2016 Donate Life Rose Parade Float Design Unveiled

Representing more than 120 million registered organ, eye, and tissue donors across the nation, and the next 100 million who can help save a life, the 13th Donate Life Rose Parade float, “Treasure Life’s Journey,” was unveiled at the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations’ annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.   The float and its many honored participants proudly represent the 2016 Rose Parade theme, “Find Your Adventure.”

Like an oasis discovered amidst a caravan’s journey across the desert, organ, eye, and tissue donation saves lives, renews hope, and sustains people, families, and communities.  The float features a colorful caravan with sixty donor medal-inspired floragraphs that honor the invaluable treasure of the gift of life. Twenty-four float riders continue to share in life’s adventures through the gift of organ donation.   Sixteen living donors will walk beside the float carrying provisions of fruit accented with flowers, symbolizing the life-sustaining gifts that have been given. And, Dedicated Roses placed by families create floral jewels that ornament the base of the float.

“Every donation of organs, eyes and tissue begins a journey of new life, health and adventure,” declared Tom Mone, Donate Life Rose Parade Float Committee Chairman. “In their passing, deceased donors open up a world of health to grateful recipients and empower them to contribute to their families, communities and future generations. Donor families find comfort by helping life go on in a remarkable act of love and caring for people they may never know. And Living Donors heroically give of themselves to help friends, family, and even strangers. Through its endless power to save, heal, and enhance lives, donation is truly the journey of a lifetime.”

In the last 12 years, the float has become the world’s most visible campaign to inspire donation. It began as an idea from lung recipient Gary Foxen to express gratitude to donors who make life-saving transplants possible. Now in its 13th year, the float’s mission is celebrated at hundreds of events nationwide where families finish floral medallion portraits, and sponsors too are honored for making donation possible.

This year the float campaign is headed by Nicole Olivas Jenkins, who serves as the float’s program manager. “I am honored to support our partners and families as we inspire millions to donate nationwide,” said Olivas Jenkins. “Our campaign urges all to participate and celebrate what we were all meant to do: have life, share life, and leave a legacy that lives forever.”

The 2016 Donate Life float is built by award-winning Paradiso Parade Floats, designed by Charles Meier, and coordinated by Donate Life America member OneLegacy.

One person can save up to eight lives through organ donation and more than 50 lives through tissue donation, which helps those who lack sight or need to heal from burns, or require new veins and arteries. More than over 6,000 lives are saved by living kidney and liver donors each year.

Anyone can sign up when renewing a driver’s license or state ID, or by visiting www.DonateLifeAmerica.org.

The 127th Rose Parade presented by Honda, themed “Find Your Adventure,” will take place Friday, January 1, 2016, at 8 a.m. (PST) featuring majestic floral floats. Following the parade, the 102nd Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO is slated to start at 1:30 p.m. (PST) featuring a match between the two top collegiate football teams in the nation. For additional information on the Tournament of Roses please visit the official website at www.tournamentofroses.com.

Have an idea? Share it with us!

The Idea Blog is a two-way street for the VOICES community to share and learn about ideas on how to share one’s story to inspire others to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. If you have any ideas or experiences to share that you think others would be interested in reading about, whether they are big (like organizing a donor drive) or small (a funny Facebook post), the VOICES community wants to hear from you!

After submitting your idea, you will be contacted by either Aaron or Lida from Donate Life America and we will work with you on the best format and timing to showcase it on the Idea Blog. Remember, these do not have to be huge ideas or events that you organized or took part in – although we welcome those too! In fact, the smaller the ideas, the more likely other VOICES can incorporate them into their own activities. Donate Life VOICES is about empowering those touched by donation and transplantation to increase the number of registered donors by sharing their perspectives, so let us know how you have done that today!

Stories of Hope – Father’s Day

National holidays and observances provide fantastic opportunities to share the stories of those touched by donation and transplantation. With Father’s Day around the corner (Sunday, June 21), you can share this touching story about Alicia’s father, who donated both of his kidneys after his death in 2012, saving the lives of two other dads on the waiting list. Feel free to save this image and use the sample text to share on your Facebook this Father’s Day. If you have a story that shines a light on donation and transplantation that can be used on Father’s Day, submit it to us for us to share on the Idea Blog.

In July 2012, Paul suffered a massive heart attack and later died due to brain trauma. “My dad was always telling jokes, wanting nothing more than to make people laugh. He went out of his way to help others,’ said Paul’s daughter Alicia. Through his donation, Paul saved the lives of two other dads with his kidneys, gave eyesight back to another with his corneas, and helped heal several burn victims with his skin grafts. “I find peace knowing how many others get a second chance with their loved ones because of my loved one,” said Alicia. #StoriesofHope

Alicia Whitworth StoriesofHope Instagram & Facebook

Check out the 2015 Photo Contest Winners!

If you need some ideas for great looking Donate Life-themed photos, check out the winners of the 2015 National Donate Life Blue & Green Day Photo Contest! While Blue & Green Day is a day-long event in April, showing off your blue and green colors can be a year-round affair.

Adult Fashion

Adult Fashion - j_adkins@kodaorgan_org - 25414469

Community Choice

Community Choice Award -  taraseoane@hotmail_com - 25014572

Places and Decorations

Decorations - Myckie_Jacobsen@scdmv_net - 25111442

DMV betsy_edwards@hotmail_com - 25058027

Food and Drink

Food and Drink -  d_rumer@kodaorgan_org - 25266470

Group Fashion

Group - melissacardwell@kycourts_net - 25205750

Kids Fashion

Kids Category - amorin627@gmail_com - 25086869

Pet Fashion

Pets Category -  sandy_roberson@ymail_com - 25488380

Erik Compton and Genentech Showcase the Importance of Donation

In conjunction with National Donate Life Month, Donate Life America and Genentech have partnered to develop a PSA featuring PGA TOUR golfer and two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton. The PSA also includes Los Angeles news anchor and kidney donor Phillip Palmer, along with additional transplant athletes who have received organ transplants and are leading active, healthy lives today. The key objective of the PSA is to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation. For more information, please visit DonateLife.net.