For immediate release
August 5, 2021

Kim McCullough


Little Village banner campaign for organ, eye & tissue donation honors local family

Little Village Chamber of Commerce, Ald. Michael Rodriguez lend support

Aug. 5, 2021 (CHICAGO) – The Little Village Chamber of Commerce and Chicago Ald. Michael D. Rodriguez (22nd) join Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network in honoring 7-year-old Kamila Rodriguez, her parents Raul and Lee Rodriguez, and all local residents and their families who say “yes” to organ & tissue donation during National Minority Donor Awareness Month. 

Kamila was a second-grade student at Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez Elementary School, when she passed away from complications after a routine dental visit in January 2020. Her parents Raul and Lee Rodriguez said yes to organ and tissue donation to honor their daughter and offer hope to others waiting for a lifesaving transplant.  

Kamila and her parents’ decision to donate life are featured on street pole banners along 26th Street between Kolin and Kildare avenues through Sept. 27. The banners celebrate Kamila as a beloved daughter, swimmer, gymnast and TikTok queen, with a message to honor the family and all those who say yes to donation.  

The banners also encourage everyone to get the facts about organ and tissue donation, talk to their families, and be an organ and tissue donor. 

“We thank the Rodriguez family for their life-saving actions and for being an example of humility and service to us all,” Ald. Rodriguez said. “Becoming an organ and tissue donator is so important given the disproportionate number of people of color seeking transplants. May we remember Kamila as an example to us all and honor her life, and her family’s actions, with these banners.” 

“The Rodriguez family is leading by example while honoring the life of their beautiful daughter Kamila,” said Ivette Trevino, Executive Director, Little Village Chamber of Commerce. “We thank the Rodriguez family for this selfless act, and we commend Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network for bringing awareness to the importance of organ and tissue donation to the Little Village Community.”  

August is National Minority Donor Awareness Month, observed every year to call attention to the need for organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation in communities of color.  This year marks the 25th annual observance, as more than 100,000 men, women and children in the United States and more than 4,000 in Illinois await lifesaving organ transplants. 

Nationally and in Illinois, more than 60% of those awaiting transplants are people of color. Transplants can be successful regardless of the race or ethnicity of the donor and recipient. But, chances of longer-term survival improve when a donor and recipient share a similar genetic background. For a transplant recipient, receiving an organ from a donor of the same race or ethnic heritage can decrease the possibility of organ rejection. 

Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, the organization that coordinates organ donation in Illinois and northwest Indiana, is proud to partner with and support the Rodriguez family, the Little Village Chamber of Commerce and the entire Little Village community in this campaign, among the events and campaigns taking place throughout Illinois during National Minority Donor Awareness Month. 

To learn more about organ, eye and tissue donation and register as a donor, visit. 

About the Little Village Chamber of Commerce
Since 1989, the Little Village Chamber of Commerce has represented the interests of local businesses and the larger bilingual business community of Chicago.  Its mission is to support, promote and enhance the growth and success of local businesses and to leverage the community’s assets, contributions and unique Mexican identity cultural identity to generate new business opportunities.  Little Village residents and business owners are recognized for their entrepreneurial spirit, strong work ethic and commitment to family and community. For more information, visit 

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