I read with interest "A Need That Never Goes Away" [Aug. 18, Page 1] and feel for the Ray family. We too lost a beloved niece at a young age whose organs were donated. However, I write to encourage a focus on living donations.

Partly due to the legacy my niece left, and partly because of my focus on community service as part of my Character Education program at Ashford School (I retired in June after 27 years), I chose to donate a kidney in June 2011. I was 59 at the time and did not know my recipient.

Anyone can dump a bucket of water over his or her head. As much as I admire the current push to support ALS research, I encourage all to go to the next level. It's not hard -- if I can do it, pretty much anyone can. Contact Hartford Hospital or the National Kidney Registry.

Marti Hardisty, Andover