Amidst the painful news about the awful shootings in Orlando, senseless violence all over the world, and wacky political races in several countries, this past week also represented an amazingly important milestone. The White House and ORGANIZE, along with Johns Hopkins, The Cleveland Clinic and several other hospitals and research institutions, non-profit organizations like DoSomething.org, Facebook, Twitter, Tinder and other social media platforms, and the philanthropic efforts of key celebrities like Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls announced a unified effort to solve the organ donation crisis.
On Monday June 13th, the White House issued this release and posted the below video:
For the first time, every part of the process — — from the hospitals to the government to the organ procurement organizations to the researchers to the patients and the potential donors — — is working together with a very specific goal to get over 1 million new registrations by the end of 2016, and turn the corner to 2017 with momentum and a singular focus to solve this issue in the United States. It was an amazing moment.
And then on Thursday June 16th, ORGANIZE participated in The Collaborative in Boston and was one of the 100 finalists in attendance at the conference. As the night wore on, 10 winners were announced. The stories, the passion, and the incredible determination to solve problems around the world were on stage together, proving that the simplest ideas can have a huge impact. From using satellite data to guide farmers to better feeding grounds for their cattle in Ethiopia (PCI), to creating a $3 sterile birthing kit in India (AYZH), to donating a simple fish-shaped ingot for use in cooking to provide sufficient iron supplements in the developing world (Lucky Iron Fish), the winners were inspiring and energizing. And then in the middle of the awards ceremony, about halfway through the announcements of the 10 winners, we saw the imagery of ORGANIZE on the screen. They had won a Classy Award, representing one of the top 10 most innovative nonprofits and social enterprises in the world.
Here is ORGANIZE’s co-founder Jenna Arnold on stage accepting the award and asking every audience member to sign up via social media.
Here is the full list of winners, and the entire set of finalists. It’s worth the read.
The effort has just begun but for the first time ever, all parties are aligned to solve this problem.
Go to ORGANIZE.org to Register and then help them Transform the system by declaring your intent via social media (Tweet “I want to be an #OrganDonor” right now.)
My wife and I walked away from the Classy Awards ceremony feeling moved, inspired, and energized that despite all sorts of global issues and awful events seizing the headlines, there are more people than ever before doing good in the world. It was so wonderful being a part of it this past week.
Questions or thoughts about the organ donation crisis? Share your comments here or connect with me on Twitter at @GlennEngler.
(The thoughts above are my own. I am also a proud member of the ORGANIZE Advisory Board. Image above from the White House Organ Summit.)