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National Donate Life Month, 2005

Friday, April 1, 2005
Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies
Dan G. Blair, Acting Director
National Donate Life Month, 2005

April is National Donate Life Month. Our Nation's organ and tissue donor program is a unique public-private partnership operated by a non-profit organization. It was officially established by the U.S. Congress in 1984. Since then, the goals have been to increase the supply of donated organs and the effectiveness and equity of organ allocation. Although the number of donors has increased steadily, the need for more donors remains critical.

Federal Agencies are strongly encouraged to provide information to Federal employees on how they can participate in filling this critical need. Information about organ and tissue donation and downloadable donor cards are available at or by calling 1-800-355-SHARE.

The Government's leave programs support organ donation. Leave for bone marrow and organ donation is a separate category of leave that is available in addition to annual and sick leave. An employee may use up to 7 days paid leave each calendar year to serve as a bone-marrow donor. An employee also may use up to 30 days of paid leave each calendar year to serve as an organ donor.

The length of absence for organ donation procedures will vary depending upon the medical circumstances of each case. For medical procedures and recuperation requiring absences of longer than 30 days, we encourage agencies to continue to accommodate employees by granting additional time off in the form of sick leave and/or annual leave, advanced sick leave and/or annual leave, donated annual leave from the agency's leave transfer or leave bank programs, or leave without pay.

For additional information on leave for bone-marrow and organ donation, agency Chief Human Capital Officers and Human Resources Directors may contact their assigned OPM Human Capital Officers. Employees should contact their agency human resources office for assistance.