Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office staff wins statewide recognition for Donate Life Florida campaign

Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates credits her employees’ creativity and the public’s generosity

Staff members of the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office mark Donate Life Month in April. Photo courtesy of Donate Life Florida

The Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office has won recognition from the nonprofit organization Donate Life Florida (DLF) for its staff’s outstanding efforts during a statewide initiative this spring.

Donate Life Florida, which advocates for organ and tissue donations, designated April Donate Life Month in an effort to increase levels of donor registrations and voluntary contributions, a news release explains. The Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office accounted for more than $22,000 out of $50,000 raised statewide in voluntary contributions, the release points out.

The funds will be used for educational efforts to increase awareness of the need for organ, tissue and eye donors, the news release notes.

The St. Lucie County office staff raised $6,000; and the Suwannee County staff is credited with bringing in more than $5,500, the release says.

County tax collectors and their staffs worked on their own fundraising tactics, “which included everything from planning community events to simple requests for $1 contributions from customers during a driver license or motor vehicle transaction, to the really creative fundraising concepts adopted in Sarasota County,” the release continues.

Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates said in the release, “My exceptional staff amazes me with the way they tackle all of their work, and they were equally creative during Donate Life Month. Of course, we could not have raised such a large amount of money without the generosity of our Sarasota County residents.”

“Donate Life Florida is grateful for our longstanding partnership with Florida’s Tax Collectors and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles,” said Christopher Carroll, executive director of Donate Life Florida, in the release. Since the organization created the Joshua Abbott Organ and Tissue Donor Registry in 2009, he added, “the vast majority of donors have registered when receiving or renewing their [driver’s licenses]. It is a pleasure to have this opportunity to thank all of the offices for their support and to recognize those that go above and beyond for award-winning results in their counties.”

The tax collector offices with the highest organ and tissue donor registration rates among driver’s license customers were Walton County, with a registration level of 68.21%; St. Johns County, 67.12%; and Santa Rosa County, with 65.58%, the release adds.

Donate Life Florida’s annual campaign began in 2012, the release notes.

Florida’s donor registry is the nation’s third largest, with more than 10 million individuals registered as organ, tissue and eye donors, the release points out.

“We believe that, as more people in Florida understand how enormous the need is for the gift of life, more of them are joining the registry,” said Betsy Edwards, Donate Life Florida chairperson, in the release.

To learn more, go to or call 1-877-FL-SHARE.