Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Recognized For Life-Saving Efforts
LifeLink® partners with Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity to share the Donate Life Message
Tampa, FL – (February 14, 2017) - LifeLink of Florida awarded the Gamma Eta Sigma Chapter (Tampa) of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity with the inaugural Pledge Life Challenge trophy during the fraternity’s 2017 state conference in January, for their effort to educate the community about organ and tissue donation. The chapter president and 1st Vice Director, Zannie Mount, was humbled to receive recognition for his chapter’s efforts in promoting donation. A friendly competition between Phi Beta Sigma chapters in five counties began in September 2016. These chapters were invited to participate because they serve communities that coincide with LifeLink’s federally designated service area.
The Pledge Life Challenge was issued because, with more than 5,600 Floridians and 119,000 in the United States awaiting a lifesaving transplant, the need for increased registration as organ donors grows daily. Partnering with an organization that is made up of Black professionals who are passionate about educating themselves and their communities about health issues was imperative as multicultural communities represent a disproportionate number of people in need of organ transplants, especially kidney transplants.
Errick Farmer, Ph.D., Florida State Director of Phi Beta Sigma said it best, “The need for organ donation impacts thousands of Floridians. Several of our members have been impacted by donation, and participating in the challenge was one way to show our support.”
Organ donation, with the exception of living kidney donation, occurs after death. One organ donor could save the lives of as many as eight people, and improve the lives of dozens more through tissue donation. Neither age nor past medical history prohibit organ donation, and all major religions support donation as a personal choice and generous act. Individuals can register as donors by visiting www.DonateLifeFlorida.org today and indicating their decision, or when getting or renewing their driver license.
LifeLink of Florida, which facilitates organ and tissue recovery in west and southwest Florida, has partnered with Phi Beta Sigma for several years, sharing information about organ and tissue donation at their state conference and in the community, but this was the first Pledge Life Challenge. Chapters were given a list of ideas for outreach to impact organ and tissue donation awareness and registration in Black communities. Each idea had a point value attached to it and the chapter with the most points was named the Pledge Life Challenge winner. Participating chapters also included Delta Omicron Sigma, Pinellas County; Nu Mu Sigma, Lee County; Theta Eta Sigma, Polk County and Alpha Alpha Iota Sigma, Sarasota/Manatee Counties. In addition to the Pledge Life trophy, the winning chapter also earned a catered dinner at a future meeting.
“We are thankful for the support and positive impact members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity dedicated to promote organ and tissue donation,” said Ruth Duncan Bell, Sr. Vice President of Public Affairs at LifeLink. “With the help of community organizations like theirs, we can save more lives.”
LifeLink forms community partnerships with professional and civic organizations, faith communities, companies and schools. Please visit www.LifeLinkFoundation.org and complete the “Contact Us” form to obtain more information about how this lifesaving message can be shared with others.
LifeLink of Florida is the non-profit, community service organization designated by the federal government to facilitate organ and tissue donation in west and southwest Florida. We have been serving this community for more than 30 years, and during that time we have worked with scores of families whose loved ones saved lives. LifeLink of Florida serves fifteen counties in west and southwest Florida, and Martin County on the east coast. Contact LifeLink of Florida for more information at (800) 262-5775.