News & Events

Annual Events and Programs


Rose Bowl Parade Featuring the "Donate Life" Float

(Associated Press) The 2012 Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California, brought its flowery floats and strutting bands to a worldwide audience today under clear blue skies.

The 123rd annual New Year's Day event, with the theme "Just Imagine," flowed along downtown Pasadena to the cheers of hundreds of thousands of sidewalk spectators. An estimated 40 million people viewed this year's procession of 44 floats, 16 marching bands and 22 equestrian troupes on U.S. television.

This year's parade featured Iraq war veteran J.R. Martinez as grand marshal, the children and grandchildren of Roy Rogers on a float commemorating cowboys, and the parents of Christina-Taylor Green, the 9-year-old girl killed in the mass shooting that injured U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords last year, on the "Donate Life" float honoring organ donors. The Greens donated their daughter's corneas.



                                                                                 Photo: Scott Weersing

Why was this theme chosen?
Through their life-changing experiences, the families of organ and tissue donors, living donors, and recipients of life-saving transplants know intimately the preciousness of time. For the 2012 Rose Bowl Parade, Donate Life invited everyone to imagine "One More Day," to remember a loved one, celebrate life, keep hope alive, and make a difference to others.

How did our theme relate to the Parade theme, Just Imagine...?
The opportunity to live, or relive, a precious moment in time inspires us to "Just Imagine...One More Day" when donor families are reunited with loved ones, transplant recipients thrive, and living and registered donors step forward so that a life-saving transplant is available to everyone in need.



Black History Month

During Black History Month, the New York Organ Donor Network celebrates the lives of people of color who have given the gift of life to others through organ and tissue donation, or who have received the gift of life.

It’s also a time when we seek to increase the number of organ, tissue and eye donors—urging every New Yorker of African origin to sign up on the New York State Donate Life Registry.

In 2012, we have an extra day in February to promote organ donation during Black History Month---it's a leap year!





• African Americans represent 13% of the American population but make up over 34% of those on kidney transplant waiting lists in the US.
• Every day 18 people die waiting for life saving transplants; at least 5 of those individuals are African American.
• Currently in the nation more than 112,000 people are waiting for life saving organ transplants, and African-Americans represent over 33,000 or 29% of those waiting.
• In New York State, 9,600 people are waiting on life-saving transplants; 3,070 or 32% are African Americans. The largest organ need for African-Americans in New York State is for kidney donation...the number of individuals waiting is over 2,800or 38%.
• The incidence of End Stage Kidney Disease in African-Americans with hypertension continues to rise daily.
• The numbers of African-Americans that have consented to donation in New York Metro Area as of December 2011 is 49%. The national goal for donation is a consent rate of 75%

1. Lack of transplant awareness.
2. Religious myths and misconceptions
3. Distrust of the medical community.
4. Fear of premature declaration of death after signing a NYS Donate Life Registry form.
5. Fear of potential preference for other races other than African Americans.


• All major religions support organ and tissue donation.
• In the case of an emergency the hospital's goal is to save your life; only if someone dies is donation considered and it involves an entirely separate medical team.
• A total of 2,253 African Americans have been recipients of a life saving transplant in the last five years and the numbers continue to grow.
Source: OPTN/UNOS STATISTICAL DATA as of July 1, 2011



National Donate Life Month

April is designated nationally as a time to promote organ, tissue, eye, blood and bone marrow donation awareness.

This special month was established by the United States Division of Transplantation.

Organ procurement organizations, hospitals, organizations, colleges and businesses across the United States schedule special events to educate the public and health care professionals about donation.

In the greater New York metropolitan area, the Donor Network organizes donor registry drives to encourage as many as people as possible to sign up on the New York State Donate Life Registry. In 2012, a major effort is being made to reach out to New Yorkers as they visit DMV offices, to encourage them to sign the registry. In addition, the New York Organ Donor Network is also partnering with two Clear Channel radio stations, Power 105 and Z100.

