(WMC-TV) - Each year, thousands of African-Americans are diagnosed with life-threatening diseases and conditions; lives could be saved if there were more donors, particularly African-Americans.
There is one Memphis group taking action and getting out the word for more African-Americans to volunteer to be a match.
From donation drives for the National Civil Rights Museum to voter registration drives to a community health campaign, members of Links Incorporated are all about community service.
"One of the oldest volunteer service organizations ... Committed to enriching and sustaining the culture and economic survival of African-Americans," said Carla Stotts-Hills, Links Incorporated.
This Saturday, Links members will launch an ambitious effort to get more African-Americans to sign up for organ, bone marrow, and tissue donations.
"We're encouraging African-Americans in particular because we are predisposed to conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease," said Stotts-Hills.
Stotts-Hills is one of the Links members coordinating the donation drive. She says they are battling against stigmas and beliefs that have statistically led to a low number of African-Americans signing up to be donors.
Links members say their upcoming donor drive is aimed at turning those low statistics around, especially when it comes to bone marrow donations.
The community is invited to come to LeMoyne-Owen College on Saturday for a giant donor recruitment party called "Be The Match." The Memphis chapter is joining Links around the country this month to encourage people to sign up for organ donations, and they hope Saturday's event will generate some much needed awareness.
"We need to be more aware of the importance of bone marrow organ and tissue donations, and raising awareness of it in the community is a key factor in doing this," said Stotts-Hills.
The links be the match drive will run this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at LeMoyne-Owen College. For more information, click here.
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