High School and college students across America are being encouraged to showcase their talents and creativity in a way that can help save lives by participating in Donate Life Hollywood’s (DLH) second annual Storytellers Contest. The contest invites students to create a one-minute video about living kidney donation and submit it for cash prizes and broad national exposure throughout the DLH network.
“There have been a lot of living donation storylines on television shows over the past two years and sadly most of them perpetuate such myths as a black market and payment for organs,” said DLH Founder Tenaya Wallace. “Focusing our Storytellers Contest on living donation is one of the many things DLH can do to help eliminate such myths and fears which, if allowed to continue, have the terrible effect of stopping people from registering to be a donor.”
DLH serves as a liaison between the organ donation community and the entertainment industry to encourage more authentic and empowering stories about donation and transplantation. For this year’s Storytellers Contest, DLH is partnering with Student Organ Donation Advocates which through its 26 chapters nationwide on both college and high school campuses is helping to promote the Storytellers Contest and encourage its members to continue to engage with the organ donation community.
Wallace says that the videos students create for the contest can address a wide variety of issues surrounding living donation, ranging from the process of living kidney donation and what motivates people to donate, to the different types of living kidney donation and how living donation can give someone a “sense of purpose.” “Given that less than 1% of patients who die meet the criteria for deceased organ donation, there is no way to adequately meet the need for kidney transplants without more people becoming living donors. That is why educating the public on becoming a living donor is so critically important,” she says.
All video submissions will be reviewed by a panel of actors and writers with winners announced at the DLH Inspire Awards ceremony in July. Cash prizes in the amounts of $1,000 for first place and $500 for second place will be awarded to the winners in high school and college categories. The videos will also become part of AccessDLH.org, a free resource for the entertainment industry. Deadline for submission is May 31. Complete submission details can be found at AccessDLH.org/storytellers/
The Storytellers Contest is just one of many initiatives underway at DLH to encourage living kidney donation. Most recently, DLH joined with CBS television’s highly-acclaimed BPositive program “Be Like Gina” to produce and air an important public service announcement encouraging people to consider becoming a living kidney donor (AccessDLH.org/b-positive). In addition, last month, DLH sponsored its first Writers Panel of 2021 which discussed issues surrounding living donation so as to help writers tell more accurate and compelling stories on the topic. You can watch the DLH Writers Panel at: AccessDLH.org/writerspanel/
DLH is an initiative of the OneLegacy Foundation, the education, research and support arm of OneLegacy, the nonprofit federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO) based in the heart of Hollywood and serving seven counties in Southern California. DLH is further supported by OPOs, transplant centers and patient groups around the country.
Throughout the year DLH provides film companies, television programs, entertainment studios, producers and writers easy access to a network of experts—from renowned transplant surgeons to families whose loved ones became an organ donor—for free consultations on all aspects of organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation. DLH also assists with casting, production and publicity support. All services are outlined on AccessDLH.org
OneLegacy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in seven counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern. It serves more than 200 hospitals, 11 transplant centers, a diverse population of nearly 20 million, donors and families across the region, and waiting recipients across the country. For more information, visit onelegacy.org.