CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) – More than 100,000 people are currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant in the United States, including 500 West Virginians. But only 36% of West Virginians are registered organ donors, according to a release from CORE and WV Donate Life.

Celebrating West Virginia Donor Day on Aug. 1, or 8/1, is a reminder eight lives can be saved by one organ donor, according to supporting officials, Gov. Jim Justice and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.

“There are a lot of great things that West Virginia has to be proud of [and] to celebrate West Virginia donor day, I want to tell you about another reason we West Virginians have to be proud: I enacted a law so that we can now sign up as organ donors on our West Virginia hunting and fishing licenses,” Gov. Justice said. “So far, more than 50,000 West Virginians have! And that, right there, that’s what we will always be most proud of!”

West Virginia is a national leader in Morgantown donation, according to the release. The state has two transplant hospitals—Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital—and is home to the oldest organ donor in history. In 2021, Cecil Lockhart, a native of Short Pole, West Virginia, and a World War II veteran, died at age 95 and donated his liver, which saved a life.

“Talk to the people in your life about donation today and register as an organ donor today! Let’s work together, help end the wait in our Mountain State!” said Senator Capito.

“Every day, we at CORE are inspired by the generous West Virginia donors and their families, who through their own grief, choose to give others the gift of life,” said Susan Stuart, President and CEO of CORE. “West Virginia Donor Day is a time to celebrate them. It serves as a moment for communities across the state to come together, so that we can all encourage our own family, friends and neighbors to make the Pledge for Life by registering as a donor. The lives of 500 West Virginians are depending on it.”

West Virginians can register as organ donors by visiting this website or their local DMV, or when purchasing a hunting and fishing license.