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Celebrating Organ Donation Advocacy with the First Ever SODA Awards!

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

Written by Ryan Laughlin, Program Coordinator

Last month, all our SODA chapters submitted their biannual End of Semester survey. This is an awesome opportunity for our chapters across the country to highlight the important work they do each semester and share the life-saving impact they have made with SODA National and supporters like you.

We already knew our chapters were crushing it, but the End of Semester survey results confirmed it! Our chapters educated 22,418 people about organ and tissue donation and registered 1,063 people as organ donors. These numbers are record-breaking, so we want to celebrate our chapters’ accomplishments with the first ever SODA Awards. Without further ado, here are our award winners:

Most People Registered: SODA at Oak Mountain High School

Our first award goes to Oak Mountain High School in Alabama, which registered 125 organ donors. They achieved this life-saving impact through events like their blood drive and by visiting marathons and 5Ks in their area.

Most People Educated: SODA at Miami Palmetto Senior High School

A big congratulations to Miami Palmetto Senior High School for educating 2375 students. The chapter members pulled this off through their peer to peer outreach program, through a door decorating competition, and by partnering with other organ donation organizations like the Chris Klug Foundation.

Most Impactful Registration Event: SODA at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

We want to congratulate the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for their Trick-or-Treat Drive on campus. Different clubs and organizations on campus dressed up, handed out candy, and took the time to do organ donation advocacy on their campus.

Want your school to win an award? Start a SODA chapter now!

Most Impactful Education Event: SODA at Chelsea High School

Our next award goes to Chelsea High School. The students spoke to their school district leaders about organ donation and ways that they could best support SODA chapters on their high school campuses. We hope their efforts will help bring new SODA chapters to their area.

Most Impactful Social Media Campaign: SODA at Purdue University

We’ve been watching our chapters’ Instagram accounts, and Purdue’s National Donate Life Month social media campaign was absolutely amazing to see. Autumn Pancake, the chapter's Public Relations Officer put together some engaging posts for the entire semester and really brought their A-game for National Donate Life Month!

Best Donate Life Month Event: SODA at University of Nevada, Reno

As you all know, National Donate Life Month is super important at SODA, so we want to recognize the University of Nevada, Reno for their “Dogs, Donuts, & Donate Life” event. It was truly a standout National Donate Life Month—who doesn’t love dogs?!

Best OPO Collaboration: SODA at University of Massachusetts, Lowell and SODA at Northeastern University

Next up, we have two chapters to award for their critical work with their OPO. This goes to the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Northeastern for supporting New England Donor Services at their Donate Life Walk. Both chapters used this event as an opportunity to advocate for organ donation in their communities, and chapter members had some painted rocks ready to be placed around the walk path.

Learn more about how our OPOs and chapters work together here.

Best Donation Collaboration: SODA at University of Florida

All types of donation are important! We want to recognize the University of Florida for saving lives in more ways than one through their collaboration with the Gift of Life. They hosted a joint registration drive to educate their peers about the importance of organ, bone marrow, and stem cell donation.

Most Promising New Chapter: SODA at George Mason University

Last but not least, a celebration of one of our newer chapters, George Mason University! Maddie Flickinger, the chapter's president, is a transplant patient, and she has worked hard to build a strong chapter and plan for this upcoming semester. We’re excited to see what this chapter accomplishes.

SODA MVP: Morgan Miovski

On top of celebrating our chapters’ successes, we also wanted to highlight some of the amazing students behind these chapters. To kick off our first year of SODA awards, we wanted to congratulate Morgan Miovski, a graduate from Northeastern University who donated part of her liver to her mother and has done so much to bring success to SODA at Northeastern University.

A huge congratulations to all of the chapters listed here and to every SODA chapter, both old and new, that saved lives this past school year!! We’re excited to make SODA Awards an annual tradition and to continue to celebrate all our rockstar chapters.

Want the inside scoop on our chapters before we announce next year’s awards? Follow us on Instagram to keep up!

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