Tuesday, January 9, 2018 – Flowood, MS – Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA) has announced that the agency’s 2018 scholarship application process is now open. For the fourth straight year, MORA will present $6,500 in scholarships in May to high school seniors who understand the need for organ, eye and tissue donation in Mississippi and across the country.
Eleven $500 scholarships will be awarded in the spring, as well as a $1,000 Gift of Lifescholarship, that will go to the top student applicant.
 After a record number of applicants (265) from a record number of high schools (94) in 2017, MORA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kevin Stump, expects the list of applicants to be even higher this year. “We have seen interest in donation rise among young people through the recent years,” said Stump, who is in his 24th year as the agency’s CEO. “We feel this is because either a young person has been touched by donation through a personal experience or that they are becoming educated about the need of the lifesaving gifts of donation,” Stump added.
Seniors applying for the MORA scholarships must meet certain criteria.  First, they must be a graduating senior from an accredited Mississippi high school.  Those seniors must also must have been accepted by a community college or university in Mississippi, or have intentions of 2018 fall enrollment.  They must also have a grade point average of 2.5 or above, include two letters of recommendation one from a teacher and one from an adult of the student’s choice and include an essay of 300 to a maximum of 750 words about their connection to donation, why they are registered donors or the importance of encouraging others to be donors.
For more information concerning these scholarships, you can contact Susan Bonds, Community Outreach Coordinator, via email at sbonds@msora.org or by phone at 662-841-1960.
Applications must be postmarked or hand delivered no later than Wednesday, February 14, 2018 to:

Susan Bonds

Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency

Midtown Pointe

499 Gloster Creek, Suite F1

Tupelo, MS 38801


For media inquiries:

Chuck Stinson

Director of Community Services and Relations

Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency


601.936.8610 (work)

601.383.1221 (cell)

At present, approximately 1,300 Mississippians and 116,000+ Americans are in need of a lifesaving transplant.  A new patient is added to the national transplant waiting list every 10 minutes and an average of 22 people die each day awaiting a lifesaving transplant that never comes.  One organ donor can save eight lives and one tissue donor can save or improve the lives of 50 recipients or more.  To register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor go to www.donatelifems.org.

For more information on MORA visit www.msora.org.

Faith and Organ Donation Go Hand in Hand


Photo attached: (Pictured L to R) Adrian Murry, Clintoria Johnson, Michael Minor


Pastor and congregation member reflect on faith and their donation connection  

Hattiesburg, MS– National Donor Sabbath is a time for faith leaders from many religions, donor families, transplant recipients and donation and transplantation professionals to participate in services and programs to educate the public about the need for the lifesaving and healing gifts passed to others through transplantation, while also encouraging people to register their decision to be organ, eye and tissue donors.

In 2016, National Donor Sabbath will be observed Friday, November 11th-Sunday, November 13th and this year will have a special meaning for kidney recipient Michael Minor, a pastor at West Point Baptist Church in Hattiesburg.

“I share with others how selfless of an act it was that was bestowed onto me,” said the 45 year old Minor, who first learned he would need a transplant in 2012.  “My faith in God was paramount. It was really all I had. It gave me something to hold on to through the process,” said Minor who has been at West Point Baptist Church for 17 years.

His miracle would come in the form of a tragedy that hit one of the families in his congregation in September of 2015.

Adrian Murry and her 25 year old son Kendrick had plans to watch Mississippi State University and the University of Southern Mississippi play football in Hattiesburg on Saturday, September 5, 2015. Kendrick never showed. He had suffered a seizure at work and hit his head as he fell. One week later, he was pronounced dead at Forrest General Hospital.

Unbeknownst to his mother, Kendrick was a registered organ donor. “At the time, I really didn’t know anything about donation and didn’t know that he had signed up for it,” said Murry. “When I did learn about it, I did not want to do it. I thought it was against my religion. I came home and I thought about it. I realized this was his wish. It turned out to be more amazing than I thought.”

