Gift of Life Michigan, DNR team up to save lives

Michigan Department of Natural Resources logo

New partnership will ask hunters, anglers to ‘Check Your Heart’

Hunters and anglers in Michigan will now be asked a new question after they purchase or renew their licenses through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources: are you registered as an organ donor?

Gift of Life Michigan and the DNR are teaming up to add more names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, saving more lives and giving additional hope to the thousands of people who are waiting for an organ transplant in our state.

“We are so appreciative of organizations, like the DNR, that are willing to help us spread this important message and join us in our life-saving mission to honor life through donation,” said Dorrie Dils, president & CEO of Gift of Life Michigan.

There are more than 100,000 people waiting for an organ in the U.S., including about 2,400 here in Michigan. Although more than 90 percent of people support organ and tissue donation, only about 55 percent of adults in Michigan are registered. In other states, that percentage is as high as 70 percent. More than 95 percent of residents sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry through the Michigan Secretary of State, but changes at the Secretary of State branch offices have pushed more transactions online, slowing the rate of new registrations.

Earlier this year, Gift of Life launched the Check Your Heart campaign to encourage Michiganders to check their registration status and to sign up as donors if they have not already done so. Gift of Life also expanded its workplace partnership program, seeking corporate ambassadors to spread the message among their employees and through their external audiences.

Under the agreement, the DNR will pose the Donor Registry question to people who purchase or renew their hunting and fishing licenses in the confirmation email after all web-based sales, as well as through in-store sales that have an email associated with them. The DNR will also promote joining the Donor Registry to DNR employees through staff emails and newsletters and include content about the Michigan Organ Donor Registry on press release bulletins or customer emails twice per year as relevant to DNR content.

Gift of Life will promote DNR resources and events to its own audiences, include representatives at events and provide resources through its workplace partnership program.  

“One of the DNR goals is to promote outdoor recreation to increase physical and mental health—which ties into Gift of Life’s mission to extend life and give hope to people in Michigan,” said Jon Spieles, Interim Chief of the DNR’s Marketing and Outreach Division. “The DNR is excited to partner with Gift of Life Michigan to promote healthy outdoor activities and transform lives.”

For more information or to sign up as a donor, visit

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