Editor’s note: Columnist Talia is a 12-year-old on a mission to raise awareness for organ donation.
I was so excited when Circuit Court Clerk David Nicholson reached out and invited me to the driver’s license branch at Bowman Field. He is a huge fan of my column and its cause, and I was really excited about meeting him! I learned so much about the process of signing people up to be on the organ donor registry and found out that the County Clerk’s Office has a project of their own. Theirs is called Trust for Life. The mission is to educate the public regarding organ and tissue donation.
It all started a long time ago, even before Mr. Nicholson was Circuit Court Clerk, when a tragedy affected one of the county clerk’s family members. They all got together and since then the Trust for Life project has been in effect. This is why each time you renew your driver’s license at the clerk’s office they ask you right there on the spot if you’d like to join the registry.
There are 120 Circuit Court Clerks and each one asks the same question. They signed their one millionth person to the registry just last spring! Way to go!!
I got to sit with a really nice lady named Sandy and asked people when they got to the window if they wanted to be an organ donor. Sandy’s husband is a heart transplant recipient so it was something close to both of us because of my friend Anna.
Some said yes, which I was really happy about because I felt like I really was making a difference. I learned the important thing when asking these questions is that you stay really neutral. You don’t want anyone to think you’ll be mad at them if they don’t sign up to be on the registry.
I also met Shelley Heavrin who is the executive director of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerk’s Trust For Life program. She is so nice and really smart. Shelley told me that most people think that the only way to get on the registry is to sign the back of their license. But that is no longer true. With technology, now people can be on an electronic list and not have to worry about having their license on them in case of an emergency. Lots of times family members of loved ones who have died cannot find their personal belongings. This is why the online registry comes in handy. Also, it is completely confidential.
But you don’t have to wait to renew your driver’s license to sign up on the registry. Like you’ve been reading in my columns, you can sign up anytime at the www.donatelifeky.org website.
Everyone was so nice at the DMV. They even gave me a Trust For Life T-shirt. I think my favorite part of the day, next to asking questions with Sandy, was when David Nicholson presented me with a certificate of recognition for my Love 4 Life Project. They said it is really important for young kids to help raise awareness and I’m proud that I am doing my part to help their project just like they’ve helped mine.
Stay tuned for next week’s column! Happy Thanksgiving!
Category: Talia’s Love 4 Life Project