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Advocacy in a Time of Anger

In donation and transplantation, we’re out in the community with a very specific goal: to save and heal more lives by helping folks say YES.

Right now, there are many people who are out in the community for other purposes. For some, they are driven by hate.

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Silhouettes of people at political protest

This is what I’m thinking about right now: how can advocates for donation and transplantation, and #DonateLife, walk out into the world and be a part of the anti-narrative to a time filled with mistrust and hatred? How can we, as community-based volunteers and organizations, be unifiers, not dividers?

Can we embody the values of our mission—to save and heal lives, to comfort folks who are suffering, to honor altruism—at a time when so much seems lost or muddled or angry or indifferent?

What I can tell you is this: if you can walk out into an event this weekend, and show folks who may not expect kindness, kindness, show folks who may not expect compassion, compassion, and if you can listen just a little more than you talk, you’ll make a difference.

Try: “You’re right, this is a crazy time. What I can tell you is, a simple act of humanity—deciding to save lives as a donor—is one more way we can show others that we care, even in tough times.”

Try: “Good folks can disagree on politics. Many folks find they can agree about values. For me, I know that registering to be a donor represents my values, like compassion, and helping people in need. We get to vote for a candidate, and we might all disagree—but we can save lives, right here and how, with one YES.”

Try: “I don’t agree with everyone about everything, and that’s okay. More than 120 million Americans do agree about this: that saving lives through donation and transplantation is a good thing, a caring thing, and they all registered that decision.”

Try: “If you listen to the media, you would think Americans aren’t at all on the same page. But what I know from volunteering with these great folks is that more than 120 million Americans believe that donation is important and transplantation saves lives. They all registered. That tells me that our country still holds important values. That Americans are, fundamentally, caring and good. It gives me hope.”

Do you have more ideas for how to engage people in conversations, at a time when conversations in America seem a little more fraught? Do you have an experience you can share to help your fellow advocate? Comment below—we would all love to learn from you. As always, thank you for being a part of this small-and-yet-mighty little corner of the internet. 🙂

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