Bonnaroo is the perfect kick off to summer. The farm transforms from empty fields into a buzzing, energetic, creative, positive, fun loving space for people from all walks of life, from all areas of the country and the world.
The Chris Klug Foundation attended the event this year for the first time and had a booth inside Planet Roo as one of the 26 non-profits on site. We were proud to be apart of such a special environment where people could come and get a break from the chaos of the festival and surround themselves in a unique haven of sustainability and global consciousness.
During our time in Planet Roo we were able to open up conversations with teenagers to elders about the importance and need for organ donors across the United States. We debunked myths that some held about if they were hurt and an organ donor that doctors would not work as hard to save their lives. We educated them on the facts that the medical staff’s number one priority is to save the patients life. From these amazing interactions and conversations, we were able to then register people who were previously too scared to register to save lives. Over the Bonnaroo festival, we talked to approximately 5,000 people and registered 58 people as organ donors.
While registering people is always an amazing feeling knowing that we are helping to save the lives of 22 people that die a day waiting for a transplant and making a dent in the 119,000 people currently on the waitlist one of the greatest feelings about events is being able to connect with others who have been touched by transplantation and getting the chance to hear their stories. We met numerous people who were either a transplant recipient or they had a friend or family member who was fortunate enough to have received a transplant.
We met a liver transplant recipient who received his transplant 17 years ago and because of the selfless decision of someone else was now able to come to Bonnaroo with his son and attend the comedy tent which was a passion they both hold dear to their heart. Without that decision of his donor, he would not have been able to sit in a tent and laugh beside his son creating memories they will both cherish forever. Needless to say, these two had quite the sense of humor and it was beautiful to see them feed off of each other’s jokes.
We met a woman who was a perfect match and was able to become a living donor and donate her kidney to her mother to save her life. As we spoke with them tears came rushing down both their cheeks with an appreciation for our presence to raise awareness about giving someone a second chance at life. It is one of the most selfless acts that one can give to anther human being.
We want to thank all of our amazing volunteers who helped us inspire, educate and register people over the Bonnaroo weekend. We had Donate Life Tennesee come out with us for a day to help reach and educate even more people. It was such a pleasure getting to work so closely with another OPO and know that together we can have an even greater impact on saving lives across the nation.
We would like to leave you with some food for thought…
What kind of world do you want to see???