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Kim McCullough


Gift of Hope encourages teaching, reflection on organ, eye & tissue donation this November

ITASCA, Ill. – More than 100,000 Americans currently await an organ transplant. As the need for life-giving transplants continues during the pandemic, Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network calls on religious communities in the area to encourage organ, eye and tissue donation during Faith and Hope Month this November.

Faith and Hope Month serves as a time to reflect on faith-based perspectives on organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation, and teachings that call on individuals to give to others through donation. Gift of Hope celebrates people whose faith has inspired the gift of life and healing to others.

“Our diverse religious traditions and faith communities throughout Illinois and northwest Indiana share the virtues of compassion and generosity that the gifts of organ, eye and tissue donation embody,” said Harry Wilkins, M.D., president/CEO of Gift of Hope. “We ask all people of all faiths to discuss becoming organ, eye and tissue donors, to offer hope to all those in need.”

Throughout November, faith leaders and advocates will work with Gift of Hope to honor organ, eye and tissue donors and their families, and educate congregants, worshippers and members about donation and transplantation. Special events to commemorate the month are planned in Chicago, Decatur, Joliet, Peoria and Springfield.

Gift of Hope provides information at for all houses of worship,  faith communities and advocates to use in sharing donation education and discussing faith teachings and perspectives.

For those who celebrate the Sabbath, National Donor Sabbath is observed Nov. 12-14. Faith leaders, families and communities across the country will participate in services and programs to promote the lifesaving gift of donation.

Facts about faith and organ donation include:

  • All major religions in the United States – including Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism – consider donation as a final act of love and generosity towards others. As a result, people of different faiths choose to offer those in need the gift of lifesaving donation.
  • Donation does not interfere with any type of religious memorial observance or funeral that the family plans, including an open casket service.
  • Donation does not take place until all possible efforts to save a person’s life have failed and death has been declared.
  • Once consent for donation is given, there are no medical or additional funeral costs to the donor’s family.

Learn more about donation and offer hope to those waiting for a transplant by:

  • Understanding the facts about organ, eye and tissue donation at org.
  • Registering your decision to save and heal lives as a donor at ly/GOHRegister or by texting COMMIT to 51555. Remember to share your wishes with family and friends.
  • Joining Gift of Hope on FacebookTwitter and Instagramas it honors donors, donor families and caregivers, recipients, registered donors, clinical teams and those waiting for a second chance at life.  

About Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network

Gift of Hope is the not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) that coordinates organ and tissue donation and provides public education on donation in Illinois and northwest Indiana. As one of 58 OPOs that make up the nation’s donation system, we work with 180 hospitals and serve 12 million people in our donation service area. Since 1986, our work has saved the lives of more than 23,000 organ transplant recipients and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients. For more information, visit