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National Donor Day (February 14): Date, History, Significance and Meaningful Activities. Photo KnowInsiders

When is National Donor Day?

Observed annually on February 14, National Donor Day aims to raise awareness of the live-saving benefits of five different types of donation – Organs, Tissues, Marrow, Platelets, and Blood. Valentine’s Day, and every day for that matter, is the perfect day to share the love by committing to saving and healing lives through donation.

Pay tribute to your loved ones who have given the gift of donation, have received a donation, are currently waiting, or have died waiting by joining the donor registry.

What is National Donor Day?

Observed every year on February 14th, National Donor Day is an observance dedicated to spreading awareness and education about organ, eye and tissue donation. By educating and sharing the Donate Life message, we can each take small steps every day to help save and heal more lives, and honor the donor’s legacy of generosity and compassion. National Donor Day is a time to focus on all types of donation—organ, eye, tissue, blood, platelets and marrow. Join us by participating in local events, sharing social media messages and encouraging others to register as donors.

National Donor Day is also a day to recognize those who have given and received the gift of life through organ, eye and tissue donation, are currently waiting for a lifesaving transplant, and those who died waiting because an organ was not donated in time.






February 14



February 14



February 14



February 14



February 14


National Donor Day History

Photo Twitter
Photo Twitter

National Donor Day was started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and its United Auto Workers partners, with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services support and many nonprofit health organizations.


President Theodore Roosevelt signed into law a bill creating the Department of Commerce and Labor.


Following the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote in the United States, Carrie Chapman Catt formed the League of Women Voters.


Businessman and race car driver, Bill France Sr. incorporated the National Association of Stock Car Racing (NASCAR).


NASA’s Voyager 1 space probe successfully returns photos of the Solar System that include the Sun and six planets.

Frederick Douglass – 1817

The prominent orator led the abolitionist movement and social reforms. He wrote and spoke often, advocating for civil rights and women’s right to vote.

Anna Howard Shaw – 1847

The American physician was also a minister and an advocate of the temperance and suffrage movements.

Jack Benny – 1894

The American comedian started his career in vaudeville. He would gain popularity on radio and television, hosting comedy programs that kept Americans and the world laughing.

Gregory Hines – 1946

The renowned American dancer and singer earned critical acclaim for his stage performance in Jelly’s Last Jam. He also gained popular recognition for his performances in Tap and White Nights.

Notable Mentions

Mary Ann Prout – 1801

George Washington Gale Ferris – 1859

Margaret E Knight – 1838

Florence Henderson – 1934

Rob Thomas – 1972

Why National Donor Day important

Photo cut calendar
Photo cut calendar

It promotes a different outpouring of love

National Donor Day was chosen as the perfect day for Americans to show their love for people waiting for organ transplants. On this day, the public is encouraged to help the many thousands of organ transplant patients by joining an organ donation registry. Did you know that as an organ donor you can save up to 8 people or heal more than 75 lives with your eye and tissue donation after you die? That's an amazing way to express your love for humanity.

It gives you control over your final wish

By joining a donor registry, you declare your intention to donate your organs, eyes or tissue right after you die. Sometimes families don't always understand why donating organs is important, so once you decide to join a donor registry, discuss the decision with your family to ensure your last wish is honored. It's also wise to put your wish in writing, instructing your family to provide information and documentation on your medical and social history. Being proactive today wisely prepares your family to follow through on your commitment without undue stress.

It replaces myths with accurate information

There are currently more people awaiting transplants than in years past. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about becoming a donor or joining a donor registry so it's important to get the facts. For example, some people believe that certain illnesses or physical defects will keep you from being a donor which, with minor exceptions, is false. Other people think that physicians won't try hard to save your life if they know you're a donor, which discounts the number one priority for doctors — saving lives.

How to observe National Donor Day

Photo anadolu agency
Photo anadolu agency

Register as an organ donor

It's easy to register as an organ donor by either signing up online or in-person at your local state Department of Motor Vehicles office and there's no charge either to you or your family. When you register, show your driver's license or other authorized picture identification. Note that you don't have to carry or show your donor card as long as you're registered as a donor with your state and you always have the right to change your mind. Should you die in a hospital or after being on life support, the hospital then arranges for your donation.

How to Register as an Organ Donor

Just about anyone can register to be an organ donor. Very few illnesses and conditions prevent someone from being able to donate an organ and save someone’s life. However, if you are under 18 years old, you will need your parent or guardian’s permission to become a donor. It’s also a good idea to tell someone else, such as a friend or family member, about your decision.

You can select the option to become a donor when applying for or renewing your driver’s license or you can register online.

Becoming an organ donor is another way to show love this Valentine’s Day. Register as an organ, eye, or tissue donor today by visiting

Join a Donor Dash

All around the country on National Donor Day, Donor Dash fundraising events will be in full swing. The Donor Dash is a fun-filled 5K run/walk event that honors the lives of organ and tissue donors and recognizes those who continue to wait for transplants. Participants not only run and walk together but they share their stories and resources to keep hope alive.

Sew a quilt square

In some communities throughout the country, National Donor Day is a time to gather a group of donors to sew quilts honoring organ donors and recipients. For example, the Rocky Mountain Threads of Life are a group of quilters in Wyoming and Colorado who make beautiful quilts as a tribute to the people involved in this exchange of life. Later, the quilts are displayed at special community events.

Some facts about organ donation

Photo the conversation
Photo the conversation

As per the National Health Portal, there are few facts about organ donation which everyone must know.

There is no defined age for organ donation but it is based on a strict medical criteria

In the case of natural death tissues of cornea, heart valves, bone and skin can be donated whereas other vital organs like heart, liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs, and pancreas can only be donated in the case of brain death

After organ failure, vital organs like heart, liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs and pancreas can be transplanted into the patient to help the recipient lead a normal life

If someone younger than the age of 18 wants to donate organ then he or she must have an agreement of parents or guardian

Anyone can be an organ donor irrespective of age, caste, religion, community etc.

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