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How to Support Students
SODA National serves as "The Student Expert" to our chapters, and 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.
Whether a student wants to host a one-off 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
We encourage OPOs to check in with the chapters in their service area at least twice per semester (and students leaders are encouraged to check in with you at least twice per semester). Here are some conversation starters to kick off your check-in:
What as 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 in the upcoming months?
What types of events is your SODA chapter going to host in the upcoming months? How can our OPO be a part of those events?
Are all of your members trained as volunteers? Can I come to campus to do a volunteer training?
We have a 5K in two months. Would you like to volunteer at the 5K?
We hope that each relationship between your OPO and your SODA chapters is worth celebrating. Below are a few suggestions to recognize events and chapters:
Broadcast SODA students’ successes in newsletters, volunteer emails, and on social media by congratulating advocates on their hard work and accomplishments.
Email organ donation student leaders at the end of each semester and highlight their specific work. This can provide great encouragement to student leaders.
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