11th annual Gift of Life Campus Challenge aims to sign up 3,000 new organ donors

Gift of Life Michigan logo

Ann Arbor, MI—Using college rivalries and a competitive spirit for social good, college students across the state are encouraging their peers, professors and local community members to sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. During the six-week Gift of Life Campus Challenge, nearly a dozen schools will compete to sign up the most people to the Donor Registry.

“College students have always been some of the most compassionate, generous supporters of organ, tissue and eye donation,” remarked Richard Pietroski, chief executive officer of Gift of Life Michigan. “With the high levels of energy and enthusiasm these young people bring to our life-saving cause, we know the Campus Challenge will be a success again this year.” Since its inception in 2004, the Gift of Life Campus Challenge has inspired more than 31,000 people to join the state’s Donor Registry.

Participating colleges will encourage students, faculty and other supporters to sign up on the Donor Registry through email messages, Twitter, Facebook, public service announcements, posters, and at donor registry stations in student unions and at athletic events. Scores are shown in real time on Gift of Life Michigan’s website. Two trophies will be awarded at the end of the competition, one to the school with the most donor registrations and one to the school with the most registrations compared to student population. Wayne State University in Detroit and Siena Heights University in Adrian won the trophies in last year’s competition.

“Signing up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry is an easy, quick way to give hope to the 3,000 residents of our state waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, and tens of thousands more who need cornea and tissue transplants to improve the quality of their lives,” Pietroski added. To sign up and credit your favorite school, visit www.GiftOfLifeMichigan.org/go/school, and select the school’s name from the drop-down menu provided.

Since 2007, Michigan’s Secretary of State provides a red heart donor symbol for the driver’s license and state ID cards of residents who sign up on the Donor Registry. Out-of-state students should still sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, but will not receive a red heart symbol.

The Gift of Life Campus Challenge is one of the most successful organ donation college outreach programs in the nation, and has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for its exceptional results. Gift of Life Michigan is the state’s federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization, which acts as intermediary between donors, their families and hospital staff. Gift of Life

Michigan, in collaboration with the Michigan Eye-Bank, provides all services necessary for organ, tissue and eye donation.

Gift of Life Michigan has partnered with Redhead Design Studio and Organize.org to create the materials for this year’s Campus Challenge. As part of a national effort to determine the best ways to encourage young adults to join their state’s organ donor registry, Organize is applying new technologies to established programs with great results in other states. Both firms are excited to help save and improve lives in Michigan.

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Editor’s Notes: A full list of participating colleges and universities, and their current scores in the Campus Challenge, is available at https://giftoflifemichigan.org/become-donor

Student leaders on each campus are available for interviews. Please contact Jennifer Tislerics at jtislerics@giftoflifemichigan.org or 734-922-1048.

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