The Murry family had been a member of West Point Baptist Church for nearly as long as Pastor Minor had been at the church. At the most painful time of her life, Murry remembered that her pastor was on dialysis and in need of a kidney transplant. “I was stuck on the fact that Adrian was thinking about me,” said Minor. “The fact that she could think of anybody at that time and the fact that she remembered that I was in need was overwhelming.”

Given that this was an unspeakable tragedy for this mom and mother of three, Minor believes that Adrian’s faith played a large part in helping her deal with her son’s death and understand his wishes to be a donor. “It is counter to human nature to think of someone else at that moment. Faith defies logic a lot of times,” explained Minor.

Murry’s faith waivered for a bit after he son’s death. “I stepped away from the church after my son passed but I started going back to church realizing that you can’t be down,” she said. “This is the time to be rejoicing and thanking God for the years I did have.”

Kendrick donated six organs that saved five lives and Adrian shares the importance of his selfless act to all. “I encourage anyone that I come across is to think about others and saving others because that’s what we are here to do.”

She says that she often shares that message with family members and one family member knows all too well the importance of that message. Murry’s cousin, Clintoria Johnson, who was the recipient of Kendrick’s heart, a fact she didn’t learn until seven months after Kendrick’s death and one day before his birthday.

“It has given me the strength to know that my son still lives on. The scripture says to give and it shall be given on to you. He gave and I believe it is going to be given back tenfold.”

National Donor Sabbath is observed annually two weekends before Thanksgiving, from Friday through Sunday. This three-day observance seeks to include the days of worship for major religions practiced in the United States.

Across the country, a new patient is added to the national transplant waiting list every 10 minutes and an average of 22 people die each day awaiting a lifesaving transplant that never comes. One organ donor can save eight lives and one tissue donor can save or heal the lives of 50 recipients or more.

Mississippi DPS Officials Recognized for their Efforts in Saving Lives

DPS Examiners responsible for registering 98%
of Mississippi’s Registered Organ and Tissue Donors

Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials, Major Ken Brown and Captain James Kelly, were recognized by Donate Life Mississippi in Meridian on Wednesday for their efforts to register more Mississippians as organ, eye and tissue donors. Donate Life Mississippi is a union formed by Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA), Mid-South Transplant Foundation (MSTF) from Memphis, TN, and the Mississippi Lions Eye Bank (MLEB), to promote the need for organ, eye and tissue donation. 

DPS Award 2016

Captain James Kelly & Major Ken Brown were awarded Certificates of Appreciation from Donate Life America and Donate Life Mississippi for their work in promoting organ and tissue donation through the Mississippi Department of Public Safety Driver Services Department.

“Major Brown and Captain Kelly have been instrumental in increasing donor designations in Mississippi through Driver Services,” said Chuck Stinson, the Director of Community Services and Relations for MORA. “DPS is responsible for 98% of the registrations across the state and this year we have seen a 2% increase in registrations per encounter thanks to the efforts of Major Brown, Captain Kelly and their examiners,” added Stinson.

Brown, the Director of Driver Services, says he is pleased with his examiners and their impact on saving lives but that the department, in conjunction with Donate Life Mississippi can always do more. “We can educate better to show them (DPS Examiners) why, asking people to be donors is important. We can also do more public events to show how we are changing lives.”

“We’re so glad to recognize the employees of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety Driver Services. All of us at Donate Life Mississippi realize that it starts with them,” said Randa Lipman, Community Outreach Manager for MSTF. “They give Mississippians an opportunity to say ‘yes’ to being an organ and tissue donor which in turns helps save lives. We honor and salute them!”

DPS examiners are required by law to ask those receiving a new Mississippi Driver’s License or renewing a current one if they wish to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. To date, the DPS has registered nearly 745,000 of the 760,000+ Mississippians registered to be organ, eye and tissue donors.

