About TFL

History and Milestones

In 1992, the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks successfully sponsored legislation through the Kentucky General Assembly that afforded every Kentuckian obtaining a driver’s license or ID an opportunity to donate dollars to promote organ & tissue donation. These dollar donations were put into a Trust. The Circuit Clerks called it their Trust For Life (Trust).

Since creating the Trust, the Circuit Clerks raised more than $15 million in Kentucky’s 120 counties. The Trust uses the funds from the donations to raise public awareness and encourage organ and tissue donation throughout the Commonwealth through an extensive advertising and public relations effort. The Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life was the first such program in the US, and since its inception, many other states have requested information about the program and a number of other states now have similar programs.

In 1999, the Trust established the Satterwhite Recipient Assistance Fund to raise money to directly aid Kentucky transplant recipients and their families. Money for this fund comes from events like Spring & Fall Day at the Races at Churchill Downs and fundraisers conducted by the Circuit Court Clerks as well as individual donations and bequests.

In 2006, the Trust was one of the organizations that encouraged the Kentucky Legislature to pass HB57, setting up the online Kentucky Donor Registry. It was named to a coalition that included Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) and other organizations, to create the state-wide, confidential online registry of people who wish to help others through organ, eye & tissue donation. Since 2006, over 2 million Kentuckians have placed their name on the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. To add your name to the Registry, go to www.registermeky.org.

In 2010, the Trust partnered with Kosair for Kids to raise awareness about kids in need of organ transplants. Our two organizations were originally linked by David Nicholson, Jefferson Co. Circuit Clerk, who is also a Shriner. Every person who joins the Registry gives hope to kids and families in need.

In 2013, the Kentucky Circuit Clerk’s Offices launched a new Heart icon on driver’s license. Starting Jan. 23, 2013, a symbol is added to your license that stands for hope and generosity on something you carry with you everywhere: your driver’s license. Many people remember the old orange dot, but now like Indiana, Ohio and other states, Kentuckians have a donor heart icon automatically printed on their license once they register as a donor at driver’s license office.

In 2016, Kentucky reached the national goal of 50% of Kentuckians registered as donors! Donate Life America awarded Kentucky the 2016 Donor Designation Rate award for Highest Increase at the AAMVA Region II Conference.

In 2016, Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates formally partnered with the Trust for services and provides over $400,000 in funding for community outreach efforts to increase the number of lives saved through donation and transplantation. A longtime partner, this formal strategic alliance combined the Trust and KODA Community Outreach Staff Members and promotes a singular strategic plan and leadership focus.

In 2019, the Trust supported legislation to add the organ donor registry question to the Kentucky Online Gateway which has added approximately 1000 names per month since enacted.

In 2020, the state began transitioning driver’s license away from the Circuit Clerks Offices into the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC)’s offices. With an updated touchpad, the question about financial donations now include a $2, $5, $10, and $25 contribution option.  The Registry question is only asked to those who are not currently registered.  Kentucky is a once-yes always-yes state, so once you join the Registry you do not have to join again. A person can remove their name from the Registry at any time by going to www.registermeky.org and clicking “change registration” or by calling our office 1-866-945-5433.

In 2022, the Trust supported legislation to add the organ donor registry question and financial contribution question to the online car tag renewal screens and allow the County Clerks the opportunity to ask when people are renewing their car tags in person.

In 2023, the Trust launched a Circuit Clerks’ Trust For Life Endowment Scholarship Program to allow students and community members who promote the mission of organ, eye and tissue donation to earn scholarship dollars towards advancing their education.
Apply here: bit.ly/DonateLifeScholarship or learn more by emailing [email protected].

Community Supporters

“Our missions converge; both organizations are involved in helping save lives. It’s in our interest to help the Trust keep their message out there because often organ & tissue donations go to kids,” explains Kosair Charities Board Member H.I. Stroth.

The Trust was originally linked with Kosair Charities in 2010 by Jefferson Co. Circuit Clerk, David Nicholson, who is a Shriner. That connection led to a more formal partnership including a $150,000 grant from Kosair Charities to support the Trust’s public outreach & education efforts. Kosair Charities changed it’s name to Kosair For Kids in 2022.

“The more awareness we extend, the more children will be saved by the miracle of transplantation. As Circuit Clerks, we spread this message in each of our offices. Thanks to Kosair Charities, our reach is even greater,” explains Linda Avery, Calloway Co. Circuit Clerk & Trust For Life Board Member.

KODA has supported the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ and their Trust For Life since inception in 1992. KODA leadership and board members have served on the Trust board for years. Together we promote donation throughout the state and encourage all Kentuckians to be registered organ donors to save lives.

“KODA’s support of our organization has been incredible. From supporting new ideas and initiatives, data sharing, volunteer development, training, and generous sponsorships, we cherish our partnership with such an outstanding organization,” explains Shelley Heavrin Snyder, Executive Director of KY Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life.

Click here to learn more about our educational programs and events made possible by these important supporters.

Satterwhite Patient Assistance Fund

The Satterwhite Patient Assistance fund was founded for the sole purpose of helping Kentucky transplanted patients who have fallen on financial hardships. With doctor’s bills, multiple follow-up appointments, and medication, the financial burden can mount rapidly.  Our Satterwhite patient assistance fund helps to pay for necessary assistance like gas cards, medical equipment, co-pays, and lodging for appointments.   

This fund allows us to help others protect the most precious gift one can receive, the gift of a second chance at life.  With your help, we will continue to grow this fund to help our Kentucky patients. 

To contribute to the Satterwhite Patient Assistance Fund, please click here.

To find out if you are eligible to receive assistance, please speak with your social worker from your transplant hospital.

Jim- Liver and Satterwhite Grant Recipient

 “The patient assistance fund provided me all the funds to stay at a hotel located two miles from my transplant hospital.  They saved me and my family from a greater financial burden on top of the worry that my transplant had already placed on them.  Today I am happy to say I’m feeling and doing great!  While I still have a long road of recovery ahead of me, the support of my family, friends, and the patient assistance fund will allow me to succeed!”

Circuit Clerks’ Trust For Life Endowment – Donate Life Scholarship Program

In 2023, the Trust launched a Circuit Clerks’ Trust For Life Endowment Scholarship Program to allow students and community members who promote the mission of organ, eye and tissue donation to earn scholarship dollars towards advancing their education.
Apply here: bit.ly/DonateLifeScholarship or learn more by emailing [email protected].

Board of Directors 2023

LindaAveryCalloway Circuit Court Clerk
TanyaBowmanHopkins Circuit Court Clerk
StacyBrunerTrimble Circuit Court Clerk
JulieBerginKentucky Organ Donor Affiliates
MelissaCardwellButler Circuit Court Clerk
MelindaFoxUK HealthCare
WrayJumpGrant Circuit Court Clerk
TonyKerrRussell Circuit Court Clerk
DennisLoyAdair Circuit Court Clerk
GinaLyleCommunity Member (Former Henry Circuit Court Clerk)
BreiaMaddoxCommunity Member (Recipient family/waiting)
AngieMcCoyJefferson Co. Chief Deputy
JohnMiddletonKenton Circuit Court Clerk
MarthaMillerClark Circuit Clerk
AndiJohnsonLifeCenter Organ Donor Network – Director of Public Affairs
NoelQuinnCommunity Member (former Circuit Clerk)
MattColeDriver’s License Director, Transportation Cabinet