Kingston, NY – The Ulster County Department of Motor Vehicles and the nonprofit organization Donate Life New York State are teaming up to raise awareness of the lifesaving impact made by organ, eye and tissue donors. On Tuesday, April 19 at 10:30 am, Ulster County will be hosting a “Raise the Flag for Life” event. During this event, a Donate Life Flag will be raised at the Ulster County Office Building, 244 Fair Street, Kingston, to encourage the public to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry. Everyone is invited to attend this public event.
“Our goal is to have Donate Life Flags waving atop all county government buildings throughout our state,” said Aisha Tator, Executive Director of Donate Life NYS. “Waving these Donate Life Flags will make a significant impact on creating a culture of donation and saving the lives of the thousands of New Yorkers in need of transplant.”
While more than 3,000 lifesaving organ transplants were performed in state last year, nearly 8,500 New Yorkers remain on the national organ transplant waitlist. In 2021, 465 patients awaiting an organ transplant in New York State died because the organ needed to save their lives was not donated in time. A single organ donor can save up to eight lives, while tissue and cornea donors can improve more than 75 lives. Ulster County is proud to partner with Donate Life NYS to save and improve the lives of those in need of transplants.
"The Legislature will continue its tradition in proclaiming April Ulster County Donor Awareness Month at Legislative Session on April 19,” said Chair Tracey Bartels. “We encourage all Ulster County residents to add their names to the New York State Donate Life Registry. Each day 17 people die waiting for an organ transplant; some have been on the list for years,” she added. “It is so important to dispel the myths and fear surrounding organ donation. While it can be extremely difficult to think about what happens to your body after you die, your decision today could allow you to impact hundreds of lives."
Seven million New Yorkers have already enrolled in the New York State Donate Life Registry, the state’s electronic database that documents a person’s authorization to be an organ, eye, and/or tissue donor upon their death. New Yorkers aged sixteen or older who haven’t already enrolled have several opportunities to do so both online and in person through the DMV.
Additionally, New Yorkers can show their support for organ and tissue donation by purchasing a “Life-Pass It On” custom license plate from the DMV or making a voluntary $1 contribution to organ transplant research, education and donation promotion projects by checking off the box when applying for or renewing their driver license, learner permit, or non-driver ID.
“The Ulster County DMV is committed to raising awareness of the importance of organ donation,” said Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack. “I encourage everyone to learn more about this lifesaving program, as you never know when you or someone you love may need an organ or tissue transplant. By enrolling in the New York State Donate Life Registry, we are taking a powerful step towards helping to save and improve the lives of all those in need of a transplant within our community.”
“I’m pleased to join Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack in promoting April as Donate Life Month,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “There’s a tremendous need for organ donations in New York State, and I encourage all Ulster County residents who are interested in helping to stop by the DMV office in Kingston or the Mobile DMV bus to register to become an organ donor.”
For further information on this or other outreach programs of the Ulster County Clerk’s Office, please contact County Clerk Nina Postupack at (845) 340-3040 or countyclerk[at]co.ulster.ny[dot]us, visit the office online at https://clerk.ulstercountyny.gov/countyclerk, or find us on Facebook.