Tennessee Donor Services, the state’s non-profit, federally designated, organ procurement organization (OPO), this week has launched a campaign to potentially save a life — or lives — by recruiting people to register as an organ and tissue donor.

The #BeTheGift campaign is symbolized by the Big Red Bow, and the agency also encouraging people to use a photo filter to put the Big Red Bow, and share the hash tag, on the photos that they post on social media.

The campaign was developed because 115,000 Americans are on the organ transplant waiting list; 20 die each day, still waiting. Those who register at www.BeTheGiftToday.com can reduce that waiting list with a gift that not only keeps on giving but keeps on living after we’re gone.

Tennessee Donor Services serves nearly five and a half million people in 84 counties in Tennessee and 8 counties in Southwest Virginia.

big red bow

A filter app is available to affix the Big Red Bow to photos. // SUBMITTED

The fun part of the campaign is the Big Red Bow filter on www.BeTheGiftToday.com. With the filter, visitors to the website can stick the bow on a photo of themselves and share that photo with their social media friends to encourage those friends and followers to register, wear their Bows, and spread the message.

“Grab your Big Red Bow and #BeTheGift to others,” says Jill Grandas, Executive Director for Tennessee Donor Services. “Today, more than 90 percent of Americans believe registering as an organ and tissue donor is a good thing to do, but only 38% percent of eligible Tennesseans actually do it. Yet registering is so simple! If everyone takes a minute to register online, we will save and improve thousands of lives in the process.”

Here’s how people can participate in the #BeTheGift campaign:

  • Register Online: Visit www.BeTheGiftToday.com and register as an organ and tissue donor. It’s fast, it’s fun, and it’s free. If you’re already registered, you can still spread the word about #BeTheGift, encouraging friends and family to follow your lead.
  • Wear the Big Red Bow With Pride: Use the filter app available at www.BeTheGiftToday.com. to snap a photo of yourself and stick a Big Red Bow on your pic. It can be sized and moved for the perfect fit.
  • Share Your Snapshot: Post your Big Red Bow photo to social media, use the #BeTheGift hashtag, and urge your friends and followers to do the same.

For more information about #BeTheGift, including ways to get involved, visit www.BeTheGiftToday.com.