Court clerks focused on organ donation despite changes to driver’s license procedures

Published 5:50 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2022

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Despite changes at driver’s license, the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks remain deeply committed to the mission of organ donation and transplantation.

The Circuit Clerk’s created the Trust For Life (TFL), a 501c3 non-profit organization, in 1992.

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The Circuit Clerks chose to raise dollar donations for education about the vital need for organ donation when the mission was not as commonly discussed as it is today. Since then, the TFL has raised and invested over $18 million dollars in organ donation education in Kentucky.

Their efforts have resulted in millions of people saying “YES” to organ donation and a dramatic increase in organ transplants.  Most people register as an organ donor when they get a driver’s license.  Since 2006 when the online Kentucky Organ Donor Registry was created, the Circuit Clerks have added over 2 million names to the Registry.

“We are proud of the work we’ve done since 1992, and we know our support must continue. Although we are no longer legally required to ask about the Registry and dollar donations because we no longer issue licenses, we see the need in our communities and want to help. Today, nearly 1,000 Kentuckians are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. Across America, 20 people die each day due to this need,” shares Angie Doolin, Lincoln Co. Circuit Clerk.

Although it started as the charitable project of the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks, TFL has become a national-award winning nonprofit for excellence in organ donation education. In addition to the vital support of the Circuit Clerks, TFL has mission-focused strategic partners, like Kosair Charities, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Donate Life America, and Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates as well as outside philanthropic contributors and volunteers who support this public education to save lives.

“We are an innovative, diverse and fiscally sound organization. Our foundation is strong, and I am proud of how the Trust For Life has grown. We will continue to pivot to meet the demands of today’s changing economy and the great need for transplantation. It is critical to increase the number of organ and tissue donors to save lives,” says Stacy Bruner, Trimble Circuit Clerk and current Board Chair of the Trust For Life.

TFL Executive Director Shelley Snyder says, “Our vision is to have a world where no one waits for a lifesaving transplant. Today, people wait months and years for their gift of life. Like all organizations, we must be nimble and adjust to the everchanging landscape. We are confident in this next chapter, with the support of our Board and partners statewide, that we will continue to grow and save more lives than ever.”

“With the support of our partners and continued work by Circuit Clerks in their communities, through speaking engagements, festivals, or fundraising events, we know this organization and the lifesaving mission we serve, won’t skip a beat,” says Bruner.

“The Circuit Clerks committed to supporting the mission of organ donation 30 years ago, and the impact has been life-changing for so many Kentucky families. It is thrilling to see the continued momentum in the Circuit Clerk’s office, even as driver’s license leaves our office and more doors open,” says Linda Avery, Calloway Co. Circuit Clerk. Avery serves as the current President of the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks and immediate past-Board Chair of Trust For Life.

There are no age or health limits, so everyone can register as a lifesaving donor. For more information about organ, tissue and cornea donation or to register as a donor, please visit