The Drexel University chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America held a fundraiser April 24 for organ donations at Wahoo’s. “We are partnering with Donate Life, an organization for Organ Donate Month. So our theme is ‘Be a Hero, save a life.’ Actually, one organ can save up to eight lives,” Sarah Dillon, Secretary of PRSSA, said. PRSSA held the event to bring awareness to this special benefit to make people see the incredible impact the decision to become an organ donor has.
The venue provided music and a photo booth with superhero decorations where people could wear capes and put on masks, along with a scavenger hunt and a bake sale. Attendees also had the opportunity to donate to the cause by purchasing refreshments through Wahoo’s after mentioning “PRSSA” or “organ donation.” The scavenger hunt fit along with the superhero theme, which had hidden “infinity stones.” If any attendee was able to find all six stones, they would win tickets to see the latest Avenger movie in theaters this Friday.
All proceeds of the “Be a Hero” event went to the Governor Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund. The fund, which is a Pennsylvania statewide program, is completely voluntarily and directed towards the Department of Health and the Department of Revenue.
“The actual campaign is run through Donate Life Pennsylvania. So we’re competing with other PRSSA chapters [through Pennsylvania] to develop and establish a campaign and host an event that is supposed to raise awareness on our college campus about Organ Donors or donation,” PRSSA Vice President Cindy Fox said. “We are also submitting the same materials to the national portion of this campaign, and that’s called the National Donor Awareness Competition, or NODAC for short,” she said.
“What we kind of figured out was that a lot of people agree with organ donation, and it is a really positive thing, but not a lot of people actually are one” Mikaela Taormina, a member of the PRSSA chapter, said. “My whole part of the process was the social media to get people aware. We posted different facts [about organ donation].”
Included in the posts were facts about how 20 people die each day waiting for a transplant and only three in 1,000 people die in a way that allows for organ donation. On the flip side, someone is added to the ever growing list of people in need of a transplant every 10 minutes.
For awareness purposes, it must be said that transplants generally happen after the donor has died. Although some organs (kidneys, livers and lungs) can be donated while the donor is still alive, the vast majority happen afterwards.
After registering, donors are put into a national computer list to be identified. However, donors are only picked if they meet a certain criterion. Since most donors are deceased for the transplant, there is seldom a chance of experiencing this side of the process.
To find out more about what PRSSA does, the Drexel PRSSA chapter meets every Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the basement of MacAlister Hall.