2024 #BeTheGift Showdown

February 23, 2024

On February 17, Tennessee basketball rivals, The University of Tennessee Volunteers and Vanderbilt University Commodores took to the courts to see who would be the winner in the fourth annual #BeTheGift Showdown. During the game, the teams put their rivalries aside to raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation, encouraging fans to register as donors to save lives.

Tennessee Donor Services staff with UT head coach, Rick Barnes, donor families and organ recipients
Tennessee Donor Services staff with UT head coach, Rick Barnes, donor families and organ recipients

Be the Gift volunteers with UT players and coaches

Highlights of the evening included UT players and coaches donning their #BeTheGift shooting shirts and pullovers while cheer squads and Vols fans represented the theme of the evening with their own #BeTheGift fan shirts. During halftime, Tennessee Donor Services Corporate Executive Director Jill Grandas and Associate Executive Director Deana Clapper received a framed poster highlighting our record-breaking year in 2023.

Every day in the United States, 110 individuals get their second chance at life thanks to organ donation. Still, 100,000 individuals wait for their lifesaving transplant, 3,000 of which are Tennesseans. “Every game, I count on Vols fans to ‘bring it,’ but right now we need your help off the court. Every day 20 people die waiting for an organ transplant. You can change that,” said Volunteers guard Josiah-Jordan James. To end the wait and save more lives than ever, Tennessee Donor Services and Donate Life Tennessee host the annual #BeTheGift Challenge to register more donors. Last year, nearly 170,000 Tennesseans registered, far surpassing the 2023 challenge goal to add 125,000 individuals to the Donate Life Tennessee registry. In 2024, Donate Life Tennessee hopes to add an additional 130,000 donors to the registry.

About Tennessee Donor Services

An Extraordinary Commitment to Science, Health, and Hope

Tennessee Donor Services a non-profit, organ procurement organization (OPO) dedicated to saving and improving lives by connecting organ and tissue donations to the patients who need them. TDS serves nearly five and a half million people in Tennessee and Virginia.

#BeTheGift that saves lives!

When you register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, you leave a lasting legacy and bring hope to those waiting.

To access the National Registry, click here.