You really don’t have to do much to help save a life - all it takes is signing up to be an organ donor.
That’s exactly what Brazilian soccer club SC Recife has urged its fans to do for the past two years, and the impact their campaign has already made is nothing short of amazing.
According to the BBC, 66,000 fans have signed up for SC Recife’s special “Sport Donor” card, which can easily be obtained online. As a result, Recife — Brazil’s fifth largest city — has seen its waiting list for organs reduced to almost zero, and the influence can be felt all over the state of Pernambuco.
From the BBC:
"We used to perform from five to seven heart transplants a year, but last year we achieved 28… it was an incredible increase," says Fernando Figueira, director of heart transplants at Pernambuco’s Institute of Integrated Medicine.
"There is a very tight connection between the campaign and this rise."
A television ad titled “Immortal Fans,” which is also played before each of Recife’s home games at the Ilha do Retiro stadium, spearheads the effort. In the spot, supporters in need of transplants advocate for the cause by drawing on their mutual love for the club.
"I promise that your eyes will keep on watching Sport Club Recife," says one fan in need of new corneas.
"I promise that your heart will keep on beating for Sport Club Recife," says another, who requires a heart transplant.
The success of the campaign has been noticed around the world, and Sport Recife has even been contacted by Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona. The two clubs are thinking about adopting similar campaigns, according to Jorge Peixoto Peixoto, the Recife’s vice president for social programs.