Donate Life WELD is a community-based, peer-to-peer program to bring women living donors and transplant professionals together to educate about, encourage, and support living donation. WELD members convey accurate, factual information and personal narrative to inspire others through example. The original WELD chapter began in San Diego in 2015, and has expanded nationwide including the Pacific Northwest chapter started in Fall of 2018.
DL/WELD provides a unique platform to speak to the public about living donation and change the public perception of the topic. It also pulls from the power of women and their desire to advocate for causes close to them. Through a women-led outreach program, WELD increases awareness and motivates others to explore whether this option is right for them.
Donate Life WELD membership is made up of women who have been living donors and can tell their personal story. Others affiliated with living donation who are knowledgeable about the risks and benefits are also welcome to participate (e.g. transplant surgeons, transplant team members including social workers and nephrologists, dialysis clinic staff, OPO staff, etc.). Note: those currently undergoing living donor evaluation are asked to wait until post-donation to join their local chapter.
- Increase the level of public interest in living donation.
- Provide living donor information in a non-clinical setting by having living donors share their personal stories, debunk myths, and serve as a first-hand, approachable resource for those with questions.
- Educate the public about the risks and benefits of being a living donor in community-focused settings such as Rotary, women groups, church groups, etc. by sharing stories and information (resources developed by content experts for consistency of message).
- Develop a force of “women in the know” about living donation, who can be a resource for those around them.
- Engage the local community through activities that invite interaction while providing a way for living donors to connect and continue to contribute to the cause.
- Face-to-face and phone conversations with people who want basic, initial information about living donation.
- Monthly meetings, hosted by members, to discuss and plan educational activities (e.g. speaking engagements, articles, tables at community events, etc.) and share experiences.
- Provide a list of local transplant centers with living donor coordinator contacts as a resource for the next level of interest.
- Fundraising (through private donations, fundraisers, grants, etc.) to support local Donate Life WELD initiatives and other Donate Life America programs.
- Use social media to share stories and video to build a public community of living donation supporters.
- Reach out to local media with living donation stories.
- Use billboards and other advertising mechanisms to promote the cause through PSAs.
- Serve as a resource to Donate Life State Teams and their members (OPOs, DMVs, etc.).
If you are interested in joining the Pacific Northwest chapter or have any questions about DL/WELD, please contact Donate Life Northwest at firstname.lastname@example.org.