Community Education & Outreach
In the United States, people must actively register – or opt-in – to donate their organs after death. In most states, the primary way to register is when applying for or renewing a driver’s license. This required step to opt-in is why LifeSource works so hard to answer people’s questions about donation. Education is an important service to help our community members make this important decision. LifeSource invests time and resources into both understanding the barriers between people and saying “yes” to organ donation and creating materials to address them.
Education is a Core Service
Since our organization was founded in 1989, LifeSource has created a robust community outreach program. Highlights include:
Minnesota Driver’s Education Curriculum
In 2006, LifeSource worked to pass a new Minnesota State Law that mandates 30 minutes of education about donation to be included in driver’s education classes. LifeSource provides materials and curriculum, free of charge, for instructors to meet this mandate. Since the law was enacted, support for donation among new drivers has increased. See the curriculum and learn more about the mandate.
Ambassador & Advocacy Program
Donate Life Ambassadors are the cornerstone of our public education efforts, volunteering time to selflessly share their connection(s) to donation with their community and encourage people to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. More than 250 Donate Life Ambassadors in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and western Wisconsin help us share the life-saving message of organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation. Learn more about our Ambassador program.
Tailored Outreach to Diverse Communities
For more than 20 years, LifeSource has worked to overcome medical mistrust and organ donation misinformation among communities of color, particularly African American and Native American communities in Minneapolis/Hennepin County. In 2008, LifeSource created “Barbershop Conversations” in partnership with Southside Community Health Services to train barbers in Black neighborhoods to talk with their customers about health issues and organ donation. LifeSource moved to North Minneapolis in 2014 to become part of the community, which is the most culturally diverse in Minnesota. In 2016, we launched “Talk Donation” in partnership with Hennepin County Medical Center and the Native American Community.
As a result of these efforts, we have seen donor registration rates climb in Hennepin County by almost 10 percent.
Strong Community Partnerships
LifeSource has been cultivating multicultural relationships for two decades and have strong partnerships with many community organizations, including:
- NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, a community-based organization providing medical, dental, behavioral health and human services;
- Spokesman Recorder, the oldest black-owned newspaper in Minnesota;
- The HUE-MAN Partnership, a collaboration of local organization aimed at reducing health disparities among men in the community;
- West Broadway Business & Area Coalition (WBC), based in North Minneapolis, builds capacity for businesses and entrepreneurs; and
- Black Nurses Rock – Twin Cities Chapter, which aims to inspire and empower innovative leaders that will serve and educate vulnerable communities.
Join Our Advocacy Efforts
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
The LifeSource newsletter is your connection to everything happening in the world of donation in the Upper Midwest!