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The Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) Community Support program works with dedicated people like you, to organize, promote and drive organ and tissue donor registration initiatives throughout Ontario.
Our job is to provide you with the necessary tools and supports so that you can inspire your community to share the gift of life. We work with many advocacy groups including donor families, community volunteers, faith leaders, health care professionals, youth and non-governmental organizations, government, and supportive private sector companies.
2018 TGLN Advocates in Action Award
As a Kidney recipient, Dennis has been a strong and passionate advocate promoting organ and tissue donation in the Windsor area and beyond, for the past 40 years, since his first kidney transplant in 1979. He is the co-founder of the Windsor Essex Gift of Life Association started in 2013, and with a group of dedicated advocates including his wife Niva, do incredible outreach work in the community. Dennis climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with two local friends in July 2015 to raise awareness and created a documentary following their journey, to promote organ transplantation and healthy living. Through his participation and involvement in advocacy, Dennis has been consistently proving that there is normal life after transplant. Dennis is the recipient of the 2018 TGLN Advocates in Action Award, in the “individual category” in recognition for his valuable contributions towards promoting the cause of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.
Tina, a double-lung transplant recipient and her husband Joel are inspiring and passionate organ donor advocates. Tina was 31 when she learned she would need a double-lung transplant to save her life, and subsequently received her transplant on December 2, 2015. Before Tina even received her transplant, she and Joel advocated for organ donation and for affordable housing for those on the transplant waitlist. In 2018, Tina and Joel took on the leadership of the Ottawa Gift of Life group and have been tirelessly working together to encourage Ontarians to register as organ and tissue donors. They demonstrate outstanding leadership skills, and their amazing eclectic group of advocate team members feel valued, appreciated and motivated to further promote the cause under their leadership. Tina and Joel Proulx are the recipients of the 2018 Advocates in Action Award in the group category for their role as ambassadors for the cause of organ donation and transplantation and their impact in the community.
Since receiving a double-lung transplant in 2005 after a life-long battle with cystic fibrosis, Shillane has grown into a fierce and friendly advocate for organ and tissue donation awareness. Having built close relationships in her hometown of Kingston, she is an active volunteer with the Transplant Advocate Association, liaises with the Kidney Foundation and the Queens University Blood Team and is a familiar face at information booths at malls, universities, county fairs, and hospital events. Shillane is one of the first recipients of the 2017 TGLN Advocates in Action Award, in recognition of her contributions to organ and tissue donation and transplantation.
Arlene has been an advocate for organ and tissue donation awareness for over 25 years. As a long-time volunteer and leader of the York Region Gift of Life Association, she planned Newmarket’s first Gift of Life Walk. Arlene and her team advocate through the Gift of Life Bowling tournament, the Aurora Street Festival, the Stouffville Strawberry Festival and most recently in the local Santa Claus Parade. Arlene works tirelessly to promote organ and tissue donation and received the 2017 TGLN Advocates in Action Award in recognition of her role as an ambassador for the cause.
Krista was first inspired to become an advocate for organ and tissue donation after her father received a kidney transplant in 1987. Her efforts drew even closer to home when she discovered she had inherited her father’s kidney disease, receiving her own gift of life from a deceased donor in January 2016. As a passionate high school science teacher, Krista created a donation awareness educational tool almost 10 years ago that has been shared with hundreds of high school students in the Niagara region. Krista received the 2017 TGLN Advocates in Action Award for her extraordinary impact in her community and the future of donor registration.
Schedule an information session at your church, synagogue, temple, or mosque.
Arrange for your workplace to display BeADonor.ca business cards and brochures.
Book a presentation on the impact of organ and tissue donation for your high school students. If you are a teacher in the GTA, you can learn about the High School Outreach Initiative (HSOI) here or book a presentation by completing this form. To book a presentation for students outside the GTA please call 416-619-2299.
TGLN supports many wonderful organ and tissue donation advocate groups across the province. Each group has a dedicated leader who is waiting to hear from you!
These passionate community leaders will provide insight into the types of volunteer opportunities they have on the go, and can keep you in the loop about upcoming meetings or information sessions that may help you decide the best way to participate.
Don't see an established group in your area? Click here to download a TGLN Advocate Orientation Pakage to learn how to start your own group
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!
Share Your Personal Story
Storytelling is an important part of promoting awareness of organ and tissue donation. Personal stories shared by brave donor families and grateful organ and tissue recipients are compelling and emotional. These touching and inspiring accounts help us discuss donation and transplantation in a persuasive way.
TGLN has developed a strategic storytelling toolkit specifically for organ and tissue donation awareness advocates, called Your Story. This interactive workbook accompanies our orientation package. We encourage all advocates to incorporate first-person narratives into raising awareness about organ and tissue donation.
Every story makes a big impact on increasing registration rates across Ontario.
BeADonor Month occurs every April across Ontario. It can be a rewarding way to give back to your community. The best part about BeADonor Month is that everyone is welcome to participate. What’s important is that your event is helping to raise the awareness of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.
