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Doctor Q
Dec 20, 2005, 03:50 PM
Remembering George Best is a "charity download" for the "Donor Family Network", avail in the iTunes Music Store.

ALBUM NOTES: For some, Colin Hay will always be the vocalist behind Men at Work. For the rest, Hay is an expert song-crafter who has been carving out his own brand of honest and clever pop music. "My Brilliant Feat" is a song Hay originally recorded back in 1998. Now iTunes, along with Colin, and Lady Heather Mills McCartney are digitally re-releasing the track with a bonus video as a tribute to the late George Best, widely regarded as one of the best footballers the game has ever seen. On November 25, George Best died at the age of 59, as a result of multiple organ failure. The proceeds from this exclusive track and video are going to The Donor Family Network, supporting donor families and promoting organ and tissue donation.
I'm glad to see the issue of organ and tissue donation getting some good publicity, but I'm curious about two things:

1. Does "all proceeds" mean that Apple is donating its few cents from the sale, or only that the label/artist share is donated?

2. How well known is the Donor Family Network? I'm familiar with a number of organ/tissue donation sites, including organdonor.gov (http://www.organdonor.gov/) and the National Marrow Donor Program (http://www.marrow.org/) (I'm in their registry), but I've never heard of the Donor Family Network. I see references to it at various websites, but haven't spotted a website for the Donor Family Network itself. The Donor Family Network is apparently based on New York and has a toll-free number, but no website, which is odd for an organization that is funded by donations and managed to get in on a promotion like this.

The American Red Cross used to have a Tissue Services Program (http://www.redcross.org/services/biomed/0,1082,0_538_,00.html), which you get to from their menu by clicking "Donor Family Network", but they closed that program about a year ago, so I can't tell if the Red Cross was involved with the organization that this promotion is helping.

I'm not suspicious about this charity effort, just curious where the money really goes.



Jaffa Cake
Dec 20, 2005, 04:09 PM
Yes, I spotted this on the (UK) iTMS earlier today. I've not heard of the Donor Family Network before, but a quick search around suggests it's actually a British charity, founded by a guy called David Nix. That would make sense given the fact that Best was from the UK, and explain why you can't find much of a presence for them in the States.

Nix is mentioned here, (http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200304/cmhansrd/vo040115/debtext/40115-21.htm) in the transcript of a discussion in Parliament...

One such constituent is David Nix, who is a great man. He runs the organ Donor Family Network and, having received a small grant from the Department of Health, he operates the organ donor bus. Week in, week out, he tours the country and has signed up tens of thousands of people to the organ donor register. David convinced me that families must be involved in the decision to donate organs.

So it appears that the charity sends a exhibition bus around the country to encourage people to become organ donors. And it appears that Heather Mills-McCartney is a patron (http://icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk/mail/news/tm_objectid=15697400&method=full&siteid=50002&headline=why-heather-missed-live-8--name_page.html) of the charity, hence her involvement with this single.

Hope that clears things up a bit!

Doctor Q
Dec 20, 2005, 04:24 PM
That conflicts with this claim about who founded it:

link (http://www.donorrecovery.org/About/)The Donor Family Network, an organization founded by donor moms Ellen Kulik and Michelle Lester, offers crisis support and after care to new and potential donor families.

Jaffa Cake
Dec 20, 2005, 04:30 PM
Hmm... interesting. I think the most likely explanation is simply that two separate charities in two separate countries share the same name, that's all. It certainly appears they do different things the British charity tours around and encourages people to get signed up as donors, while their American counterparts offer support and aftercare to donor families.

In the instance of where your iTunes money would go if you bought this song, I think it's a safe bet to say it would head to the British organisation given the involvement of Heather Mills-McCartney, one of the Charity's patrons.

Doctor Q
Dec 20, 2005, 04:42 PM
Yes, that explanation makes sense. All in all, I'll donate directly to organizations like this rather than buy promo items that I don't really want. That way 100% of the donation goes directly to the charity.

But if anyone likes the music and video that the iTunes Music Store is offering, go right ahead!

<shameless plug>
And it's absolutely free to sign a donor card (ftp://ftp.hrsa.gov/osp/newdonorcard.pdf) and keep it in your wallet. More info here (http://www.organdonor.gov/signup1.html) and here (http://www.organdonor.gov/myths_and_facts.htm).
</shameless plug>

Applespider
Dec 20, 2005, 04:56 PM
Another point about donor cards; if you carry one, make sure that your next of kin and family are aware of your wishes. In the UK at least, they will still be asked for permission to use your organs. While they will be told you have a donor card or are on the donor register, they can still refuse permission; it's not a legally binding statement.

And consider going on the bone marrow list and donating blood, both of which you can do without having to die first. ;)

Doctor Q
Dec 20, 2005, 07:38 PM
Hey Applespider, we forgot to mention umbilical cord blood (http://www.marrow.org/HELP/donate_cord_blood.html) donations.

Instead of getting throw away when a baby is born, cord blood can be saved in case it is needed for the future health of the child or for use in transplants to matched recipients.

In previous years, cord blood could only be used to transplant a child (because there is less blood volume in a child's body), but now techniques have been developed to save adult lives with cord blood transplants.