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What is a Donate Life Flag Raising Ceremony?

Have you ever driven by or seen a Donate Life flag flying at a local hospital? When a donation case occurs, a Donate Flag is often flown for 24 hours to honor the gift of the life the individual gave through organ, eye or tissue donation.

The Donate Life flag has become a national symbol of unity, remembrance and hope, while honoring those touched by donation and transplantation. Giving the gift of life is one of the most selfless legacies a person can leave behind. The concept of a flag raising is to make a unified statement about the importance of donation and represent the great need for donors and encourage people to register as a donor

What is a Donate Life Flag Raising Ceremony?

In our region, many of our hospital partners use the Donate Life Flag as the main way to honor donors. For example, they may drape the Donate Life flag across the donor with family gathered at bedside and say a few words. After the remarks, the family takes the Donate Life flag down to the hospital’s flagpole with chaplaincy.  

Each ceremony is unique to the attendees and hospital, but the display of honor and support for donation and transplantation remains the same across the country. Family, friends and community members of the donor are invited to attend the ceremony. These ceremonies also allow families to connect with their healthcare team that were caring for their loved one prior to and during the donation process. 

Oftentimes, someone from the hospital’s chaplaincy, or the family’s faith leader, will say a few words. Also, the incredible staff members from the hospital and the LifeSource team may share a few words to honor the legacy of the donor and their grieving family’s strength. After the 24 hours, chaplaincy lowers the flag and may mail it to the family as a keepsake.

What is the easiest way you can show your support?  

Today, we are reminded there are currently over 100,000 men, women and children waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Nearly 3,000 of them are waiting right here in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. For many, it is their own chance at more life and more time. They are counting on us. 

Our challenge to you:  

Thank you to our over 3.8 million neighbors who have officially checked the box “YES” to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor. 

Attend and Celebrate National Donate Life Month with a Flag Raising Ceremony 

Many Donate Life flag raising ceremonies are often held by hospitals, funeral homes, businesses and other community partners during National Donate Life Month. This month-long celebration in April honors the generosity of organ, eye and tissue donors and their families and commemorates all transplant recipients and those still waiting for a life-saving transplant. 

We have seen Donate Life flags flying at town halls, high schools, colleges, DMV offices and community centers to help raise awareness about donation. It is a fun, easy and cost-effective way to start the conversation about donation and increase visibility of the life-saving mission to save lives and heal others through organ, eye and tissue donation. 

If you’re interested in flying a Donate Life flag for Donate Life Month, for a transplant or donation anniversary, or just to help raise awareness on an ongoing basis, please contact us. Thanks for your support in organ, eye and tissue donation!