My volunteer community service activity is a public relations project for DECA, which is a national marketing organization. My project is on organ and tissue donation. I aimed to create a sense of importance about organ donation to the young people of Utah, particularly Davis County. Through certain activities and promotional ideas, I was able to make teenagers and first time drivers more fully aware of the facts and consequences of being an organ donor. Through billboards, t-shirts, picketing, and putting together a stomp, my community service activity will help many teenagers decide to become an organ donor.
I came up with the idea of organ donation by trying to find something that I believe in very strongly. Many people are unnecessarily dying each day because organ donation is not available. I believe that selfishness is a core reason for someone not being an organ donor. After you die, you are not going to need your organs, so why not give them to other people who will die without them?
Through this concept, I began to think of slogans for my project. I came up with “What R U Waiting 4.” I picked this slogan because I think that so many people just need some incentive and an action slogan. People are waiting for the time to become an organ donor and to change it on their driver’s license while other people are dying. Since I am targeting teenagers, I chose the texting shorthand as my slogan.
I feel that saving lives is as important as anything gets. Everyone has a right to live on this earth, and if something happened to you, and you died, wouldn’t you want to save someone’s life?
One of the most believed rumors is that if you are an organ donor and you get in an accident the medics will not try to save you as hard if they know you are an organ donor. This is completely a myth. The medics don’t even know if you are an organ donor until you have passed away.
After meeting some people who are recipients of organ donation and their families, I realized exactly what this can do for people. The people who are able to receive organs are so grateful for the donor. By being a donor, you can save or help up to fifty people and restore sight to two. I believe that being a donor is one of the most important decisions someone can make in their life, and that is why I am doing this project. I want as many people as possible to become organ donors, so as many people as possible are not unnecessarily dying from waiting.
I have always believed in organ donation because of my parents’ belief in organ donation. Their example has led me to believe in this as strongly as I do. Organ donation is something that we talk about in my family and something that I have always grown up with. I understand both sides of the issue, but I believe in living a life full of giving.
Being a very religious person, I believe that the body is a gift from God. I believe that giving the gift of life to people is a very noble and great way of giving something back. It is believed that most religions are against organ donation, when in reality, most religions are in favor of organ donation.
Much time and effort has gone into this project to create what it is and what it will become. I started out with an idea and a few guidelines given to me by DECA. I then worked on creating a slogan to go with my target market, teenagers, and a logo. I set a goal to finish the basis of the project by December 14, 2007, and then having it ready for the state DECA competition in February.
I began to brainstorm ideas of activities that would recruit many people into helping me with my project, especially teenagers that would be affected. A stomp is a place where most teenagers love to be at and would be willing to spend a little bit of money to attend. I immediately contacted the Davis Conference Center to set up an appointment with their public relations manager. The goal of this meeting was to look at the facility and ask them to donate their facility to us to use as on a promotional basis for organ donation. Later, after going into a meeting with a handout for the head of sales and showing him the importance of our project, we had accomplished our goal by getting them to donate $2,500 to us, leaving us to only cover $1,000 of the cost of the facility. This stomp will take place sometime in the next two months. I have decided that the way we will be handling the cost will be based on whether or not the person is an organ donor. I have been in constant contact with Dixie Madsen at the Yes Utah organization, and we are in the process of working out a way for people to immediately become organ donors at the stomp.
Another idea I have for a promotional activity is to picket in front of Rice- Eccles Stadium at the state football game next month. I have recruited many teenagers from a few different schools in the district to come with me and picket. We will hopefully be able to get some press and be able to picket again at another big event. The people that will be picketing with me will have on bright yellow t-shirts that say: Text the word Waiting to 41411. After someone texts that, then it will send them back a message giving them information on donation and directing them to my website that is put in place.
I have made contacts for sponsors so that we will be able to put billboards up next month with our slogan and logo on them. On the billboards it will say to text the word Waiting to 41411. This will increase our technological support, something that will greatly appeal to the young people.
The hardest part of this project has been, and will continue to be, getting the press and the public involved. The primary focus is on teenagers, but any person will benefit from hearing what needs to be heard regarding organ donation.