To celebrate National Donor Day, which takes place annually on February 14, the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) launched an advertising campaign that puts a unique twist on Valentine’s Day by featuring love letters to unregistered organ donors.
The #EveryoneCanGive campaign dispels common myths about reasons why people think they don’t qualify as organ donors.
“We want people to understand that there is no marginalization in organ donation registration,” said Colleen Sullivan, director of communications at CORE. “Everyone can become a registered organ donor. You can never be too old; it doesn’t matter if you’re not in perfect health or even if you love the taste of beer. Everyone has the power to save and heal up to 75 lives through organ, tissue and cornea donation.”
Research shows that misperceptions regarding qualifications to be an organ donor consistently emerge as a top reason people do not register. This was confirmed in a 2018 study conducted by Pittsburgh-based research firm 113 Industries. The firm analyzed high volumes of organic conversation across all online platforms to identify attitudes, behaviors, psychology and motivations about organ donation.
In the study’s analysis, the largest barrier to registration was “I am not qualified to be an organ donor.” Twenty-eight percent of non-registered donors fell into this category.
The #EveryoneCanGive campaign was created with this barrier in mind. It is a comedic juxtaposition that informs potential donors through poetry that everyone, in fact, is qualified to be a registered organ donor.
One of the common myths that keeps people from registering is that they think they are too old to donate.
The story of Tom Hayes and his family demonstrates that, even at 68 years old, everyone can give. A devoted husband, father and grandfather, Tom was an incredibly active man who loved to golf, ski, swim and travel. In his earlier years, Tom became a living donor and selflessly gave a kidney to save the life of his brother, Joseph, whose health was deteriorating due to type 1 diabetes. Tom’s generosity didn’t end with his first gift. After his tragic death in June 2019, Tom donated his remaining kidney, corneas and tissue to three recipients. That’s the greatest gift a person can give to another individual: time.
Tom’s decision to be an organ donor showcases that anyone, at any age, can save and heal lives through donation.
The #EveryoneCanGive creative features seven short videos ranging from 25 seconds to more than a minute long. They feature the warm performance of an upper-middle-age man relaxing and reading poetry in the comfort of his own home.
“While the campaign is light-hearted and fun, it is essential to remember the weight of importance behind the call to action within the videos,” added Sullivan. “More than 112,000 people who are on the national transplant waiting list are hoping for a second chance at life, including nearly 2,500 people in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Every ten minutes, another person is added to the national transplant waiting list. Every day, at least 20 people waiting for a life-saving transplant die, including two from our region.”
To view the #EveryoneCanGive love letter videos, please visit facebook.com/COREDonateLife. To register to become an organ donor, please click here.
The videos are downloadable online here.
The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 58 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the United States. It serves more than five million people in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, New York.
CORE coordinates the recovery and matching of organs, tissues and corneas for transplant within our service region and works tirelessly to create a culture of donation within the hospitals and communities we serve.
CORE’s mission is to Save and Heal lives through donation, ultimately ending the deaths of those on the transplant waiting list, while maintaining integrity for the donation process, dignity for the donors, and compassion for their families.
CORE is a winner of the 2019 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, a presidential-level award that recognizes non-profits for their innovation and excellence. For more information, visit www.core.org or call 1-800-DONORS-7.