National Donor Sabbath is part of an organ donation initiative launched by the United States Department of Health and Human Services in 1997. Observed November 12-14, donation and transplant professionals collaborate with faith communities to focus on the life-saving and enhancing gifts of organ, tissue and blood stem cell donation. Faith leaders and congregations participate in services and events to increase awareness of donation and transplantation. Donation helps to heal and strengthen not just recipients and their families, but donor families, friends, colleagues, and the larger community.
Faith leaders are often sought for help with life and death issues. Most religions in the United States support organ and tissue donation directly or support the individual choices of their members. Donation is viewed by many religions as a compassionate and generous gift, and National Donor Sabbath is celebrated in many houses of worship, often with a transplant recipient sharing a story of what it is like to receive that precious gift of another chance at life. (Source: OrganDonor.gov)
Each year, life-saving and life-enhancing tissue is provided by approximately 30,000 tissue donors. One tissue donor can enhance the lives of more than 50 people.