In an effort to help educate the public about organ donation, the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance will be participating in a nationwide initiative called National Donor Sabbath.

We encourage local religious leaders in Central and South Texas to join us by speaking with their congregations about organ donation during the weekend of November 11-13.

Some people mistakenly believe that their religions do not support organ donation, but that is not the case with nearly all of the religions practiced around the world. "At times, we hear people say they are not willing to become organ donors because it is against their faith, but most religions encourage organ donation and even say it is the ultimate act of charity," states Michelle Segovia, Community Relations Coordinator at TOSA.

This is the ninth year that the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance is participating in National Donor Sabbath. TOSA is informing Central Texas religious leaders about the observance in November and is already receiving a number of requests for more information on organ donation as well as donor cards that the leaders can make available to their congregations. Religious leaders can also request a speaker to discuss their experience with organ donation or transplantation during services. National Donor Sabbath is only one of the many methods used to try to educate the public on organ donation.

There are currently more than 89 thousand people awaiting transplants throughout the country and more than six thousand of those live Texas. The number of actual donors pales in comparison, which means many people are going to die every day while waiting for their transplant. "While many people say they support organ donation, some may not discuss it with their families," says Segovia. "Even if a person wanted to be an organ donor, we still have to ask permission from the next of kin at the time of death. So it really is imperative to discuss your wishes with your family."