We are thrilled that the Eastern North Carolina Donor Impact Project (ENCDIP) promoted Donor Sabbath this month along with Carolina Donor Services and the Vidant Transplant Services community.
First, on November 10, we held out 5th year celebration and services at Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church, an African American church in Greenville. We wanted to acknowledge donor families, living donors, recipients and professionals in the area who take care of these patients. Over 390 people attended the event and more than 60 people took part in a reception afterwards! At the reception, representatives of the transplant community and Carolina Donor Services spoke to the entire audience. Additionally, patients and family members were invited to share their personal testimonies of how their lives have been touched by donation and transplantation. Our preacher for the service was Reverend Freda Wilkins, an Associate Minister for Missions and Evangelism at Springfield Baptist Church in Henrico, VA and the Senior Patient Services Coordinator with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
Then, one week later on November 17, we had approximately twenty African American churches in Pitt and Edgecombe counties participate in the official National Donor Sabbath campaign with speakers, bulletin inserts, and display tables as well as providing multiple opportunities for people to sign up as organ, eye and tissue donors. We estimate that over 2,500 congregants received donation education on how they could provide an opportunity to “Give the Gift of Life” through the efforts of ENCDIP.
Barbara Lee, LCSW, is a Transplant Social Worker with Vidant Health in Greenville, NC.