In 2015 Americans donated a milestone 30,973 organs, setting an all-time record according to new figures from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), a wing of the Department of Health and Human Services.

It’s no secret that in the U.S., as well as throughout the world , there is a far greater need for organ donations than there are available donors . According to the OPTN, in the U.S. a person is added to the national transplant waiting list every ten minutes, and an average of 22 people die each day while waiting for a transplant. However, the number of people willing to donate their organs has been steadily growing over the past 25 years. In 2015 there was a five percent increase in organ donations, making it best year on record.

The reason for the increase in organ donations is simple: Americans are slowly but surely opening up to the idea of donating their organs. According to Time , the country saw a record number of individual organ donors last year — the majority of whom were deceased and able to donate multiple organs. Not only did 2015 see the most ever organs donations, but it also saw the most organs going to minority recipients, a demographic largely over-represented on the organ-waiting list. Last year almost 22 percent of recipients were black and almost 16 percent were Hispanic, Time reported.

Where Are These Organs Going?

The National Waiting List for an organ transplant is a computer database that contains the medical information on every person who is waiting for any type of organ transplant in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. There are currently more than 123,000 men, women, and children in the U.S. awaiting an organ transplant.

Many individuals who find themselves in need of an organ transplant are living with a disease that inevitably causes organ failure. These include but are not limited to: Cardiomyopathy , a condition that rises when there is a problem with blood flow to the heart, cystic fibrosis , a life threatening disorder that causes severe lung damage, and polycystic kidneys , an inherited kidney disorder that significantly interferes with kidney function.

Currently, kidneys are the most commonly transplanted organs and also the organs most in need. According to LifeCenter Northwest , a nonprofit organ procurement organization, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cystic kidney disease are the most common reason for kidney failure. Liver transplants are also very common, with birth defects, hepatitis, or drug and alcohol damage being the most common reasons for liver failures. Intestinal transplants, though less common, are more likely to be performed on children and infants. The leading causes for intestinal failure are twisted or blocked intestines, or a condition known as short-gut syndrome which is characterized by improper absorption of nutrients in the intestines.

Just one person can save up to eight lives through organ donation, and improve the lives of over one hundred through tissue donation. Becoming a donor is as easy as a trip down to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Register today and give the gift of life.