LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Five hundred people have donated organs resulting in 1,200 transplants in Michigan so far this calendar year, according to Gift of Life Michigan.

The organization describes itself as “a federally designated organ procurement organization that serves the state of Michigan as the intermediary between donors, their families, hospitals and transplant centers.”

The organization is touting the 500 number because there are still several weeks left in the year, and it tops the past years. According to the agency, there were 463 organ donors in 2022, and 429 in 2021.

“Michigan’s latest milestone is incredibly meaningful. I’m in awe of those 500 donors and their families who decided that helping others was important to them,” Dorrie Dils, president and CEO of Gift of Life, said in a press release. Michigan’s organization is the country’s 11th-largest federally designated organ procurement organization. “They have given their recipients the best gift – new life. As we approach Thanksgiving, we know how grateful they must be.”

The organization adds more than 4.5 million people have signed up for the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. The program is facilitated by the Michigan Secretary of State and allows individuals to opt into organ donation when renewing or obtaining a Michigan ID or driver’s license. Those who opt into the program have a heart on their identification from the state.

Despite this news, the need for organ donations remains high, the organization’s chief says.

The Michigan Organ Donor Registry is growing slowly and not fast enough to help Michigan eliminate its waiting list. Dils asks all Michiganders who haven’t signed up to consider doing so.

“So many Michiganders are connected to someone who gave or someone who is waiting for a new heart, liver or lungs,” Dils said. “Those organs come from kind people who make deliberate decisions to help save the lives of others. The need is great.” 

To register, visit a local Secretary of State’s Office or go to