The Columbus Dispatch | Summer Ballentine
Since Facebook added a feature on May 1 encouraging users to identify themselves as organ donors or to sign up to become one, daily online registrations in Ohio and nationwide have more than doubled.
“It’s making people think about it,” said Lifeline of Ohio spokeswoman Rachel Lewis. “If Facebook is a way to bring people together and save lives, we’re happy to see that.”
The number of online registrations in Ohio increased to 241 on May 1, up from 50 the day before, Lewis said.
Facebook users who show an interest in donation are directed to official donor registration sites. In Ohio, it’s www.donatelifeohio.org.
After the initial spike, online registrations in Ohio ranged between about 30 and 60 a day, more than twice the average of 15.5 a day from June 2010 to May 2011, Lewis said.
Nationwide, registrations increased from an average of about 550 a day to about 24,367 in the first two days after the launch, according to Donate Life America.
Now, there are about 1,000 per day.
Often, people don’t sign up as donors because they don’t know anyone who needs a donation, said Donate Life America spokeswoman Aisha Michel.
Facebook encourages users to share personal stories to motivate others to register, Michel said.
“People love stories,” she said. “People don’t want to hear sad stories; they want to hear about people who can go to the grocery store now (and) do things people take for granted because of people donating.”