With so many New Jerseyans on waiting lists, health officials are stepping up efforts to promote organ and tissue donations.

At a press conference today, New Jersey Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary O’Dowd along with President and CEO Joseph Roth of the NJ Sharing Network, outlined how residents can become involved with the donation process.

Over 100,000 people are currently on a waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant, which includes 4,700 New Jersey residents. However, only 32% of Garden State residents are registered as donors, which makes the campaign crucial.

“The holidays are the perfect time to consider the difference you can make in the lives of others through organ donations,” said Commissioner O’Dowd. “Just one person can make a difference in as many as 50 lives. The gift of life is truly the greatest gift of all.”

Organizations interested in raising awareness about organ donation can work with NJ Sharing Network and Donate Life NJ to create public service announcements, sponsor press conferences, link their websites to www.donatelifenj.org and organize donor registry drives in conjunction with community events. For more information on working with NJ Sharing Network to encourage increased donor designations please visit www.sharenj.org.

The full report on this story can be heard during Wednesday morning’s news on our airwaves and read on our website.