Public employees across the nation give back to their communities in extraordinary ways every single day. From donating to food banks to helping neighbors and protecting their communities, public employees have always been there when their community needs them the most. 

Here is a story of a public employee in service to their community.

Living organ donors help spearhead legislative protection by Joe Dodson. Every single day across the country countless Americans are in need of an organ donor. Throughout the process of receiving an organ transplant, patients encounter public employees along the way, including social workers, nurses, and doctors. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies cannot discriminate based on donor status. However, two bills are making their way through the Virginia General Assembly that would prohibit life, disability, and long-term insurance companies from discriminating as well. Two advocates for the legislation in Virginia are Tracey and Rick Ridpath – both K-12 teachers. The Ridpaths, whose friend Roger died of bladder cancer, each donated a kidney to try and help someone going through the same ordeal. “We couldn’t save Roger but there’s lots of other fathers, and uncles and grandfathers out there,” Tracey Ridpath said. “I’ll try and save somebody else in memory of our friend Roger.” The Ridpaths also support legislation that would allow organ donors to take unpaid time off if they don’t have sick leave available. “If you’re a brand new teacher and you only got 10 sick days and you have a kid who gets sick all the time you might be worried about needing to use up your sick days,” Rick Ridpath said. 

Be sure to check back the week after next for more stories of public employees giving back to their communities!