National Donate Life Month Takes on a Special Meaning at Pinellas Tax Collector Offices
PINELLAS COUNTY, FL – When you visit the Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office for a new driver license, chances are you will be asked whether you are interested in becoming an organ donor. For some Tax Collector employees, this question is especially personal.
For Jessica Dyksterhouse, Customer Service Technician, a double organ transplant gave her mother Sonia a new chance at life. Jessica received the phone call in March 2016 that a pancreas and kidney were available while Sonia was at church. After just two weeks on the organ transplant waiting list, Sonia had a successful surgery.
Many others are still waiting. Christine Frangipane, Tax Supervisor, hopes to receive a phone call soon that organs are available for her son Frankie, who has been on dialysis for one year. Like Sonia, Frankie needs a new kidney and pancreas. He has been on the waiting list for 10 months.
April is National Donate Life Month. Throughout April, the Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office is partnering with LifeLink Foundation and Donate Life Florida to encourage drivers to register as organ donors. In 2017, 59 percent registered as organ donors during an in-office driver license visit at the Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office, 10 percent higher than the statewide average.
Throughout the month, Tax Collector employees will wear Donate Life lapel pins and t-shirts to promote this life-saving cause. Additionally, customers who make a donation to Donate Life can sign a donor registration certificate that will be displayed in the office.
“We are honored to do our part to help the many families in Pinellas County and throughout the United States who are waiting to receive that life-saving phone call that an organ is available,” said Pinellas County Tax Collector Charles W. Thomas.
According to Donate Life Florida, nearly 120,000 children and adults are waiting for life-saving organ transplants. This includes more than 5,000 in Florida. In addition, hundreds of thousands are waiting for the gift of tissue donation. Approximately 22 people die every day while waiting for an organ transplant.
The Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office is partnering with six Florida nonprofits throughout 2018. Charitable organizations were selected through an application process with an emphasis on each organization’s mission and local impact.
If you are not due for a driver license appointment, you can always register as an organ donor at www.donatelife.org.
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ABOUT THE PINELLAS COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR’S OFFICE: The Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office is a constitutionally elected office. Responsibilities include collecting and distributing state and local taxes and providing driver license and motor vehicle registration services to Pinellas County residents. For more information, visit taxcollect.com.