PRSSA encourages, educates students on organ donation
April is National Organ Donor Awareness month. This year, Georgia College’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America is doing more than its share of promotion.Although they aren’t donating any organs, the Bobcat chapter is promoting organ donation awareness, as well as informing students on how to donate.
The event, National Organ Donation Awareness Competition, is sponsored by PRSSA and is in its ninteenth year. But this year is the first time the Bobcat chapter is participating. Making up the Bobcat team is junior Vanessa Whited, senior Sophie Singer, senior Erin Keeler and junior PRSSA President Amanda Brodzik — all mass communication majors.
PRSSA dictates requirements for the competition, and one of the stipulations is to host a day-long event. On April 25 the chapter hosted its event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the A&S fountain. The event included an interactive display, a presentation, free food and prizes, and raffles. Students registered as organ donors could show their driver’s license to be entered into a raffle, and students not registered as organ donors were encouraged to register.
From 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. the chapter moved to Buffington’s for trivia night. There, the chapter asked organ donor questions to the weekly trivia crowd, in hopes of dispelling myths.
“There’s a lot of myths surrounding organ donation, and none of them are really true, like the quality of care you could receive, if your life’s in jeopardy, or how they treat your body after you pass away,” Brodzik said. “You can have an open-casket funeral. That’s something a lot of people don’t think is an option.”
The campaign motto of “It’s what’s inside that counts” aims to restructure the notion of donation – that anyone is eligible, and all it takes is the willingness to help. At the event, there was a tent displaying facts about donation.
“One person’s organs can save eight people’s lives. There are hundreds of thousands of people waiting on the organ donor list,” Brodzik said. “So we thought instead of promoting something to people raw, we could promote something to save people’s lives.”
PRSSA’s main partner for the event was Donate Life Georgia, but downtown businesses lent their help as well.
Singer’s father is currently suffering from kidney failure and is on an organ donor list, so the chapter has an emotional tie to the event, Brodzik said.
“I actually am learning about NODAC from the campaign and what they’re doing,” Ginger Carter Miller, PRSSA advisor, said. “Because I really had no awareness of it other than knowing one person who had been an organ donor and knowing I signed and checked that box on my driver’s license. So I’m learning as we go along. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about organ donation opportunities.”