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Kim McCullough

Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network joins more than 150 hospitals, communities to urge everyone to “Say Yes!” during National Donate Life Month

Don’t forget to “Light It Up Purple” to show support for donation and donor families

ITASCA, Ill. – More than 150 hospitals, public agencies, businesses and communities are joining Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network to call attention to the critical need for organ, eye and tissue donation and honor donors and their families during National Donate Life Month in April. The goal of the “Say Yes!”  campaign is to motivate 30,000 new people from Illinois and northwest Indiana to register as donors.

Honor walks, candle ceremonies, displays and outreach campaigns are planned across Illinois and northwest Indiana. More than two-thirds of the 180 hospitals in Gift of Hope’s service area  – including the entire OSF Healthcare system – are taking part.  Hospitals and funeral homes will raise flags to honor donors and their families. Special ceremonies and displays are planned at coffee shops, public libraries and sporting events. The public is also invited to visit Gift of Hope’s website home page to light virtual candles and create tributes in honor of friends and loved ones who became donors.

Landmarks, government offices and bridges in Chicago, Decatur, Peoria, Quincy, Rockford and South Holland are among those that will “Light It Up Purple” –  lighting up windows, doors, office buildings and outdoor spaces with purple light to publicly honor donors and their families. Chicago’s Pilsen community will join Gift of Hope as the first to “Light it Up Purple” with the illumination of Plaza Tenochtitlán at an “Illuminado de Esperanza” ceremony to kick off National Donate Life Month on April 1. For a full list of events, visit

“Through the generosity of Illinois and northwest Indiana residents who have said yes to donation, 30,000 organs have been donated for life-saving transplants since we were established in 1987, a national milestone,” said Harry Wilkins, MD, Gift of Hope President/CEO. “This is what we celebrate during National Donate Life Month as we work with hundreds of communities, partners and advocates to continue calling attention to the need for life-giving organ, eye and tissue donation and inspiring those who haven’t already registered to learn the facts, say yes and register as a donor today.”

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and the Life Goes On Organ/Tissue Donor Program are among the leaders that join Gift of Hope in calling attention to donation. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Illinois Organ and Tissue Donor Registry.

Anyone can join the “Say Yes” campaign to educate, encourage donor registration and help honor donors and their families. The public is encouraged to share messages of support on social media using the #SayYestoDonation hashtag and tagging @GiftofHope.

Information on how to spread the word, take part in “Light It Up Purple” and register as an organ, eye and tissue donor is available at

About Gift of Hope

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 57 OPOs that make up the nation’s organ donation system, Gift of Hope works with 180 hospitals and serves 12 million people in its donation service area. Since 1986, its work has saved the lives of more than 26,000 organ transplant recipients and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients. For more information, visit