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How to Support Students

SODA National functions as 'The Student Expert' for our chapters, while OPOs serve as 'The Organ Donation Expert.'  Here's how to share your organ, eye, and tissue donation knowledge with the students in your service area.
The Introduction
Whether a student wants to host an advocacy event or start a SODA chapter, we will introduce you to them after we receive their eligibility quiz.

When you're introduced to the student, say "hi" and let them know you're here to support them through the application process. This might also be a good time to tell them about your volunteer training program, so they can be a volunteer for your OPO even if they don't end up completing the SODA application process.

We'll also let you know when we receive their application and when we accept their application, so keep an eye out for communications from SODA National.

The Next Steps
​Once students are officially welcomed to the SODA chapter network, they're encouraged to be a part of their OPO and local donation community. Here are some ways you can engage them:
  • Host a volunteer training
  • Introduce them to potential speakers, like donor families and recipients
  • Invite students to local volunteer events and speaking opportunities
  • Provide advice and ask thoughtful questions
  • Share promotional materials for your OPO and/or Donate Life

Staying In-Touch
We encourage OPOs to check in with the chapters in their service area at least twice per semester, and students are encouraged to do the same. Here are some conversation starters to kick off your next check-in:
  • What was the last win your SODA chapter celebrated?
  • What was the last challenge your SODA chapter experienced?
  • How many people do you want to educate and register this semester?
  • What types of events is your SODA chapter going to host this semester? How can our OPO be a part of those events?
  • Are all of your members trained as volunteers? Can I come to campus to host a volunteer training?
  • We have [event] in [time frame]. Would you like to volunteer at the event?

Celebrating Successes
We believe that every relationship between your OPO and your SODA chapters is worth celebrating. Here are a few suggestions for recognizing events and chapters:
  • Broadcast SODA students’ successes in newsletters, volunteer emails, and on social media by congratulating advocates on their hard work and accomplishments.
  • At the end of each semester, send an email to student advocates to congratulate and highlight their accomplishments. This can offer significant encouragement to student leaders!
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