Organ Donations: A Gift of Life

Organ Donations: A Gift of Life
Apr 18, 2018
Jim Carter, Evangelist for Organ Donation
Organ Donations: A Gift of Life

Essex Rotary is honored to hear from Jim Carter - a Jericho resident who has had multiple impactful careers.  Due to a tragic accident , he became an evangelist for organ donation.  The story of that accident and of his daughter Andrea can be found HERE, an piece associated with Jim's experience in the 2009 Rose Parade.  

Essex Rotary member Rusty Brink suggested inviting Jim to share his story with us.  Rusty's son Damon played baseball for Coach Carter at UVM.  

Jim was nominated by Steve Ferreria (longtime EHS Baseball Coach) for the Burlington Free Press's Vermonter of the Year Award through the letter below: 

It is with pleasure I nominate James T. Carter of Jericho Vermont as the “Vermonter of the Year.”

In 1967 Jim began a very successful 33-year career as a teacher and coach. Highlights include: teaching government and history classes, coaching the Winooski baseball program to six state championships, and being the force behind forming the Vermont State Baseball Coaches Association and the Vermont/New Hampshire Twin-State Baseball Classic.

To this date, Jim continues his commitment to Vermont baseball by serving as the head coach of the University of Vermont club baseball team, which in 2010 was the league champions, 2011 reached the semi-finals and reached the 2017 league championship.

In 1991, Jim and Sue lost their 17-year-old daughter, Andrea, in a tragic car accident. His grief was turned into a driven passion to address both seat belt usage and organ donation. Andrea, a multi organ donor, became the center of Jim’s new career after retiring from public education in 2000.

Since February 2000 to present, he has voluntarily taught, on average, over 120 sessions per year. Jim has taken his message to approximately 45 Vermont high schools and 40 community groups. His presentation includes process along with both organ donors and recipients.

For his efforts, he was named the “2009 Vermont Volunteer of the Year” by the Center for Donation and Transplants. This year, Jim was named the 2011 National Volunteer of the Year by the United Network of Organ Sharing, beating out the 19 national semi-finalists.