Where to Look: Places of Worship
A large number of living kidney donors are motivated by their spiritual beliefs to donate. If you attend a place of worship or belong to a spiritual or religious organization, this may be your best resource.
If you do not attend a place of worship, you still may be able to use some of the ideas below, such as posting flyers on bulletin boards. Always get permission first!
There are a number of ways to go about letting congregations and group members know of your need. Remember, this may be your most valuable source, so use as many of the methods below as you can!
Most churches, synagogues, and temples send monthly newsletters to their congregations. This is an excellent place to announce your need for a living donor.
Find out who the communications coordinator or person in charge of the newsletter is and contact him or her. Ask if you may submit a paragraph or two about your need for a living donor. Unless the person volunteers or prefers to write the paragraph, plan on writing it yourself. The easier you make it for others, the more success you’ll have.
Most newsletters won’t have room for your entire story, but in the event that there is room for a story, give the person in charge of the newsletter a printed copy of your LKDS story.
E-mail Distribution List
If your place of worship maintains a congregational e-mail list, follow the procedures above to publicize your need via e-mail. Some places use their e-mail lists sparingly to avoid e-mail fatigue among members and friends.
Worship Service Announcement
Many places of worship allow special announcements to be made during the service. Don't gueAsk your minister or rabbi whether a short announcement about your need could be made. Your clergy person will likely word the announcement him- or herself. Write a list of the basic facts and give it to him or her along with a printed copy of your LKDS story. This will help the person to become more familiar with your situation and to to make an appropriate announcement.
Very often, a congregation maintains a prayer list. Prayer lists are administered in a variety of ways. Some prayer lists are written, some are verbal announcements, and some are made via telephone by a committee. If your place of worship has a prayer list, contact the person in charge and ask to have your name added. Make your request very brief. Be sure you mention that you are looking for a living donor! Many people are unaware that a living unrelated person can be a donor and assume that all transplants are cadavers. Certainly you want to avoid the awkward interpretation of praying for a cadaver to become available!
If your place of worship has a Facebook page, ask to post (or have posted for you) an announcement about your need for a living donor.
Find out who is in charge of the bulletin boards. Often, it is the clerical staff. Ask to post (or have posted) a flyer about your need. Prepare an attractive flyer that presents just the basic facts. Again, your elevator speech is a good model. It is recommended that you prepare the type of flyer that has tear-off information (such as a phone number) so that a viewer does not need to write the information down. Staple one of your business cards to each tear-off slip. Most places of worship have more than one bulletin board, so be sure your flyer is posted on all that are appropriate. Monitor the boards so that the flyer can be replaced when all the tear-off slips are gone.
Some places of worship publish seasonal program guides and allow members to publicize events or other needs. Check with the communications coordinator to see whether this is a possibility.
Display tables are sometimes placed near the entrance to the sanctuary for various purposes such as mission trips, food collections, or programming schedules, If your place of worship has such tables, ask whether you might set up a display table with educational information (available from the National Kidney Foundation or your transplant center) about living kidney donation. Print your LKDS story and/or flyers and leave a stack on the table. Monitor the table regularly so that materials can be replenished.