Richard - Dual Kidney Transplant Recipient

Community Resources

Versiti Organ and Tissue is committed to providing community outreach and education to support organ and tissue donation.

Community Outreach and Education

Tonnie Boston
Senior Manager, Community Relations
 

Churches for Organ Donation Education and Registration (CodeR)

Versiti partners with religious leaders and faith communities in southeastern Wisconsin to elevate the organ and tissue donation conversation. CodeR churches open their doors to hundreds of people, sharing a message of support for families touched by organ and tissue donation.

These churches play a vital role in helping to dispel myths with facts and through frank conversations. We are thankful to partner with so many churches that view organ and tissue donation as an act of kindness and neighborly love.

Resources

Classmates for Organ Donation Education and Registration (CodeR)

CodeR assists high school students with outreach and education for organ and tissue donation. Armed with this information, teens can make informed decisions about donation and share it with their family members. CodeR provides students with: 

  • Customizable engagement activities
  • Transplant and science curriculum
  • Interactive station rotations
  • Human kidney on pump exhibit
  • Organ allocation case study
  • Traveling bone box

Please contact us to arrange a discovery meeting, or to request specific services and resources for high school students, teachers and administrators.

 
 

Student Organ Donation Advocates (SODA)

SODA was established in 2014 as a way for college students to become leaders and increase community support and education for organ, tissue and eye donation. Versiti Organ and Tissue supports universities, colleges and high schools that found and maintain new SODA chapters. 

Benefits of starting a SODA chapter:

  • Begin a dialogue about organ and tissue donor registration
  • Acquire in-depth knowledge about organ and tissue donation and its associated ethical, biological, social and health aspects
  • Join a national network of students who care about saving lives
  • Inspire students to create leadership opportunities, participate in SODA programs, and register as organ and tissue donors
  • Receive funding, support and mentorship from SODA National and Versiti Organ and Tissue
  • Continue to make a difference on campus for years to come
 

"I think that everybody should be an organ donor. You can definitely make a difference in somebody's life."

 

LifeLine: The Ultimate Bond Exhibit

LifeLine: The Ultimate Bond is a traveling exhibit that uses storytelling, artwork and history to foster a dialogue about organ and tissue donation in African American communities. In this exhibit, members of Milwaukee’s Divine Nine historically Black fraternities and sororities share their personal stories and connections to organ and tissue donation, helping to dispel myths and encourage members of their communities to join the organ and tissue donor registry.

 
Hospital and Medical Partners
Versiti is an accredited organ procurement organization (OPO) that partners with Wisconsin regional hospitals, medical examiners and funeral homes.
 
Volunteering with Versiti
Versiti volunteers provide an invaluable service to our lifesaving mission. Learn more about Versiti’s volunteer services and how you can serve your community.
 
Organ, Tissue and Eye Donor Registry

Nearly 114,000 people are on the waiting list for organ and tissue donation in Wisconsin. Register now to be an organ donor.

With nearly 60% of the national organ and tissue transplant waiting list reflecting communities of color, we are deeply committed to building awareness around the need for diverse donors.

Currently, more than 100,000 individuals are waiting for a lifesaving organ or life-enhancing tissue transplant. The need continues to grow, but the availability of viable, lifesaving organs from diverse donors fails to match the increasing demand. Nationally, African Americans are the largest group of ethnically diverse patients in need of organ transplants. In 2021, 18% of all transplant recipients were of Hispanic origin. 

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s largest county of diverse residents, only 25% of Hispanics and African Americans are registered organ, tissue and eye donors. Increasing the number of diverse donors is crucial, as successful transplantation is often enhanced by matching organs and tissues between donors and patients of the same or similar ethnic groups.

National Impact

  • The rate of African Americans with kidney failure caused by high blood pressure is 20 times higher than Caucasians.
  • Hispanics are three times more likely than Caucasians to suffer from end-stage renal disease and diabetes.
  • Approximately 29% of people waiting for lifesaving organ transplants are African American.
 
Host A Blood Drive
Blood drive organizations save lives. Learn how to host a blood drive in your community with Versiti.
 
About Blood Donation
Donate blood, donate plasma or donate platelets at a blood donation center near you or a blood drive near you. Make an appointment to donate blood today.
 
Importance of Diverse Donors
Diverse blood donations improve blood transfusion outcomes for sickle cell patients and diverse blood recipients. Make an appointment to donate blood.
 
About Blood Donation
Donate blood, donate plasma or donate platelets at a blood donation center near you or a blood drive near you. Make an appointment to donate blood today.
 
Importance of Diverse Donors
Diverse blood donations improve blood transfusion outcomes for sickle cell patients and diverse blood recipients. Make an appointment to donate blood.
 
Share Your Story
Versiti invites you to share your story and photo to help encourage more people to give back. You may even be featured throughout the year on our social media.
 
Ways to Give
You can support Versiti’s mission in several ways, including donating blood, hosting a blood drive, joining the organ and tissue donor registry, and more.