Florida Girl Scouts help develop new patch promoting organ donation

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – By participating in Girl Scouts, young ladies are taught how to contribute to the world in meaningful ways. And there’s nothing more meaningful than learning more, and teaching others, about giving the gift of life.

That’s the goal of a groundbreaking collaboration between the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida and Donate Life America. The non-profit organizations teamed up to develop the first organ donor patch in the Girl Scouts’ history.

“Girl Scouts of West Central Florida is proud to partner with Donate Life America to develop the organ donation awareness patch program and help make life possible for the 117,000 people waiting for a second chance,” said Girl Scouts of West Central Florida CEO Jessica Muroff.

“The new Donate Life America patch is an important option for the girls because of the opportunity to learn at the intersection of science and human generosity,” she added. “In Girl Scouts, we teach girls how to contribute to the world in meaningful ways. We can’t think of anything more meaningful than a second chance at life.”

Recently, several Girl Scouts toured the “eye bank” at Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research in Ybor City. The eye bank prepares and provides donated eye tissue to patients.

“There are so many different things I don’t know about that could help other people and I found that very interesting,” said Girl Scout Ambassador Ashlyn Baralt.

The requirements to earn the new patch include learning about the science behind organ donation, meeting transplant recipients and signing people up to be organ and tissue donors. The patch is available to all levels of Girl Scouts – Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors.

“We are thrilled that the Girl Scouts organization is interested in teaching young people about the science and human compassion behind every organ and tissue donation,” said Jason Woody, Chairman of Donate Life America and President and CEO of Lions Eye Institute in Tampa.

The concept was developed by Woody as part of his work with Donate Life America.

Girl Scouts who pursue the organ donor patch will be required to teach others what they’re learning.

“With social media for example, for any of these Girl Scouts to share their story or what they learned, there’s no telling how many people will react to that,” Woody said.

Currently, the organ donation patch is only available to Girl Scouts in West Central Florida, but there is already interest from troops across the country, according to Woody.

“Our plan is to take this program across Girl Scouts so that all girls have an opportunity to develop community problem-solving skills as they learn about the need for lifesaving organ, eye and tissue donors,” Muroff said.

To learn more about the organ donor patch program, visit this link.

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