Gift of Hope Ambassadors are our essential partners in inspiring our communities to say “YES” to organ, eye and tissue donation. Ambassadors are the heart and soul of Gift of Hope’s efforts to communicate and inspire public and healthcare professionals.
There are hundreds of volunteer opportunities available in a variety of capacities. Ambassadors can share their stories, answer questions, distribute information and assist Gift of Hope staff with programs that reach the diverse communities in our designated service area:
Key Volunteer Programs
There is little doubt that organ and tissue donations save lives. Since 1986, Gift of Hope has saved the lives of more than 23,000 organ transplant recipients and improved the lives of thousands of tissue transplant recipients. But organ and tissue donation could be more effective if the number of donors increased. Thousands of people are on waiting lists hoping that today is the day that matching life-saving organs become available.
Signing up to be an organ donor is a personal decision. The motivation to become part of the organ donor registry may come from reading a story of a life-saving procedure for a young mom or from listening to a friend share how an organ donation saved her father’s life. The motivation to sign up might be encouragement from a mentor or even a suggestion from a trusted friend. Volunteers can help others make the decision to become donors and support those who have donated organs from loved ones by becoming Gift of Hope Ambassadors.
Ambassadors To Cities
Helping a community embrace the concept of organ and tissue donation can increase donors. Speaking to your civic leaders and first responders is a way to make sure they are informed about donation. You may request that Gift of Hope information be included in community newsletters to help others see the importance of this effort.
Ambassadors To Donor Families
Gift of Hope offers several different services to donor families including memory making activities and tribute creation. Volunteers who can help in these efforts are always welcome. Helping a donor family make a quilt square or tell the story of the family member not only provides comfort to the family, it also helps others to realize the positive impact of organ and tissue donation.
Ambassadors To The Currency Exchange
Currency Exchanges are community centers where people go for check cashing and other services. These busy centers are ideal for promoting the benefits of organ and tissue donation through Gift of Hope.
Volunteers are needed to help share the stories of organ donation success via various forms of media including television, radio, social media and newspaper. People are more likely to become organ donors if they understand that their gifts may save multiple lives through hearing stories of organ and tissue donation successes.
Social Media Ambassadors
The most effective way to reach some people about Gift of Hope is through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Volunteers willing to post stories of successful organ and tissue donations as well as facts about becoming donors will reach new audiences.
Ambassadors To Hospitals
Gift of Hope has a hospital development team that is focused on forming partnerships with health care professionals. When these professionals have accurate information about organ donation, they are able to help patients and their families make informed decisions about organ donation. Hospital ambassadors can also share stories of organ donation success with hospital staff which may motivate them to reach out to potential donors. These same ambassadors can provide comfort to donor families and help assure them their gifts are being used to help others in need.
Ambassadors To Funeral Directors
Funeral directors regularly deal with families who have lost loved ones and are dealing with final disposition. Ambassadors can collaborate with funeral directors to make sure they have accurate information about the organ and tissue donation process. When funeral directors are able to create positive pictures about the benefits of organ and tissue donations, families are more likely to participate. Ambassadors will help funeral directors assure families that the donation processes will not interfere with any desired funeral arrangements.
Ambassadors To Schools
Reaching out to school administrators and teachers with accurate information about organ and tissue donation is an important ambassador role. Instead of relying on rumors and incomplete information, educators can provide schools with an understanding of how organ and tissue donations save lives and influence students’ views on becoming donors. As an ambassador to schools, providing materials, success stories and data help impact the community and influence individuals to make a difference.
Ambassadors To Signature Events
Gift of Hope has a positive impact and presence at local Chicagoland events including the Black Women’s Expo. Ambassadors who volunteer to be present at these events are able to share information about the impact of becoming an organ and tissue donor as well as sign people up to become donors.
An Ambassador Of Hope
Becoming an ambassador for one of the many Gift of Hope volunteer programs is a powerful gift to your community. The nurse who helps a family make the decision to donate a loved one’s organs may have received her information from a volunteer. The ambassador to the funeral home may have reminded the funeral director to inform a family that their loved one can still be viewed after donating tissues. A school ambassador may have formed a partnership with a high school so teachers can provide accurate information to students about organ donations. An event ambassador may have opened the eyes of local families who had no idea that Gift of Hope even existed. All Gift of Hope Ambassadors contribute to the present and future success of organ and tissue donation.
Become Part Of A Better Tomorrow
As the federally designated not-for-profit agency coordinating organ and tissue donation for the northern three-quarters of Illinois and northwest Indiana, Gift of Hope has been able to change thousands of lives. However, every ten minutes, a new name is added to the national transplant waiting list. An average of 22 people die each day because they did not receive a life-saving transplant. Progress is being made but more needs to be done. Volunteers can make a difference by letting others know the facts about organ donation. Just one more donor can impact up to 25 lives.
To volunteer, visit www.giftofhope.org and fill out the volunteer application. Review the information about the ambassador options and chose the one that seems to be the best fit for you. The Gift of Hope ambassador programs with the help of you, can make an impact in the community.