Read the 2012 National Donate Life Month Press Release

Want to Participate in 2012?

If you wish to participate in an education program during National Donate Life Month in April 2012, including a donor registry drive, please call the New York Organ Donor Network at 646-291-4457 or e-mail us at


National Donor Recognition Ceremony and Workshop

The Federal government's National Donor Recognition Ceremony and Workshop (NDRCW) is held in Washington, DC. It’s a biennial event held in July in odd numbered years, and it pays tribute to America's organ, tissue, and marrow donors.

The event includes Saturday workshops and a donor recognition ceremony on Sunday.

The NDRCW is sponsored by the Division of Transplantation, Health Resources & Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and implemented with the assistance of the National Donor Family Council of the National Kidney Foundation and other donation and transplantation organizations.

The most recent National Donor Recognition Ceremony and Workshop took place July 15-17, 2011, at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Read more from the National Kidney Foundation website. 

Transplant Games of America

The Transplant Games of America, a biennial, four-day athletic competition for organ transplant recipients and living donors, will be held July 28-31, 2012 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Team Liberty, comprised of members from New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, Northern and Central New Jersey, and Fairfield County, Connecticut, are coming together to promote the success of organ transplantation and to raise awareness for the urgent need for organ and tissue donation. The men, women, and children of Team Liberty embody incredible spirit, courage, energy, inspiration, humor, sportsmanship, and friendship.

Since 1990, the Games has brought transplant and donor families together in the largest organ donation awareness event of its kind in a way that uplifts, inspires, and deeply touches everyone involved. Over 35 U.S. teams compete in events such as badminton, basketball, bowling, cycling, golf, racquetball, 5K race, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

Activities also include Opening and Closing Ceremonies and inspiring programs for donor families, living donors, transplant recipients and their families, and supporters. It's an event not to be missed!


August 1: National Minority Donor Awareness Day

National Minority Awareness Day is an observance across America to educate minorities of the desperate need for organ, tissue and eye donation and transplantation within the multicultural community.

It’s also intended to explain how to enroll in their state’s donor registry.

The New York Organ Donor Network encourages people of color to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry, a database of legally binding consent.

Many of the conditions leading to the need for a transplant — such as diabetes and hypertension — occur with greater frequency among minority populations.

Download AFRICAN-AMERICAN FACT SHEET on Organ/Tissue Donation and Transplantation (PDF)

Download HISPANIC FACT SHEET on Organ/Tissue Donation and Transplantation (PDF)

If you wish to participate in an education program and donor registry drive within your community during National Minority Awareness Day on August 1, please call the New York Organ Donor Network 646-291-4444, and ask to be connected with the Communications Department. Or e-mail us at


National Hispanic Heritage Month

During National Hispanic Heritage Month, from September 15 to October 15 each year, the New York Organ Donor Network appeals to Latinos to exercise their right to be organ, eye and tissue donors by adding their names to the New York State Donate Life Registry.

The Donor Network celebrates Latino culture and the love of life displayed by people of Hispanic heritage. In particular, we emphasize how Hispanics are among the most generous communities when it comes to giving the gift of life.


Want to Participate?

Email Stefan Segadlo at


National Donor Sabbath

In November each year, faith communities throughout the United States observe National Donor Sabbath.

Houses of worship hold services and programs focused on the life-affirming gifts of hope passed to others by organ, tissue, marrow, and blood donors.

National Donor Sabbath is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Want to Participate?

During the 17th Annual National Donor Sabbath in 2012, the Donor Network asks all religious leaders to educate their congregants on the critical shortage of organ, tissue and eye donation. We ask you to join us in this blessed mission to save a life…and another…and another.

You're invited to enlist your house of worship to participate in National Donor Sabbath and thereby help to increase the numbers of New Yorkers on the Donate Life Registry.

For more information on how your house of worship can participate in Donor Sabbath 2012, please contact Karen Cummings at or call 646-291-4454.