By LAUREN GIBBONS
Capital News Service
LANSING — The number of new heart-shaped organ donor emblems on Michigan drivers’ licenses grew by more than 25 percent in 2011, but state officials and organizers haven’t stopped recruiting. In 2011, more than 400,000 people joined the registry of drivers willing to donate their organs and tissue in the case of a fatal accident. Last year, 900 people received organ transplants from Michigan donors, and thousands of people likely benefited from tissue donations such as skin, said Tim Makinen, communications manager for the organ and tissue recovery organization Gift of Life Michigan in Ann Arbor. Projections indicate the number of new registered donors could rise to half a million by the end of this year. Statewide, that’s about 37 percent of the population — a number still behind the nationwide average of about 43 percent, Makinen said.