Legislators and Mayors Aid NJ Sharing Network’s PSA Program to Raise Awareness of Organ Donation

New Jersey  (January 5, 2009) – New Jersey Organ and Tissue Sharing Network, Inc. (NJ Sharing Network), which coordinates organ donations with all of New Jersey’s transplant centers, has released public service announcements from more than 30 elected officials to raise awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation.  

At the recent League of Municipalities convention in Atlantic City, NJ Sharing Network joined with legislators and mayors from across the state to film the PSAs. Jessica Melore, 26, an advocate for organ donation who herself received a life-saving heart transplant when she was 17, also interviewed many of the elected officials who had their own direct experiences with organ donation.

“This type of program allows elected officials to connect with their constituents on the most fundamental level – preserving lives through organ donation,” said Joseph Roth, president and chief executive officer of NJ Sharing Network. “We were touched by the direct impact our work has had on our elected officials, and it was invaluable to interact with them face to face.”

“We are very fortunate in New Jersey to have a legislature that is engaged with our message and our mission, which was most recently manifested in the passage of the HERO Act,” said Mr. Roth.  “The legislature has ensured that through the HERO Act, life-saving organ and tissue donation education will be mandated for New Jersey high schools students, college students, nurses and physicians. Furthermore, this legislation provides us with the ability to honor the wishes of those who have made their decision to donate on their driver’s licenses or through the Donate Life New Jersey Registry.”

NJ Sharing Network has sent the PSAs filmed at the League of Municipalities to local TV stations across the state. Further, DVDs of the PSA and interviews were given to the mayors in the hopes that each would be posted on their municipality’s website.

All of the PSAs and Melore’s interviews can be viewed on the home page of www.sharenj.org.

NJ Sharing Network is a member of the United Network for Organ Sharing, responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue for the 4,500 New Jersey residents currently awaiting transplants. More than 100,000 people in the U.S. are on transplant waiting lists. Each year, more than 6,500 people die while waiting for an organ transplant.

“I’m never surprised when someone relates an organ donation story to me and tells me of its tremendous impact,” said Melore. “But I am always grateful, not just for myself, but for the life we as a community can give to each other.”    
About NJ Sharing Network
NJ Sharing Network (http://www.sharenj.org) is a non-profit, federally-certified, state-approved organ procurement organization responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue for the 4,500 New Jersey residents currently awaiting transplantation, and is part of the national recovery system, which is in place for the over 100,000 people on waiting lists.

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