In Japan, they are facing a scary reality that many other countries have already tackled: organ donation. Only 2% of the people on the transplant waiting lists actually receive the organs that they need to live, and one campaign is hoping to raise awareness on the issue by teaching children how they work. They want to encourage organ donation, but if the country ever wants the practice to be mainstream, the education on it needs to start as early as possible. Second Life Toys had a clever idea that simplified the process so that children could understand. When I child no longer uses a toy, they can donate them to the campaign. If a child has a toy that is broken or torn, they can send them in as well. The “donor” toys will help repair the “broken” toys, and the children will receive letters explaining how one plushie helped another to continue “living,” when it was hurt.The letters explain to the child who donated a toy how their contribution improved the “recipient” plushie’s life.It might be an extremely simplified way of explaining what actually happens during an organ transplant, but the concept is simple, and in a country that faces staggering amounts of organ shortages each year, they have to start somewhere.They hope to increase the number of patients who are able to receive these life-saving donations dramatically. The sooner people realize what it means to the families in need of transplants, the sooner more and more people can help each other.
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