Nearly 2,500 people in Missouri and Kansas are waiting for organ transplants that could help save their lives. Thousands more await life-changing tissue or corneal transplants.

At Midwest Transplant Network, we want those numbers to be zero.

Our region has done well so far. In fact, 76.7% of adults in Kansas and 78.5% in Missouri are officially registered organ and tissue donors. Those numbers are good, but we are committed to raising them even further because the need for organs continues to outpace the number of registered donors.

For that reason, we are proud to continue our comprehensive, multimedia public awareness initiative known as the Green Ribbon Campaign. Our goal: to make sure everyone in our region recognizes the green ribbon as a badge of honor representing the selfless act of becoming a registered organ donor, and the life-giving impact on those who receive transplants.

The Green Ribbon Campaign is an ongoing, multi-year public awareness effort, but its message is especially meaningful in April, which is National Donate Life Month. In honor of the national observance, the green ribbon will be seen more and more across our Kansas and Missouri communities. By prominently displaying the green ribbon across media outlets, in hospitals and DMVs, and on the lapels of proud registered donors (to name just a few places), we are elevating our efforts to increase awareness and inspire people to join the Organ and Tissue Donor Registry.

Now in its second year, the Green Ribbon Campaign has already contributed to record-breaking successes for organ transplants in Kansas and Missouri. In 2018, we facilitated 818 organ transplants, and the donor registries in our service area received 171,000 new and renewed registrations for organ and tissue donors. We are eager to keep the momentum strong in 2019. Helping to lead those efforts are the Green Ribbon Champions, a diverse group of local leaders and well-known personalities who are passionate about improving communities across Kansas and western Missouri. Each Champion has chosen to get involved with our campaign because he or she understands the importance of the life-changing — and lifesaving — gift of organ and tissue donation.

So when you see the green ribbon — or beautiful green lights on local buildings at night in April — please share with others what it stands for: giving hope and sharing life through organ donation.

At Midwest Transplant Network, we also host and support other community events throughout the year — visit our Event Calendar to learn more. Together with our partners, ambassadors, volunteers, donors and friends, we are inspiring action across the region to save and improve more lives.