November main header 2019
Community Corner Nov. 2019
  • Donate Life Club Raises

    Awareness on the Need for Organ Donors  


    In 2018, Sparta High School Physical/Health Education Teacher Dan Trappe had an initiative he thought would fit nicely within the curriculum, promote community awareness, and potentially save a life. So he started the Donate Life Club at the high school. Some of the club’s goals are to educate students on the benefits of organ donation, raise awareness about the need for more organ donors, and address myths and misunderstandings regarding organ and tissue donation. Part of what the club focuses on is to emphasize the benefits of organ and tissue donation to the overall health within our society and to highlight individuals whose lives have been saved by donors. Some common misunderstandings are: that registering does not mean being a living donor, being an organ and tissue donor is supported by almost all religions, there is zero cost to become a donor, and the waiting list is for all people; it is not impacted in any way by income level. 


    A major part of the initiative is to give individuals (including students) proper information in order to make an affirmative decision about registering as donors when they become adults. Mr. Trappe seeks to instill an understanding and the consequences of deciding to become an organ donor; including the option of designating a decision maker to make decision on one’s behalf. Mr. Trappe states, “I feel this club is a good way to raise awareness and to help students understand the benefits of being an organ donor”. Sparta High School Junior Emma Cilli is playing an integral role as the club begins to blossom.  Some of the ideas that she is targeting include a field trip to the Liberty Science Center to watch a kidney transplant. The club’s activities generally correlate to the New Jersey Sharing Network, an organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation. States Ms. Cilli, “I am so beyond excited not only to start up this club in Sparta High School, but also to raise more awareness to future citizens in town”.


    Becoming an organ donor {as an adult} is a very important decision one can make, regardless of age, race, socioeconomic status or background. Registering as an organ donor is very easy. IPhone users can join the National Donate Life Registry using the Health App, or by going to, or by visiting your local motor vehicle agency. A few critical statistics are that only one in three New Jersey residents are registered as organ donors, every day three donors are added but also every day one New Jersey resident dies waiting for a transplant. Sparta High School is committed to helping in this cause and hopes to spread the message that organ and tissue donations save lives.