This recognition comes during National DMV Appreciation Week across the country where Donate Life state teams and Donate Life America celebrate the work of the Motor Vehicle Departments (DMVs) across the country for their partnership and commitment to asking the donation question to their customers every day.  

“Our DMV partners are the people on the front lines of service who have helped register more than 130 million donors”, says David Fleming, President and CEO of Donate Life America. “Even with advances in technology, the DMV partnership remains a primary source of donor registrations. We could not have reached this milestone of registered donors and lives saved without the partnership and support of DMVs.”

Across the country, a new patient is added to the national transplant waiting list every 10 minutes and an average of 22 people die each day awaiting a lifesaving transplant that never comes. One organ donor can save eight lives and one tissue donor can save or heal the lives of 50 recipients or more.

Join us for the Drive for Life Golf Tournament


The Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency will host the Drive for Life Golf Tournament on Thursday, October 20th, 2016 at Lake Caroline Golf Club in Madison, Mississippi.

In its sixth year, the Drive for Life Golf Tournament is a set up as a four man scramble with food, door prizes, a silent auctions, and on course contests. Its a fun, inexpensive way for friends of organ, eye and tissue donation to help support the educational efforts of the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency.

We hope you will join us and consider sponsoring the tournament! The sponsorship and entry fees are as follows:

Drive for Life Team Package (includes four man team and hole sponsorship): $700

Drive for Life Team (includes four man team): $600

Single Entry (includes one player entry): $175

Hole Sponsorship: $125

Beverage Cart Sponsorship: $100

For more information, to register, and/or to sponsor the event, please contact Chuck Stinson at 601.933.1000 or cstinson@msora.org

You may also print and fill out the attached Mail-in Entry Form:

Drive for Life Brochure – Event Information
Drive For Life Brochure – Mail-in Entry Form

Congratulations to the 2016 Spero Award Winners



3rd Annual Spero Awards held at Old Capitol Inn, Jackson

The Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA) served as host for the 3rd Annual Spero Awards on Thursday, July 21st, 2016 at the Old Capitol Inn in downtown Jackson. The awards ceremony recognized hospital partners, medical professionals, corporate partners and donor ambassadors who work tirelessly in conjunction with MORA to promote organ, eye and tissue donation to ultimately save and heal lives.

A total of 15 Spero Awards were presented to individuals and organizations from areas throughout the state as well as one Special Recognition Spero Award. The word Spero (Sp?-r?) is Latin for “hope”. The title was chosen to reflect the hope that organ and tissue donation brings to those in need of a lifesaving organ or a life improving tissue transplant.

Additionally, seven medical facilities in the state received Hospital Excellence Awards in recognition of their achievement of national organ donation performance standards by attaining one or more of three set goals.

2016 Spero Award recipients

Ancillary or Healthcare Staff of the Year- Hospitals for Hope Committee, North Mississippi Medical Center

Nurse Champion- Amber Overstreet, Greenwood Leflore Hospital

Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year- Megan Butts, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Physician Champion- Dr. Carrie Morgan Henderson, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Most Supportive Hospital Leadership- Susan Russell, Singing River Health Systems

Best Medical Management- Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg

Most Supportive Tissue Hospital- Hardy Wilson Memorial Hospital, Hazlehurst

Most Supportive Organ & Tissue Hospital- Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg

Most Supportive Mortuary Services- Bradford O’Keefe Funeral Home, Biloxi

Most Supportive Coroner- Butch Benedict, Forrest County

Community Faith Leader or Chaplain of the Year- Chaplain Brian Williamson, Forrest General Hospital

Volunteer of the Year- Julie Dickerson, donor mom, Nettleton

Donation Advocate- Rachel Payne, transplant recipient, Vancleave

Red Heart Award-Brookhaven Department of Public Safety Station

Corporate Partner of the Year-Brown Bottling Group, Brandon                         

Special Recognition-Jimmy Roberts, Retired Rankin County Coroner

Mississippi Lions Eye Bank (MLEB) also presented the Gift of Sight Award to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo for their work in helping to facilitate sight saving corneal transplants. MLEB also awarded the inaugural Partner’s in Vision Award to Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian. This award recognizes the hospital partner that has helped to facilitate eye donations that resulted in the greatest percentage of corneas being transplanted, with a minimum of ten corneas being recovered during the year.

