Kellogg Community College library staff assisted 110 individuals last week in signing up to become organ and tissue donors as part of a statewide initiative to encourage patrons to join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.
The College joined more than 70 libraries across the state to participate in the weeklong Michigan Libraries for Life campaign, which ran in the KCC library Oct. 7 and 8. KCC library staff provided information about organ and tissue donation and used laptops to add interested patrons to the Michigan Organ Donor registry.
In addition to those who signed up as organ and tissue donors at KCC, more than 300 individuals stopped by the table for information; about half were already registered donors.
Stefanie Overhuel, coordinator of the Michigan Libraries for Life initiative at KCC and secretary of the College’s Morris Learning Resource Center, which houses the library, said the donors registered at KCC have the potential to help nearly 900 people through organ donations and 5,500 through tissue donations.
“The turnout for this event just goes to show that our students and staff have huge hearts,” Overhuel said. “We are so pleased and encouraged by the amount of support for organ and tissue donation we’ve received here at KCC.”
The Michigan Libraries for Life program began four years ago at the University of Michigan and has since expanded to libraries around the state. This is the first year KCC has participated.
The program was brought to the attention of KCC library staff by Jerris Finkbeiner, who worked in the library for more than 28 years before taking an early retirement because of the need for a double lung transplant.
“I have always been an organ donor, but now that I have been introduced to others who are also either on the transplant list or are transplant recipients themselves I really see how desperately the need for organ donors is,” Finkbeiner said. “Every minute someone is dying while waiting for an organ transplant that isn’t coming. Those of us who get this miracle of a second chance at life truly appreciate it, every day.”
For more information about Michigan Libraries for Life, visit https://sites.google.com/site/michiganlibraries4life. Visit the KCC library online at www.kellogg.edu/library.
Pictured in the above photo are KCC library staff members, from left to right, Patty Ralph, Marty Stilwell, Stefanie Overhuel, Kelly Frost, Diane Kellogg, Trish Halder and Kassie Dunham.
For more news about Kellogg Community College, view our latest news releases online at daily.kellogg.edu/category/news-releases.