The Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network announced its plans to transform an iconic building in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood into a community hub and training center. During a press conference on the first day of National Minority Donor Awareness Week, government officials, health care partners and community leaders shared their support for Gift of Hope’s new training center and the positive impact it could have within the surrounding community.
“I want to congratulate Gift of Hope on their expansion,” said Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton. “The expansion will help people by providing job training programming while increasing access to opportunity. I applaud all the partners and supporters of Gift of Hope who have worked tirelessly to make this happen.”
Gift of Hope’s success in expanding organ and tissue donation has allowed the organization to bolster its efforts to empower the families it serves, creating opportunities for job training and placement, developing a space for community partnerships to flourish and have a positive lasting impact on the South Side of Chicago.
The 48,000-square-foot building will feature a health care training center to help recent high school graduates develop skills needed to land jobs in the health care industry; conference rooms for other non-profits to host meetings and events, and will be satellite office space for Gift of Hope employees and volunteers.
Through a first-of-its-kind partnership, Gift of Hope and the Community Blood Center, a Wisconsin-based blood donation organization, are coming together to offer residents training to pursue careers in the health sciences and the possibility of securing higher paying jobs.
“The Community Blood Center is pleased to partner on such an innovative and strategic initiative that benefits the Chicago community,” shared John Hagins, CEO and president, the Community Blood Center. “This partnership allows us to provide for the critical blood, platelet and bone marrow products needs of Chicago patients with volunteer donations from the Chicagoland area.”
Several illnesses disproportionately affect individuals of specific racial or ethnic backgrounds. Some of these disorders may be treated, or even cured, with the transfusion of donated blood or a bone marrow, tissue or organ transplant. Transfusions and transplantation treatments work much better when a donor and recipient have matching cellular characteristics. Raising awareness about the need for more donors from diverse backgrounds is a top priority for Gift of Hope and its allied partners.
Providing more education and dispelling the harmful myths about the donation process is essential to improving outcomes among patients in need. “What we don’t know won’t just hurt us, it could kill us,” said Leisa Mosley from Family Community Health during the press conference.
Registering to become an organ and tissues, blood or bone marrow donor takes only a few minutes, but can mean the world to individuals in need. Gift of Hope Community Training Center will be opening in 2020 and is located at 7936 S. Cottage Grove Ave. in Chicago.
About Gift of Hope
Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network is a not-for-profit organ procurement organization entrusted by the nation’s health care system with coordinating organ and tissue donation and providing donor family services and public education in Illinois and northwest Indiana. Gift of Hope works with 180 hospitals and serves 12 million residents in its donation service area. For more information about Gift of Hope and organ and tissue donation, visit giftofhope.org.