Hospital Excellence Awards were awarded to seven hospitals that have achieved national organ donation performance standards set by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Hospitals receiving those awards were:

Anderson Regional Medical Center, Meridian

Merit Health Central, Jackson

North Mississippi Medical Center, Tupelo

Ocean Springs Hospital, Ocean Springs

St. Dominic Hospital, Jackson

Singing River Hospital, Pascagoula

University of Mississippi Medical Center-Jackson

Also recognized during the ceremony were 36 hospitals from across the state that have enrolled in the Mississippi Hospitals for Hope campaign, which was developed to raise awareness for the need of organ, eye and tissue donation and increase registrations. The Hospitals recognized for their participation in the state Hospitals for Hope campaign were:

Anderson Regional Medical Center

Anderson Regional Medical Center-South

Covington County Hospital

Delta Regional Medical Center

Field Memorial Community Hospital

Forrest General Hospital

H.C. Watkins Memorial Hospital

Highland Community Hospital

Jasper General Hospital

John C. Stennis Memorial Hospital

King’s Daughters Medical Center

Laird Hospital

Memorial Hospital at Gulfport

Merit Health Biloxi

Merit Health Central Mississippi

Merit Health River Region

Mississippi Baptist Medical Center

Neshoba County Hospital

North Mississippi Medical Center

North Mississippi Medical Center-Iuka

North Mississippi Medical Center-Pontotoc

North Mississippi Medical Center-West Point

North Sunflower County Medical Center

Ocean Springs Hospital

OCH Regional Medical Center

Regency Hospital of Meridian

Rush Foundation Hospital

St. Dominic Jackson Memorial Hospital

Scott Regional Hospital

Simpson General Hospital

Singing River Hospital

South Central Regional Medical Center

Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center

The Specialty Hospital of Meridian

University of Mississippi Medical Center

University of Mississippi Medical Center-Grenada

For pictures from the event, please visit:



Donate Life ECHO



The Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) Partners with Donate Life America (DLA) for 2016 Donate Life ECHO (Every Community Has Opportunity)   


#DonateLifeECHO Aims to Empower the Voice of Multicultural Communities
Around the Need and Importance of Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donation 


The Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) and Donate Life America (DLA) joined forces in 2015 to develop Donate Life ECHO, which stands for Every Community Has Opportunity. It will be celebrated July 10 – 23, 2016, as a nationwide observance designed to reach multicultural communities. The observance has two objectives: one is to focus on the power of sharing one’s personal decision to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor with members of one’s community; the second is to encourage registered donors to ask members of their personal networks and extended communities to talk about organ, eye and tissue donation and register as donors. Through the ECHO concept of reiteration and repetition—with people sharing the life-affirming message of donation within their community—more lives will be saved and healed.

Multicultural communities play a vital role in donation and transplantation. Indeed, statistics gathered by the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) confirm that the percentage of multicultural donors who save and heal lives account for 34% of all deceased organ donors.  Yet, the need for enhanced advocacy and engagement persists. This is especially compounded by the fact that ethnically diverse communities are disproportionately in need of lifesaving organ transplants—especially kidneys.

