Mid-America Transplant embarked on a new partnership this spring with four universities within its service area to develop the inaugural Green Up Games. In collaboration with the athletics departments at Drury University, Missouri State University, Southeast Missouri State University, and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Mid-America Transplant raised awareness about organ, eye, and tissue donation while honoring and celebrating organ and tissue donors, donor families, and transplant recipients.
In six games with baseball and softball teams at the four institutions, more than 250 people participated in on-field ceremonies presented by Mid-America Transplant to honor donors and transplant patients. The ceremony included a moment of silence and a first pitch opportunity. Mid-America Transplant handed out more than 1,000 Green Up Game shirts – customized with each university’s athletics department logo – to donor families, recipients and fans.
More than 5,500 people attend the games, and Mid-America Transplant secured 11 traditional media placements related to the inaugural Green Up Games. Through social media efforts, more than 150,000 people were reached with information about the events.
The three-year partnerships were launched during National Donate Life Month in its first year. At each game, fans were encouraged to visit Mid-America Transplant’s table to learn more about donation, register, and try to win a shirt.
“This is an exciting, new partnership for our organization,” Mid-America Transplant President and CEO Diane Brockmeier said. “For many years, Springfield, Cape Girardeau, Carbondale and the surrounding communities of have shown remarkable generosity to help others through organ and tissue donation. With the support of these academic institutions, we continued honoring organ and tissue donors, while also educating the public on the lifesaving benefits of donation.”
The baseball and softball teams wore varying levels of green and blue within their uniforms. Both baseball and softball teams at Southeast Missouri State and Southern Illinois University wore Donate Life-themed uniform tops periodically during April. Missouri State softball and Drury baseball was green and blue versions of their visors and hats.
Mid-America Transplant was eager to partner with the four universities to raise awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation. More than 115,000 people are currently waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant nationwide after a year in which a record 34,768 organ transplants were performed in the United States. Mid-America Transplant contributed to the 2017 record by facilitating the recovery of an organizational record 718 lifesaving organs from 223 selfless, heroic organ donors.