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Luring organ donors – $25 million drive kicks off

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RICHMOND, Va. – The F.M. Kirby Foundation has awarded $1 million to the United Network for Organ Sharing – the largest gift in the network’s 15-year history.

The award is the first in the network’s campaign to raise $25 million to encourage more people to become organ donors.

According to the nonprofit network, more than 65,000 men, women and children are registered organ donors — yet an average of 13 people die every day while awaiting needed organs.

The group has operated the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network in the U.S. since 1986 through a contract with the Health Resources and Services Administration, coordinating nearly 200,000 transplants.

The network also plans to use a portion of the campaign funds to build an $8 million headquarters facility at the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park in Richmond.

The F.M. Kirby Foundation, a family foundation in Morristown, N.J., makes grants to programs that particularly interest five generations of the Kirby family. In the past, the foundation has supported various medical organizations.

The network also plans to use $8 million to build a new headquarters facility at the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park in Richmond.

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