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Blowing Bubbles & Touching Hearts – an Interview with Melvin Giles

Melvin Giles is a community activist and organizer, peace and diversity educator, social justice leader, animal advocate, and an absolute inspiration. We are honored to have him as a part of our Check the Box campaign.

We sat down with Melvin to learn a little more about his story and why he is proud to support organ, eye, and tissue donation.

What’s your connection to donation?
My significant other was an animal rescuer and she ended up being an organ donor, which means she continues to rescue – not just animals, but humans. I’m very glad about that and I’m glad that I have the opportunity to support organ, eye, and tissue donation.

Could you tell us a little bit about the Check the Box campaign?
We’re trying to provide education and raise awareness of this work and the opportunity to save lives. I know I’m always happy when I receive word that my partner was able to help relieve a burn victim or help someone else with the gift of sight. That does something good to my heart. I would like to encourage my family and the people in my community to please consider checking that box to register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor.

Are you a registered donor?
I am a registered donor and a bubble-blower too.

Can you tell us about the bubbles?
They are peace bubbles. I blow them to diffuse tension in the community and to inspire joy in daily living. I also encourage bubbles instead of bullets.

Why do you think it’s important for people to check the box?
First of all, it’s a good way to give back. As the old saying goes, “You never know whose life you could be saving.” It could be someone in your own family. I just think it’s a very responsible and accountable action. It’s a very easy action as a human being. It’s a good way to show our love and kindness to others and to the planet.

What would you say to someone who is unsure about making the decision to register?
When I come across people who have some doubts about being an organ donor, I simply tell them to call LifeSource. It can be fearful for people who haven’t thought about it before. However, once people realize the power that they have, the power that they can contribute, I think it helps to change their minds and attitudes, and more so, helps to change their hearts.

Melvin’s Community Honors & Accolades

  • 2003 Martin Luther King Dream Keeper Award
  • 2005 Virginia McKnight Binger Awards in Human Service
  • 2008 Outstanding World Citizen Award
  • 2011 Morrill Hall/Rachel Tilsen Social Justice Fund Award
  • 2017 Blooming St. Paul Garden Advocate Award