LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Believing that you are never too young to make a meaningful impact in the lives of others, teenagers across America are being challenged to help debunk one of the greatest myths that is costing American lives—the misconceptions surrounding organ donation. The Storytellers PSA Challenge is sponsored by Donate Life Hollywood, which serves as a liaison between the organ donation community and the entertainment industry to encourage more authentic and empowering stories about donation and transplantation.
“Television has a huge impact on the public’s perception of organ donation, and storylines that contain inaccurate portrayals create fears and myths that stop people from being a donor,” said DLH Founder Tenaya Wallace. “Through the DLH Storytellers Challenge, we are inviting teens to showcase their own talents and creativity in a way that can help save lives.”
The DLH Storytellers Challenge invites teens, age 13-19, to create a one-minute video aimed at debunking a myth regarding organ donation. Some of the more common myths include: money and fame can get you an organ faster; doctors are more interested in your organs than they are in saving your life; and, you can sell an organ to make money.
As part of its outreach efforts, DLH is also working with educators across the country to encourage their support of this initiative. “This is obviously a very unusual school year, and this program provides teachers a turnkey program to creatively engage students in a project that can impact an important public health issue,” said Gloria Bohrer, former educator and member of the OneLegacy Foundation’s board of directors overseeing community education grants. The OneLegacy Foundation sponsors DLH in conjunction with more than 20 nationwide DLH partners representing organizations from the donation and transplant community including organ procurement organizations, tissue banks and patient groups.
“OneLegacy and the other 58 organ procurement organizations around the country have long been committed to helping young people make an informed decision about becoming an organ donor with robust high school education programs,” said Bohrer. “DLH Storytellers gives our national partners a whole new way to work with education partners and invest in our youth.”
Teens may submit their videos to DLH now through Sept. 28. All videos will be reviewed by a panel of celebrity and medical judges with winners announced at the virtual DLH Inspire Awards in October. Cash prizes will also be awarded. Complete submission details and resources can be found at AccessDLH.org/Storytellers.
“Unlike most other subjects that are dramatized in Hollywood, the majority of the public has never actually experienced donation and thus do not have any information to counter what they see on the screen,” said Wallace. “The result is that they are highly influenced, positively or negatively, by the fictional account of a very real and serious topic. When Hollywood gets it wrong, it can cost lives. Through our DLH Storytellers Challenge we are telling teens across America that they have the power to help Hollywood get it right.”
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. Last month DLH launched AccessDLH.org to make these and other resources more readily and easily available, while also assisting with casting, production and publicity support.
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.