Massachusetts officials are urging local residents to consider signing up as organ donors.

Last year, more than 640 lives were saved in New England because of the decision of other individuals to become donors.

State health officials said thousands more had their quality of life improved through tissue donations.

State Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz is planning to join the other state officials, transplant surgeons and individuals personally touched by donations, including families of donors, during a Statehouse event today.

Polanowicz will announce April as Donate Life Month in Massachusetts.

Despite the successes, there is far greater demand. There are more than 120,000 patients currently on the U.S. transplant wait list.

[Associated Press]