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New Facebook Tool Helps Organ Donors ‘Share Life’

Rick Rowell/ABC NewsBy MARK ZUCKERBERG and SHERYL SANDBERG

Facebook is about connecting and sharing -- connecting with your friends, family and communities, and sharing information with them about your life, work, school and interests. On any given day more than half a billion people share billions of stories, updates and photos.

What has amazed us over the past eight years is how people use these same tools and social dynamics to address important issues and challenges in their communities. Last year in Missouri, Facebook users tracked down and returned treasured mementos to families who thought they'd lost everything in the Joplin tornado. In Japan, people used Facebook to locate family and friends following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Smaller acts of kindness happen millions of times a day on Facebook.

We never could have anticipated that what started as a small network would evolve into such a powerful tool for communication and problem solving. As this happens, we hope to build tools that help people transform the way we all solve worldwide social problems.

Today, more than 114,000 people in the United States, and millions more around the globe, are waiting for the heart, kidney or liver transplant that will save their lives. Many of those people – an average of 18 people per day – will die waiting, because there simply aren't enough organ donors to meet the need. Medical experts believe that broader awareness about organ donation could go a long way toward solving this crisis. And we believe that by simply telling people that you're an organ donor, the power of sharing and connection can play an important role.

Starting today, you can add that you're an organ donor to your timeline, and share your story about when, where or why you decided to become a donor. If you're not already registered with your state or national registry and want to be, you'll find a link to the official donor registry there as well.

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Facebook's mission is simple: to make the world more open and connected. But the Facebook community has also shown us that simply through sharing and connecting, the world gets smaller and better. Even one individual can have an outsized impact on the challenges facing another, and on the world. At Facebook, we call that the power of friends.

--Mark and Sheryl

Mark Zuckerberg is the founder and CEO of Facebook. Sheryl Sandberg is the company's COO.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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