Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Written for Scottish Rite Journal - 2000 > By. Don Jones

Donald V. Jones, 32°, 121 Brandon Road, Martin, Tennessee 38237–5240 donjones@charter.net

Organ/tissue donation is the gift of life and the Masonic thing to do.
Photo: Bro. Don Jones, 32°, Valley of Nashville, Tennessee, a donor heart recipient, proudly displays his organ/tissue donor card. Today, there are more than 66,000 people on a national organ and tissue donor waiting list. Many Masons are meeting this crisis and proudly adding Green Ribbon Organ/Donor Pins to their Square and Compasses lapel pins. Everything is needed, and what greater gift can one give than the "Gift of Life"? Sharing your decision to be an organ donor with your family is as important as making the decision itself. At the time of your passing, your family will be asked about donation. Their understanding and appreciating your wishes will prevent confusion or uncertainty. Carrying out your wishes to save the lives of others can provide your family with great comfort in their time of grief. Organ/tissue donation is an ultimate act of charity, and a national system ensures the fair distribution of organs in the United States. Organ recipients are identified based upon many factors such as blood type, length of time on the waiting list, severity of illness, and other medical criteria. Factors such as race, gender, age, income, or celebrity status are not considered when determining who receives an organ. You ask, "How can I or my Lodge help?" Simply have it noted on your driver's license that you are an organ donor, and ask your friends, family, and Masonic Brothers to do the same. If your Lodge or Appendant Bodies want to get involved on a larger scale, please contact the Tennessee Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons, PO Box 24216, Nashville, Tennessee 37202. Organ donation is part of the Volunteer State's Vision 2013> http://www.gmwp.org/vision2013/oda < Program dedicated to statewide Masonic renewal and the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee in that year. Also, invite an organ donor awareness speaker to visit your Lodge or Appendant Body. As a Past Master of Dresden Lodge No. 90, Dresden, Tennessee, the Home Lodge of Davy Crockett, I am proud to say my Lodge is the catalyst for the organ/tissue donor part of the Tennessee Vision 2013 Program. I guess you could say that I've put my heart into this enlightenment program. On August 17, 1994, after waiting two years and 17 days for a heart, my prayers were answered. I received a 20-year-old heart at Vanderbilt University Hospital, their 189th transplant operation. And I, too, am an organ donor, as are my wife and two sons. Yes, my heart can be used again. Isn't that great! I was elected to the position of Worshipful Master of my Lodge for the first time in 1978. I was again elected in 1997, three years after I received my new heart. This would not have happened without the charitable act of an organ donor. Neither would I have been able to have raised my son to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on May 1, 1997. These are just a couple of things I have been privileged to do because of an organ donor! I now spend all of my time working on donor awareness. "Give the Gift of Life. Be an Organ/Tissue Donor. It's the Masonic thing to Do." The only cost is a little love! Don Jones is the Chairman of Organ Donor Awareness for the Vision 2013 Program, Grand Lodge of Tennessee.

Raised a Master Mason in Signet Lodge No. 555, Detroit, Mich., in 1962, Brother Jones became a Master of the Royal Secret in the year 2000 Spring Reunion of the Valley of Nashville, Tenn. He is also a member of Rob Reavis Chapter No. 71, OES, Martin, Tenn.; Royal Arch Masons Chapter No. 132; Council No. 122, Commandery No. 29, York Rite Bodies in Union City, Tenn.; and Al-Chymia Shrine Temple, Memphis, Tenn. He was appointed District No. 3 Chairman, Lake, Obion, and Weakley Counties, at Grand Lodge in 1999 and received the John B. Arp Award the same year.

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