5 Ways to Inform your Family about your Organ Donation Choice

The green awareness ribbon is an international symbol of support for organ and tissue donation. Green symbolizes hope for those who are waiting for a second chance at life through transplantation; a reminder of those who have died waiting for a life saving transplant; and a thank you to donors and their families for giving the greatest gift of all, the gift of life so that another could live on.

Those who are supporters of organ donation often wear a green awareness ribbon. You can either make your own to wear or buy one inexpensively.

Just as many other awareness ribbons are rendered in different materials, the green ribbon can be purchased as jewelry, stickers or even decals to display on your vehicle.

In addition to being designated as an organ donor on your drivers license or filling out and filing a registration form. You may choose to carry an Organ Donor Card which will make your wishes known in case of an emergency situation. You would carry this card with you at all times just as you would your driver's license.

Simple Ways of Starting the Conversation:

1. Look for opportunities to talk about organ donation. The sudden, unexpected death of a young person or friend can be an opening to bring up the topic. Similarly, events you see on the news or in movies or television programs can be an introduction for the topic. You can begin with phrases such as, "You know if that were to happen to me, I would want to have my organs donated. What would you want to do?"

2. Start the conversation by showing your family you're signed Donor Card. Be prepared to answer their questions.

3. Send them an e-postcard or Family Notification Form that shares your decision to donate your organs and tissues. After you know they've received the card or the form, ask.

4. Wear a green ribbon or pin to show your support for Organ Donation.

5. Share the story of someone who needs a transplant or has received one.

This final step is of the utmost importance. As we have stated, be sure to make your wishes known about Organ Donation. Contrary to popular belief, simply signing and carrying an organ donation card is not enough. You need to talk to your family about your wishes.

The following resources provide several different ways to tell your loved ones that you want to be an organ and tissue donor:

Send an e-postcard From Donate Life America. These special e-postcards help explain organ donation. Select from four images, add a personal message and share your decision to donate your organs with your loved ones.

Download a Family Notification Form. A Family Notification

Form is helpful ways of letting your family know about your decision to become an organ donor. For your convenience, on the following page, we have provided a pre-printed Family Notification form which you can fill-out and photocopy to distribute to your loved ones as a way of making them aware of your decision.