Jesse White’s Organ/Tissue Donor Public Awareness Campaign Wins Top Awards

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office has won two awards for its organ/tissue donor public awareness campaign.

White’s Organ/Tissue Donor Program was recognized during the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) Region III Conference in St. Louis, Missouri from September 24th through September 26th. The two honors were awarded in the Public Affairs and Consumer Education (PACE) division for marketing campaigns.

“I’m honored that our organ/tissue donor awareness efforts have been recognized with these awards,” said White. “The real winners are the people who benefit from this lifesaving program. Illinois has one of the largest organ/tissue donor registries in the nation as the result of the generosity of others and the state’s commitment to public awareness and education.”

The first award spotlights the 2012 radio commercial for National Donor Sabbath. National Donor Sabbath is part of a donor initiative launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 1997 and observed annually in November. The effort brings faith-based communities together to educate and highlight the importance of organ/tissue donation.

The PSA focuses on 15-year-old Cortez Lutrell, whose younger brother Henri died at age 16. Henri’s organs were used to help five others receive a second chance at life.  Cortez says that in talking to people about his brother’s donation and letting others know how important it is to join the donor registry, he feels like he’s keeping Henri’s legacy alive.

The second award honors a feature article in the Donor Program’s quarterly Life Goes On newsletter called “The Employee Connection,” which highlights Secretary of State employees who have benefited from organ or tissue donation. Sharing employee stories demonstrates how organ and tissue donation can help save or enhance someone’s life.

Currently, more than 5.3 million people are registered on Illinois’ Organ/Tissue Donor Registry. To join the registry, visit