Modified: March 31, 2021 12:25pm

March 31, 2021

                                                             Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns Reminds Motorists.......               

Check the box YES, save a life and be someone’s hero! 

April is National Donate Life Month and my staff at the Erie County Auto Bureau are pleased to join in the effort to alert customers of the donor crises and encourage everyone to enroll in the Donate Life Registry.  The average citizen gets very few chances to save the life of another.  Through organ and tissue donation you can be someone’s hero.  The Gift of Life comes in many different ways through many different stories, personalities, lives and backgrounds. Few things we leave behind in life could be as important. 

As you read this, as many as 10,000 New Yorkers are waiting for a life-saving transplant, including close to 800 people here in Western New York.  Thousands more are waiting for life-enhancing tissue and eye donations.  Each year, approximately 500 men, women and children in New York State die due to the shortage of donors.

One person who donates organs (hearts, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas and intestines) can save up to eight lives, while a tissue or eye donor (corneas, bone, skin, heart valves, tendons, veins, etc.) can improve more than 75 lives by restoring eyesight, helping fight infections in burn patients and preventing the loss of mobility and disability.

We are very proud that our Erie County Auto Bureau plays a significant role in saving lives through the New York State Donate Life Registry. I am pleased to report since 2017, over 170,000 Erie County motorists enrolled in the Donate Life Registry at the local Auto Bureau. Erie County has also surpassed the state-wide statistic by registering 55.7% of customers when they checked the box “YES” to this life-saving cause compared to 42.5% state-wide. These unprecedented enrollment numbers are something the staff of the Erie County Auto Bureau is very proud of!

I want to thank the staff of the Erie County Auto Bureau for their efforts in raising awareness and providing motorists with valuable information on the importance of organ, tissue and eye donation. Together with our community partners at Connect Life we have made substantial strides in the number of enrollments in Erie County, but we still have much work to do.

According to ConnectLife, 80% of people that become organ donors register through their DMV. I encourage all motorists, age 16 and older, that come into any Erie County Auto Bureau office to enroll in the Donate Life Registry by adding the “Organ Donor” designation to your driver license or ID by checking “YES” and signing the New York State Organ, Tissue and Eye Donation consent on the application or renewal form. 

When you enroll through this method, a symbol of a heart and the words "Organ Donor" will be printed on the front of your driver license or non-driver identification card at no extra cost. So when someone asks you: “Do you have a heart?” you can proudly answer: “YES!”

The average citizen gets very few chances to be a hero and save the life of another person right here in our own community. Your decision can be a precious gift – the gift of life. Let's Donate Life, Erie County!

To learn more about saving lives through organ, eye, tissue and blood donation, please contact ConnectLife Blood and Organ Donor Network at (716) 529-4300 or visit connectlife.org.