Teen Trying to Bring ‘Donate Life’ License Plate To Utah

Mar 30, 2021, 5:53 PM | Updated: 8:28 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A Utah teen and prospective Eagle Scout came up with a project that has the potential to save countless lives, but he needs the public’s help to make his project a reality.

Boy Scout Catcher McCardell has been on a mission to create a specialized “Donate Life” Utah license plate to promote organ donation.

His project has almost made it to the finish line. The major hurdle was to get the legislation passed, which was successful. However, the license plate won’t ever be made, unless enough people sign up for the license plate. 

“Last summer me and my family were just on a road trip in Colorado,” Catcher told KSL-TV. “We were seeing how many (different) license plates we could find, and we saw this ‘Donate Life’ one.”

What started out as a game in the car turned into an Eagle Scout project for the 14-year-old from South Jordan.

“I was like, ‘How come we don’t have one of those plates?'” he said.

Catcher decided to take action and make it so Utahns could select a “Donate Life” license plate.

“I didn’t know how to put a bill in the house and legislature and have it go through. I didn’t know what I was doing,” he said.

Last year his mom reached out to Capitol Preservation Board executive director Allyson Gamble. She got them in touch with Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, who agreed to sponsor the bill for the 2021 legislative session.

“He made sure that I found the time to do this and really kept pushing and took the initiative. He called the state tax commission to figure out what they needed to do,” Ray said. “He did a great job.”

HB272 also renamed Utah’s organ donation fund to include Gamble’s name – a two-time heart transplant recipient herself who died unexpectedly last year.

“So, now that will forever carry her name and the sacrifices that she made for the Capitol and the people of Utah,” Ray said.

The governor signed the bill into law, but there’s one final step. 500 people have to be willing to pay for the plate before the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles will make them available. 

“The 500 mark has to be hit or else they will not start pumping them out,” Catcher said.

“There’s no reason that Utah, as a leader in organ donation, should not have that type of a specialty plate,” said Mark Dixon, director of public education and public relations for DonorConnect.

The Donor Connect organization has created a page on its website to help Utahns pre-purchase the license plates.

“It does nothing but help the organ donation community and save lives,” he said.  

Catcher noted many Utah families have more than one car.  

“Buy two. If you feel like you need to, buy three,” he recommended.

Catcher has been spreading the word and said he won’t stop – even when they do reach 500 plates. The more plates sold, the more money goes to organ donor efforts.  

“You could save someone’s life. So, I mean, that’s pretty huge,” he said.  

Car owners can pre-register the license plate at DonorConnect.life

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Teen Trying to Bring ‘Donate Life’ License Plate To Utah