The Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) wants to enlist 20 million new donors this year and will devote substantial energy and resources to the national initiative.
CORE is a not-for-profit organ procurement organization that is federally designated to serve Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and parts of New York.
The initiative, titled "20 Million in 2012," is the brainchild of Donate Life America, a national organ donor awareness organization. This program follows an organ donation milestone set last year, when the United States reached 100 million registered donors.
CORE's Associate Director of Community Outreach Misty Enos said there are many reasons people choose not to register, but most of their excuses are based in myth, misconception, or fear.
"One of the main fears that people have is if they put it on their driver's license that the medical community won't work as hard to save their life, which couldn't be further from the truth," Enos said. "I think the public needs to understand that first of all, what the medical community is worried about when you come in from a car accident or any kind of trauma is saving your life. That's their first priority."
According to CORE, more than 110,000 people nationally are awaiting an organ transplant. At least 18 will die each day without receiving one. For every person who donates their organs, tissues, and corneas, up to 50 lives can be saved or dramatically improved, said Enos.
45 percent of Pennsylvania drivers are also organ donors. This puts Pennsylvania in the middle of the pack when it comes to registered donors.
Enos said anyone with lingering doubts could be easily assuaged.
"Put yourself in the position of a transplant recipient that's waiting for an organ to save their life and think about the fact if that was your mother, or father, or child waiting for that organ, in order for them to live, what decision would you want a family to make?" Enos said.
To become an organ donor, visit CORE's website or call 1-800-DONORS-7.