More than 3,000 Wisconsin residents on the donation waiting list
While Dr. Julie Henderson’s chapter of the Public Relations Study Society of America (PRSSA) meets at UW Oshkosh year-round, members are especially busy during April’s National Giving Life Month with their National Organ Donation Awareness Competition (NODAC).
PRSSA chapters around the world attend NODAC to gain hands-on experience in managing a comprehensive public relations campaign from start to finish. The main goal of the UWO Chapter NODAC Campaign is to increase awareness and promote becoming a national organ donor among UWO college students.
“Many students don’t think about being a National Organ Donor because they’re young and healthy, but PRSSA advises them that it’s never too early to enroll,” said the vice-president. president of public relations Alex Carey.
Nearly 63% of students surveyed by PRSSA said they did not know anyone who had received an organ or tissue donation and 67% of people said they did not know anyone who had donated an organ, meaning that a majority of students don’t. have no connection with national organ donation. However, according to UW-Health, more than 3,000 Wisconsin residents are waiting for organ donation.
“That means 3,000 friends, family and neighbors could be on that transplant list, and they need donor help,” Cary said.
PRSSA is rising to this challenge of disengagement by sharing uplifting stories from those who have received or donated an organ to connect students to the cause. This shared experience runs throughout the month of April, leading up to a themed event.
This year, Dr. Julie Henderson’s chapter chose the theme. “A Piece for Peace,” for their one-day event on April 26 at Reeve Memorial Union. The event will encourage students not only to learn more about national organ donation, but also to pick up their piece of the theoretical puzzle and potentially bring peace to someone in need of an organ. There will also be puzzle pieces for students to sign explaining why they made the commitment to become an organ donor and what it means to them.
“By donating, you give a piece of yourself to someone in need, and in return, you give them peace,” said UWO PRSSA President Justine Eron. “Peace to live and continue their life.”
To stay up to date with all things NODAC and PRSSA, follow them on Instagram @uwoprssa or visit uwosh.edu/journalism/prssa/.