What Do Organ Donation & Mardi Gras Beads Have In Common?


Organ donation – it’s a topic 95% of American say they support and believe in, yet only 50% of American adults are registered donors. It’s a challenge the Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC) works on every day. Their mission is to recover organs and tissues by preserving every donation option, excelling in recovery and placement, and providing care for donors and their families.

“We work to educate the public about organ donation, encourage people to become a registered donor, and give everybody a chance to say yes to organ donation – ultimately giving the gift of life and helping to save people’s lives,” said Valerie Schneider, WRTC’s Manager Media Relations and Communications.

Discussing organ donation with family members can be awkward and uncomfortable; however it is an important step to ensure that your final wishes are carried out. Knowing your views on organ donation allows your family to carry out your wishes and eliminates the need for them to make a difficult decision during a time of loss.

Getting The Organ Donation Message Out In The Community

In addition to online resources, WRTC goes out into the community to spread its mission. At the last Washington DC Capital Pride Parade and Festival, WRTC used Rainbow Mardi Gras beads as handouts at their event booth. They were bright and colorful, thus drawing people over to the information table. Staff then had the opportunity to talk about organ, eye and tissue donation and engage with visitors while handing out the beads, which served as a reminder about the organization and their cause.

WRTC Mardi Gras Beads

“The rainbow theme of the beads allowed us to connect our message of Donate Life to the theme of Pride – which is a rainbow.  Our hope was for everyone to have something fun that represented Pride, but also a conversation piece about Donate Life to get people talking,” noted Valerie.

Organ donation affects the community as the need for organs far outweighs the availability.  The more awareness that is brought to organ, eye and tissue donation, the better the odds are for saving lives in the community.  By using this promotional product at the event, WRTC was able to show that organ donation is something that affects everyone, even the LGTB (Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bi) community and everyone is asked to be a part of something where they have an opportunity to save a life.

 Mardi Gras beads were the perfect way for WRTC to join in the Pride spirit while making people aware of what Donate Life is and how everyone can get involved.

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