USF’s Get Carded to honor registered organ donors

It’s time to give back to those who gave their signature.

The Thanks for Giving event today is recognizing students, faculty and staff who registered online through the USF’s Get Carded organization to donate organs and tissue.

The event is at the Martin Luther King Plaza from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Since Florida launched its first online organ and tissue donor registry more than a month ago, USF’s Get Carded organization has signed up 52 people.

“That is eight lives per person that can be saved,” said Tami Mendelson, co-director of USF’s Get Carded, which raises awareness of organ and tissue donation.

USF’s Get Carded registered 20 new organ donors Oct. 1, the day Florida launched its registry, she said.

In the first week of the launch, the organization competed against Florida State University, the University of Central Florida and the University of Florida to see which school could get the most student signatures.

USF signed up 35 new donors, beating all three competing schools, Mendelson said.

“With the new online registry, it only takes two minutes to become a donor,” Mendelson said.

More than 62,000 people in west and southwest Florida joined the online registry since its launch, said Jennifer Krouse, manager of Public Affairs for LifeLink Foundation of Florida.

“Nearly 7,000 of those have been traditional college-age students,” she said.

There will be free pizza and refreshments, as well as games and prizes at the event, Mendelson said.

“We are celebrating those who are already organ donors and continuing to promote awareness to those who aren’t in the hopes of signing people up,” she said.