PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Saving lives one organ at a time, two Peoria hospitals raised “Gift of Hope” flags that have partnered with the organ and tissue donor network organization.

The “Gift of Hope” is one of 57 organ procurement organizations in the country that work specifically in Illinois and Northwest Indiana. Now, they are getting recognition in Peoria.

On Friday, two “Gift of Hope” flags were raised at OSF Saint Francis and Unity Point Methodist Hospitals in Peoria.

Being the third organization to ever hit 30,000 organ transplants, April, known as National Donate Life Month, is a special month to reach that milestone.

“National donate life month is designated to honor those donors who have given the gift of life and their families,” said CEO & President of Gift of Hope Harry Wilkins.

For some who attended the flag-raising, like Shay Weldy, it hit even closer to home.

“Given everything that I’ve been through, to be able to raise the flag for Gift of Hope is an amazing experience,” said Weldy.

She received a new heart in 2017 after experiencing clotting issues. She was on the transplant list for eight months and now feels lucky to share her story with doctors who help transplant recipients every day.

“To be able to speak to them and share my story is an awesome experience. To let them know that the work that they do is very important, and it saves lives, lives like mine,” Weldy said.

To recognize the national month, “Gift of Hope” wants to reach another goal.

“We’re trying to register 30,000 people this month in recognition of the 30,000 donors,” said Wilkins.

Weldy said she hopes people will sign up, “I strongly advocate for it because organ donation saved my life.”

To sign up or register, click here.