Currently, nearly 58 percent of the U.S. transplant waiting list is comprised of ethnically diverse patients. Research shared by UNOS further confirms that, “successful transplantation is often enhanced by the matching of organs between members of the same ethnic and racial group.” As such, increasing educational efforts and outreach through innovative campaigns is a critical step toward increasing the number of registered donors in multicultural communities. Accordingly, Donate Life ECHO offers a simple yet powerful conduit for sparking dialogue and action.
“This strategic initiative is about empowering individuals to echo the message of donation in diverse communities, and in so doing, increase donor registrations,” said Remonia Chapman, president of AMAT. “Donate Life ECHO also creates an opportunity for multicultural professionals, working in healthcare, to join together to promote lifesaving transplantation. Indeed, we hope to inspire future generations of clinicians, nurses, social workers, community educators and healthcare advocates to consider becoming part of this wonderful calling to save and heal lives through the gift of organ and tissue donation.”
Together, AMAT and DLA will offer a Donate Life ECHO digital toolkit that will include: social media banners, graphics, talking points, statistics and other resources that can be customized for specific audiences. To learn more, please visit: www.amat1.org/programs/echo andwww.DonateLife.net/echo.

To register your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor in the Donate Life Mississippi Registry, please go to www.DonateLifeMS.org.

About the Association of Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT)
AMAT was established in 1992 to address the increasing need for organ and tissue donors in the multicultural communities while simultaneously offering support, shared expertise and professional development opportunities for its members as they save and heal lives.  AMAT is a self-sustaining, self-governed organization operating solely on voluntary contributions from individuals, corporations, and other affiliated organizations. For more information, visit: www.AMAT1.org.

About Donate Life America (DLA)
Donate Life America is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and Donate Life State Teams across the United States committed to saving and healing lives through increased organ, eye and tissue donation. Donate Life America, with the help of its corporate partners, is dedicated to spreading the word about the importance of being a registered donor so that others may live. For more information, visit: www.DonateLife.net.

MORA Schedules Volunteer Trainings Across Mississippi

Event Thumbnail

Agency launches a new volunteer program
to help promote need for organ and tissue donation

The Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA) has scheduled three volunteer training sessions across the state to recruit and train new volunteers that want to promote the lifesaving and life healing gifts of organ, eye and tissue donation.

The dates and sites for the scheduled training sessions are as follows:

Saturday, July 23, 2016-9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. MORA Office, 111 South 40th Avenue, Hattiesburg, MS 39402.

Saturday, July 30, 2016-9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. MORA Headquarters, 4400 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, MS 39232.

Saturday, August 20, 2016-9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. MORA Office, Midtown Pointe, 499 Gloster Creek, Suite F1, Tupelo, MS 38801.

Saturday, September 24, 2016– 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. MORA Office, Knight Not For Profit Center, 11975 Seaway Road, Suite A 180, Gulfport, Mississippi 39503.

To register for a training session or for more information, please contact Trisha Byrd at tbyrd@msora.org or (228)-896-5224, ext. 6862.

At present, approximately 1,500 Mississippians and 122,000+ Americans are in need of a lifesaving transplant.  A new patient is added to the national transplant waiting list every 10 minutes and an average of 22 people die each day awaiting a lifesaving transplant that never comes.  One organ donor can save eight lives and one tissue donor can save or heal the lives of 50 recipients or more.  To register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor go to www.itssupereasy.org.

Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) Recognizes Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency Tissue Recovery Team for Exceptional Work

Pictured Left to Right: Director of Tissue Services Brad Mathis and Tissue Recovery Coordinators Chad Wiles, Jennifer Lowther, Trey Stokes, Drew Flanagin, and Nathan DuBard.

Pictured Left to Right: Director of Tissue Services Brad Mathis and Tissue Recovery Coordinators Chad Wiles, Jennifer Lowther, Trey Stokes, Drew Flanagin, and Nathan DuBard.

The award winning tissue recovery team from the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA) has been recognized again for excellence in their work. Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) recently announced winners of the 2015 Technical and Achievement Awards and the MORA team was one of two teams recently awarded the Golden Scalpel Award in recognition of excellence in the recovery of soft tissue. Gift of Life Michigan was also recognized. “It is a privilege to recognize our Recovery Partners and their staff for the exceptional work they do throughout the year. Their excellence in tissue donation greatly enhances our ability to honor the wishes of donors and their families and to save and enhance the lives of transplant recipients,” said Mike Real, Vice President, Procurement for MTF. MORA CEO Kevin Stump said that this award is reflective of the agency as a whole. “This is just another example of the commitment by all of the employees of the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency to honor those families who give so generously to help others.”

