Secretary of State Employees Receive Big ‘Thank You’ for Helping to Save Lives

Gift of Life, Eversight celebrate first national DMV Appreciation Week

LANSING, Mich. – Gift of Life Michigan and Eversight Michigan – the state’s organ, tissue and eye donation programs – took the week, September 19-23, 2016, to thank Secretary of State and Motor Vehicle Departments (DMVs) across the country for their partnership and commitment to asking the donation question to their customers every day.

“Our SOS partners are the people on the front lines of service who have helped register more than 4.3 million donors in Michigan and 130 million nationwide,” said Dorrie Dils, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan. “They are critical to the process.”

Diana Kern, executive director of Eversight Michigan, agreed. “The work the SOS clerks, managers and other staff do directly contributes to life-saving, life-improving transplants. We are so grateful for their support,” Kern said.

During the inaugural National DMV Appreciation Week, Gift of Life and Eversight staff and volunteers thanked SOS clerks, shared stories of employees touched by donation or transplantation and provided materials to celebrate the SOS’s contributions to saving lives. The concept for the week was created by Donate Life America, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and Donate Life State Teams committed to saving and healing lives through increased organ, eye and tissue donation.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson welcomed the accolades. “Our Department of State employees have embraced donation,” Johnson said. “We do so many important things, but contributing to the saving of a life or giving someone sight is one of the most fulfilling parts of the job.”

In Michigan, over 56 percent of adults are currently on the donor registry, compared to just 27 percent in 2011. “By asking customers if they would like to join the donor registry, our staff has taken the state from one of the worst registration rates in the country to one of the best, and we’re still not done,” Johnson said. Nationally, about 53 percent of adults are on the registry.

David Fleming of Donate Life America said SOS and DMV employees deserve recognition for the gains. “Even with advances in technology, the partnership remains a primary source of donor registrations,” said Fleming, Donate Life’s president and CEO. “We could not have reached this milestone of registered donors and lives saved without the partnership and support of SOS offices and DMVs.”

To register your decision to be an organ, tissue and eye donor in the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, please go to or