Simple event ideas can range from information displays in your workplace, to organizing a donor registration drive, to hosing a community event like a block party! It can be as small or as big as you like. What's important is that your event is helping to raise the awareness of this great national cause.
Due to the overwhelming interest from advocates across Ontario, TGLN has designated April as “BeADonor Month”.
Here is your opportunity to join other communities across the province and help increase awareness for organ and tissue donation. Activities can range from on-campus awareness, workplace health and safety seminars, institutional health fairs, lay and professional association meetings, to community service club presentations. It just takes one person to get the momentum going and that one person could be you!
Here’s what you can do
Please download and complete the Community Event Support Materials & Speaker Request form. This form asks for the coordinator’s name, the date, time and location of your event, and the number of people you expect to attend. Complete this information early to receive requested materials and/or to book your speaker in time for your event. Once you have answered all of the questions, just click the ‘submit by email’ button at the bottom of the form and it will be sent to a TGLN community events’ coordinator. If your event is a public event, TGLN will post it on the Calendar of Events page of this site.
2020 Advocate Support Program
TGLN has seen incredible growth in community events across the province and, with this, an increase in the number of requests for financial support. To better meet this growth, we are pleased to offer a sustainable, accountable and equitable approach to your support requests. Please click here to review guidelines and apply for funding. If you have any questions, please email advocates@GiftofLife.on.ca. Thank you for your submission!
Culture and religion play a significant role in end-of-life experiences, including how people respond to illness, how grief is demonstrated, what rituals are important at death and which members of the family are present.
Most religious groups support organ donation and/or respect the individual's choice. Beliefs about tissue donation vary as some groups may consider tissue donation life enhancing, separating it from organ donation which saves lives.
If you have specific questions about your faith, speak to your religious leader. In the meantime, here are some widely held perspectives:
• Consent to donation when it benefits the health and welfare of the transplant recipient • Reluctant to donate if transplant unlikely to succeed or if organs will be used for research
• Matter of individual choice
• No official position on organ donation • Matter of individual choice; tied to "rebirth" and when it occurs
• Encourages donation as an act of charity and as an individual decision • Ethical considerations include no commercialization; organs can be removed when natural death is ascertained
• Permits organ transplant as a priority in saving human lives - body must be respected and treated with dignity • Encourages donation to be made without undue pressure, to save or enhance another life
• Strongly encourages donation and transplantation
• Either clearly oppose or are extremely cautious regarding organ and tissue donation; families are concerned that they do not injure the "itai"
• Supports organ and tissue donation • Places great emphasis on selfless service to others and the performance of "noble deeds"
• No objections to the use of a part of the body after death
Workplace registration drive initiative.
Hosting a workplace organ and tissue registration drive is easy.
With the development of BeADonor.ca registering your consent only takes two minutes online. A workplace registration drive is a great way to encourage your colleagues to register as organ and tissue donors, and demonstrate your organization's good corporate governance. Best of all, it doesn't take away from company productivity.
Get started today by visiting BeADonor.ca and downloading the toolkit. It contains a menu of customizable documents, suggested event ideas and timing for a workplace registration drive to help make implementation turn-key. TGLN is here to help make your drive a success.
Toolkit for Legal Professionals
Discussing organ and tissue donation during end of life planning (Will and Estate).
As a vital component of end of life planning, TGLN is working closely with legal professionals across Ontario to ensure that organ and tissue donation becomes a standard discussion in the Will and Estate Planning process. Legal professionals are uniquely aware of the importance of clarifying one’s final wishes, and how leaving these important decisions unknown can create confusion and added stress for loved ones during an already difficult time. Before an individual can become an organ and tissue donor, their family will always be consulted to make the final decision. When a person is a registered donor, families have clarity around their loved ones wishes, and consent to donation over 90% of the time. However, when a person is not registered, the rate of family consent drops to just 60% when an individuals final wishes are left unknown.
If you are a legal professional, and would like to ensure that your client’s wishes around organ and tissue donation are made clear in their end of life planning, please download our easy to use legal toolkit here. The toolkit provides information about the legal community’s role in informing their clients about organ and tissue donation. It also contains an example letter to clients regarding the issue, information on how to quickly and easily register as a donor, and a FAQ and myths section that provides clarification around common misconceptions about organ and tissue donation that often prevent people from registering.
Start your own campaign.
Another way you can encourage the registration of organ and tissue donation is by creating your own campaign.
Be the first in your local community, at your place of work, or encourage an association where you belong to participate. All you need to do is to create your own campaign on BeADonor.ca. Use your influence to encourage others to register their consent.
There are different ways you can participate. You can create a personal campaign, an organization campaign, or a workplace registration drive whereby you can encourage friends, family and colleagues to register their consent for organ and tissue donation. You can use a customized page that can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and email. Check out what others have done. You'll be amazed.