‘Generous Idiot’ encourages organ donation registration on hunting, fishing license applications

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — In observance of National Hunting and Fishing Month, Donate Life West Virginia is launching a statewide ad campaign to encourage organ and tissue donation registration via hunting and fishing license applications. West Virginia is one of the first states in the nation to provide an organ donation registration option in the hunting and fishing licensing process. The campaign is an extension of the “Generous Idiot” campaign that debuted last year.

Tony Slack, a Charleston native, stars in these ads as the “Generous Idiot.” Tony’s daughter, Beth, a married mother of 5-year-old twins, underwent a double lung transplant earlier this year.

Together, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and Donate Life West Virginia identified the two most common risk behaviors in hunting and fishing. Two of these were used as inspiration for the videos. In one video, a man, the “Generous Idiot,” is hunting without a tree stand safety harness. In the other, he is fishing without a life jacket.

“Hunting and fishing is a legacy pastime in West Virginia,” said Susan Stuart, president & CEO, CORE. “So, giving West Virginians the option to register as an organ donor while getting their hunting and fishing license is a nice parallel to the legacy that is left behind when someone decides to give the ultimate gift. And our hope is that these ads will encourage West Virginia’s hunters and fishers to do just that — offer people like Tony’s daughter, Beth, a second chance at life through organ donation.”

The hunting and fishing videos are available to view on the Center for Organ Recovery & Education’s YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/COREDonateLife.

More information on the campaign can be found at donatelifewv.org/hunting-fishing-2020. More than 500 West Virginians are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, showing the critical need for more individuals to register. Anyone — regardless of age or medical history — can sign up to be a donor. There is no cost to donors and their families, and all major religions in the United States support organ and tissue donation, considering it a final act of love and generosity toward others.

It only takes 30 seconds to register at donatelife.wv.gov.