January always graces us with the opportunity to look at the things we’ve been doing over and over – and, ask ourselves if we can do these things differently. Perspective, right? It’s a good idea to step back — or if your disposable income allows you such a luxurious vantage point say in a helicopter for, almost — but not quite – a view from 40,000 feet. Such observations are grounded – even for our helicopter friends — by one fundamental.
To make a positive difference.
When I joined the David Foster Foundation in the fall of 2022 as their feature writer, I wanted to write about the folks who help keep the Foundation active: families, donors, medical staff, volunteers, and anyone else involved. I am struck by the one thing that is central to the foundation’s mandate … the one thing the Foundation needs so every family who has a young child in need of an organ transplant so they can live. We’re lucky. The Foundation will take care of the non-medical expenses families have during such a trying time.
One of the challenges I’ve always accepted and embraced is finding new angles and ideas to accurately highlight the importance of a subject. I’ve found creativity and an annual subscription to thinking out of the box have been effective. Perhaps then, the Tait Task is to gently show the benefits of signing a donor card: how it, very unselfish, can be a love legacy for future generations. If you don’t ask, one razor-sarp editor once told me early on in my journalistic journey, then there would never be an opportunity for a story to share the issue — nor awareness, which opens the door for change.
Now: the easy way to ask friends to sign organ donor cards would be to fire up all my social media channels, easily engage the ‘cut and paste’ operation and my ask would be sent to all my friends.
Easy, perhaps? Effective? Negative.
Even the internet agrees with my thesis. A website psychminds.com says a face-to-face interaction is so much better because there are just so many distractions. I could provide you with the link to where I saw the information. But because there’s so much really, really good information on the site, it’s easy for you to get distracted and – here’s the key to my point – forget about the original request.
Face-to-face: that’s where it’s at.
So let’s try this.
Ask one person a day for a month if they would consider signing a donor card.
Ask them to ask someone else.
Plan your ask: maybe it’s at the start of the conversation, in the middle, or at the end. Find a comfort level if you do that.You can easily make it part of your day and then it will become a habit.
Of course, your friends will ask why this is important.
You can tell them the facts and not tug at heartstrings: an average of over 4,000 Canadians a year are waiting for an organ transplant and 250 people pass away waiting. You can also let them know that one donor can save up to 8 lives and improve the quality of life for up to 75 people.
And, unlike a newspaper story we saved the most important piece of information until the last. When making your ask, make sure the person you ask informs their family members they are signing a donation card. Keeping everyone informed is important – and one never
knows where another donor may come from.
Cam’s High 5: Great news stories about organ donation