Donate Life Wisconsin Recognizes DMVs

Ripple Effect


Dottie and Bango at the DMVNinety-eight percent of the people who register as organ, tissue and eye donors do so at their local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office.


DMV employees play a crucial role in registering donors with their legal, first-person authorization. Donate Life America wanted to honor DMV employees for their efforts, so it created a tool kit to allow states to recognize their DMVs.


"It's part of these employees' daily job to ask people if they want to be a registered organ, tissue and eye donor," says Carol Hay, community outreach coordinator at UW Organ and Tissue Donation (UW OTD) and a member of Donate Life Wisconsin's DMV committee. "That's pretty impactful."


Donate Life Wisconsin's DMV committee spent two months organizing its efforts to recognize DMV employees. All 92 Wisconsin DMVs received a "thank you" video from Joanne Grunau, DLW president, and Kristina Boardman, DMV administrator. Ms. Grunau also wrote a thank-you letter to the employees that included data on the number of organ, tissue and eye donors and recipients to reinforce the positive impact of the work they do. Each DMV received a framed certificate of appreciation to post at its information desk, a Wisconsin map showing the donor designation rate by county and DLW pens for each employee.


In late September 2016, DLW members made personal visits to the 23 DMVs in Wisconsin with the highest volume of customers. They brought cupcakes with a DMV appreciation logo, a "Donate Life" balloon bouquet, and a guest speaker with a donation connection (such as a donor family or transplant recipient). They also took staff photos to post to DLW’s Facebook page.


Craig Robinson, the new vice president of player management and organizational development for the Milwaukee Bucks, paid a special visit to the Madison West DMV with Bango, the team’s mascot. Bango brought his own driver's license with a donor dot and Craig worked behind the information desk for 30 minutes assisting customers.


DLW received media coverage for its efforts in Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison and Wausau. "It was a really positive experience, especially for the DMVs we were able to visit personally," Hay said, "We will definitely be organizing this recognition every year.”