Be a symbol of hope (letter) | Letters to the Editor

The National Donor Sabbath is an annual interfaith commemoration in which people come together to celebrate the gift of life made possible through organ donation. This year, it will be observed from November 12 to 14, with programs throughout the month, as a prelude to Thanksgiving’s emphasis on community, family and gratitude.

Religious leaders, donor families, transplant recipients, and donor and transplant professionals will come together to raise awareness of the lifesaving and healing donations made possible by organ and tissue donation. Their efforts encourage people to sign up and celebrate the greatest blessing of all: life.

As religious leaders, we invite you to join with other clergy and interfaith colleagues in signing a proclamation of support for the generosity, humanity and compassion inherent in saving lives through a donate to Please share this vital message with your congregations and communities.

Every 10 minutes someone learns that they need a vital transplant. In the United States, more than 100,000 people are waiting for a transplant and 20 will die every day while waiting. It is a public health problem that we can all do something about.

Anyone can register as an organ and tissue donor, regardless of their age or state of health. The inscription shows that you care about yourself and want your heritage to make a difference. Share your decision with your family and loved ones. Let them know that the donation will not interfere with medical care or funeral arrangements. As someone who counsels grieving families, I know firsthand the power of inheritance and the comfort it provides in knowing the wishes of a loved one.

Please take the time to learn more about and encourage your place of worship to get involved. Be a symbol of hope and faith for those who wait, their families and all who care about the health of our community.

Rev. Brenda Alton

UPMC Spiritual Care Services

Central Pennsylvania Region

Canton of Swatar

Dauphin County

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