According to the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network, people from multicultural communities make up 58% of the U.S. transplant list. Yet, only 32% of people from those same communities were organ donors.
To raise awareness of the importance of donations and transplantation, Donate Life and the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) created Donate Life ECHO. Donate Life ECHO is a two-week outreach campaign held in July dedicated to connect with multicultural communities about this issue.
ECHO stands for “Every Community Has Opportunity” and that opportunity is to help and save lives. This year, Walgreens partnered with Donate Life ECHO to spread the word in their pharmacies across the nation. For two weekends, volunteers and The LLF staff had the opportunity to spread the word about donation in four Walgreens locations in Maryland.
Before walking into Walgreens, I already saw Donate Life ECHO posters with the statistics that affect the community we are in. Walgreens staff traded in their light blue polos for a black Donate Life Maryland t-shirt to spread the word. Near the sliding entry doors was our Donate Life table with volunteers ready to talk to folks about this very important cause. We had many meaningful conversations that helped dispel myths, address concerns, and provide information to people in these communities.
In fact, a few people registered as a new Maryland organ, eye, and tissue donor. And while that’s a great outcome, having the conversation and connecting with our fellow neighbors in these communities was more than enough.