MORA Sponsors 53rd Medgar Evers Mississippi Homecoming

Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA) is excited to be the Title Sponsor of the 53rd Annual Medgar Evers Mississippi Homecoming celebration held Saturday, June 11th and Sunday, June 12, 2016.

The weekend, which will honor the work and legacy of slain Civil Rights activist and Mississippi native, Medgar Wiley Evers, consists of great family friendly events on both days. Organizers describe this homecoming as an opportunity for all Mississippians to unite through the universal language of music.  As title sponsor, MORA will participate in the annual parade which kicked off Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. as well as the Blues Extravaganza that night, at the Regency Hotel & Conference Center.

MORA representatives will be setting up booths at these events and will explain the importance and benefits of organ, eye and tissue donation to the large crowd in attendance.  This weekend celebration is a great opportunity for MORA to reach out to our community and dispel any myths surrounding organ, eye and tissue donation by distributing factual information about our great mission.

If you are interested in having MORA be a part of your local event, contact us at 601-933-1000.

Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency and Merit Health Central Honor Donors

Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency and Merit Health Central Honor Donors

Gift of Life Donor Wall Showcases those who saved and healed lives through donation

Organ, eye, and tissue donors give a unique gift. Their donations grant a second chance to many awaiting a miracle. Organ, eye and tissue donation offers many families comfort in the midst of loss and grief. In this final act of hope, one person can truly change the world.

That’s why Merit Health Central has partnered with the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA) and the Mississippi Lions Eye Bank to honor those who have given so unselfishly of themselves.  These agencies held a special ceremony in the Main Lobby of the hospital on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 to unveil the Gift of Life Donor Wall to honor organ, eye and tissue donors. The ceremony is the first in what will become an annual tradition of honoring donors both past and present.

 “Creating a lasting tribute to those who have given hope and new life through donation has been a dream of ours for years,” said Kevin Stump, CEO, MORA. “There have been nearly 130 donors at Merit Health Central since our partnership began.   Some have chosen to remain anonymous, but we hope other families will see the Gift of Life wall and allow us to add those names in the future.”

The Gift of Life Donor Wall features photographs of organ, eye and tissue donors submitted by their love ones as a testament to their generous gifts.  Each photo represents the story of a generous individual who shared renewed life, hope and healing with others. Merit Health Central is the second hospital in Mississippi to do a wall honoring organ, eye and tissue donors.

 “Organ and tissue donation can save and improve lives in our communities, the state of Mississippi and across the nation,” Stump said. “Joining the donor registry gives hope to those in need of organ and tissue transplants, while leaving a legacy of generosity for the donor and his or her family.”

Every year, an estimated 22 people die while waiting for an organ transplant. More than 122,000 Americans are in need of a life-saving organ transplant, with approximately 1,500 of these in Mississippi.  The level of necessity, blood type, and size are among several criteria that determine who can receive a donated organ. One individual donor can provide organs and tissue for nearly 50 people in need.

 “These donors and their families deserve this recognition and it helps ensure that they will never be forgotten,” said Jon-Paul Croom, CEO of Merit Health Central.  “We have been working with MORA for over 20 years and in April, we participated in a balloon release with MORA to celebrate Donor Awareness Month.”

Although hospitals are obligated by law to identify potential donors and inform families of their right to donate, anyone can sign up to become an organ, eye and tissue donor by registering at www.donatelifems.org.

If your loved one was an organ donor at the hospital and you would like to have him or her honored on the Gift of Life wall in the future, contact MORA at (601) 936-1000 or visit www.msora.org.