Feature B

USF Students Do Their Part to Save Lives

Get Carded allows students to tell other students about the power of organ donation.

This short video explains what Get Carded is about while showing pictures from their most recent event.

TAMPA– Students at USF are working hard through the Get Carded program to spread awareness to the rest of the school about the importance of becoming an organ donor to help save the lives of those waiting for transplants.

According to USF’s Leadership and Civic Engagement website, Get Carded is “dedicated to spreading awareness and clearing up misconceptions about donating.”

Get Carded also has several chapters in a total of six schools across the state of Florida, including Florida Atlantic University, University of Florida, University of North Florida and Florida State University.

“Get Carded is all to raise awareness for organ donation and to get people to sign up on the donor registry,” said Cheryl Pravetz, student director of USF’s Get Carded chapter.

The group works closely with Donate Florida Life and LifeLink Florida, which provides the funding for the small sector at USF.  In the past, the group has also worked with Florida Blood Services, which accepts blood donations and has a similar message as that of Get Carded.

“An average of 18 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplant,” according to Donate Life. “Ninety percent of Americans say they support donation, but only 30 percent know the essential steps to take to be a donor.”

These shocking numbers are what fuels Get Carded.

Pravetz, who spends up to 10 hours each week dedicated to Get Carded, feels strongly that everyone should sign up to be an organ donor to help those in need.

“We all have the ability to help when we don’t need our parts anymore. I think we all should sign up and help other people because it is what we would want them to do for us,” Pravetz said.

The small Get Carded group came to USF originally in 1999 and only consists of a few students this year, but they are constantly planning events to reach out to inform other students. They set up a booth weekly at the Bull Market in front of the Marshall Student Center. They also recently had a t-shirt party where students could come to decorate their own t-shirts and get free food while learning about Get Carded and the organ donation process.

“We are going to have a big awareness event in April, which we always do, and that’s just to get people to learn about the organization and sign up on the registry,” Pravetz said.

On April 21, Get Carded will be hosting its biggest event of the year in the Marshall Student Center. There will be food set up for those who come along with a series of different stations where they can go to learn about all the different aspects of organ donation as well as hear personal testimonies. They will also have several computers set up so that people may go online to sign up to become an organ donor.

Every year the group looks at this event as a way to reach as many people as they can with information about organ and blood donation.

Anyone can help Get Carded by going to the weekly Wednesday meeting at 5 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center or by volunteering to help out at one of the several events happening around campus, which are usually posted in the Note-a-Bull newsletter.

“You can just show up to the meetings or you can also sign up on Blackboard,” said Pravetz. “We just need extra bodies, so you can volunteer with us without joining Get Carded.”

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