The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles office in Pickerington was recognized April 29 for its proficiency in recruiting people to register organ and tissue donors.

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles office in Pickerington was recognized April 29 for its proficiency in recruiting people to register organ and tissue donors.

Lifeline of Ohio, a nonprofit organization devoted to organ and tissue donation outreach programs and coordination, presented its Donate Life Ohio's 2008 "Organ, Tissue and Eye Donation Front Line Awards" on Wednesday. For the sixth consecutive year, the Pickerington BMV was among those honored.

This year, the six-person agency received a "Best in District" award for achieving a 62.2 percent organ and tissue donation rate among its customers.

The local BMV was one of four agencies to receive an award in the central and southeastern Ohio district. Statewide, 213 BMV offices were recognized.

"The state donor registration average is just a little over 50 percent, so Pickerington is quite a bit above the average," said Rachel Lewis, a community outreach coordinator for Lifeline of Ohio. "It was one of the elite agencies."

Pickerington BMV employees thanked community members who have partnered with them to make the organ and tissue donor program a success.

"We're happy we can contribute a little bit in saving lives and helping people donate organs and tissues," said Rama Pandey, deputy registrar at the Pickerington BMV. "The Pickerington community is very generous and kind. We are thankful to the community, and we are proud to help."

In addition to generous customers, Pandey credited his employees for their devotion to the organ and tissue donation program. He said they strive to educate customers about the need for donors.

"We let them know they have the opportunity and we try to tell them of the importance," he said. "By contributing, they are giving others the opportunity of life."

nellis@thisweeknews.com