Creativity is key.
Perhaps nowhere has that proved more true lately than in a recent effort by state agencies to promote and educate about organ donation.
Trust for Life, which is the charitable arm of the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks, recently partnered with Kentucky Organ Donation Affiliates and a marketing agency out of Louisville, Power, to create a cellphone gaming app.
The app, called Life Lift, targets a new generation of potential organ donors creatively and innovatively.
“While geared for the current generation born in the late 1990s and 2000s, the app ‘Life Lift’ is user-friendly to educate and promote awareness around organ, eye and tissue donation for all ages,” according to a news release about the launch of the app.
"Life Lift" is similar to action games with an endless runner style. It features air transporting and dropping off organs to hospitals; races against time and navigation through obstacles — clouds, birds, water towers, etc. — to deliver organs and save lives; and unlocks different aircraft types and characters as players proceed through the game.
The application is free on Apple or Android devices.
While the app is all fun and games, organ donation is a serious matter. The app also aims to teach users about the urgency of donation, the need for donation and the shortage of lifesaving organs.
There are currently more than 113,000 people, including children, on the national transplant waiting list, and every 10 minutes another person is added to the list.
Sadly, 8,000 people die each year — on average 22 people each day, which is almost one person each hour — because the organs they need are not donated in time.
While 95% of U.S. adults support organ donation, only about 58% are signed up as donors.
Each year, there are approximately 30,000 tissue donors and more than 1.75 million tissue transplants.
One person can donate up to eight lifesaving organs — a heart, two lungs, a liver, a pancreas, two kidneys and intestines. However, only three in 1,000 people die in such a way that allows for organ donation, meaning the need continues to increase.
Organ donations are essential, but many have misconceptions about organ donation, including who can be a donor, what donations entail and how easy it is to become a donor. Education is key to increasing donor registration and saving more lives.
Trust for Life and KODA have recognized the need to adapt to modern times. That means reaching people where they are: on their phones or other devices.
We applaud this creative take on education about a rather serious topic.