DONOR DAY
Observed each year on February 14th, National Donor Day (also known as National Organ Donor Day) aims to increase awareness about organ donation and the lives it saves. In the United States, more than 120,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ donation.
Give the gift of Life.
The observance focuses on five different types of donations: Organs – Tissues – Marrow – Platelets – Blood. Many nonprofit health organizations sponsor blood and marrow drives and organ/tissue sign-ups across the nation. Approximately every two seconds, there is someone in the U.S. who needs blood, which translates to the need for over 41,000 daily donations.
Each type of donation saves lives. While we may be able to donate blood, platelets, tissue, marrow, and some organs at any time, most organs are donated upon death. A single donor can save up to 8 lives and help more than 75 people.
Some blood donors have been making donations as young as the age of 17. They can donate a pint of blood every 53 days. One pint of blood can save up to three people. If you’ve never thought about donation, you’re of the 17 percent of non-donors. However, only 37 percent of the population of the United States is eligible to donate blood.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL DONOR DAY
- Sign up for blood donation.
- If you’ve received the gift of an organ, tissue, marrow, platelets, or blood, share your story.
- Look into becoming a donor. Visit donatelifenw.org and organdonor.gov for more information on organ donation.
- Use #NationalDonorDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL DONOR DAY HISTORY
National Donor Day was started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and its United Auto Workers partners, with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services support and many nonprofit health organizations.
Q. How many blood donors are in the United States?
A. The Red Cross estimates that 6.8 million people donate blood in the United States each year.
Q. What organs can be donated?
A. According to organdonor.gov, the following can be donated:
- heart valves
- blood vessels
- connective tissue
- bone marrow
- stem cells
- umbilical cord blood
- peripheral blood stem cells
February 14th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
President Theodore Roosevelt signed into law a bill creating the Department of Commerce and Labor.
Following the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote in the United States, Carrie Chapman Catt formed the League of Women Voters.
Businessman and race car driver, Bill France Sr. incorporated the National Association of Stock Car Racing (NASCAR).
NASA’s Voyager 1 space probe successfully returns photos of the Solar System that include the Sun and six planets.
February 14th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Frederick Douglass – 1817
The prominent orator led the abolitionist movement and social reforms. He wrote and spoke often, advocating for civil rights and women’s right to vote.
Anna Howard Shaw – 1847
The American physician was also a minister and an advocate of the temperance and suffrage movements.
Jack Benny – 1894
The American comedian started his career in vaudeville. He would gain popularity on radio and television, hosting comedy programs that kept Americans and the world laughing.
Gregory Hines – 1946
The renowned American dancer and singer earned critical acclaim for his stage performance in Jelly’s Last Jam. He also gained popular recognition for his performances in Tap and White Nights.
Mary Ann Prout – 1801
George Washington Gale Ferris – 1859
Margaret E Knight – 1838
Florence Henderson – 1934
Rob Thomas – 1972