NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - This year's Rose Parade on January 1, 2020 marks the 17th year the Donate Life float will make an appearance in the parade. NJ Sharing Network along with its partners [Bridge to Life, Dignity Memorial Funeral Homes and Team Liberty] are sponsoring three New Jersey donor families and two transplant recipients.
Hope Wolf, an organ and tissue donor, is a floragraph honoree. The NJ Sharing Network is sponsoring her family to participate in the multi-day festivities. Her parents, Cheryl and Jared Wolf [Riverdale, NJ], along with family and friends recently gathered at the Sharing Network headquarters for the unveiling of her floragraph, which will be featured on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float. Hope’s family will join four other New Jersey families that will be honored at the 131st Rose Parade in Pasadena, California on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, at 11 am EST.
"Our Foundation is honored to sponsor Hope’s floragraph and her family’s trip to Pasadena," said Amanda Tibok, Assistant Director Philanthropy & Foundation Programs at NJ Sharing Network.
The 2020 Donate Life Rose Parade float, Light in the Darkness, shares the Power of Hope by highlighting Southeast Asia’s Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, a celebration of light shining through darkness. Organ, eye, and tissue donation is often the first spark of light families see when in their darkest moments.
"The opportunity to honor their loved ones’ legacy provides hope and light to both grieving donor families and grateful recipients," said Tibok. With "Power of Hope" as the theme of this year's float, it wasn't a difficult decision to choose Hope as one of this year's floragraph honorees.
Once the floragraph was unveiled, the family added the finishing touches of Hope's eyebrows. The floragraph is made from natural materials such as flowers and seeds. Once complete, the floragraph will travel to Pasadena to be placed on the float.
The ceremony concluded with the Rose Dedication Ceremony. Members of the Wolf family and friends in attendance dedicated a rose that will be placed on the float.
The float serves as a memorial to organ and tissue donors and as a platform for families of organ and tissue donors, transplant recipients and living donors to inspire the world to save and heal those in need through the gift of life.
Three months into Cheryl Wolf’s pregnancy, she learned that her child had skeletal dysplasia, and would not survive outside of the womb. Believing she was a gift from God, Cheryl carried Hope to full-term and treasured every kick and bump along the way with her husband and other family members. Hope was born on February 6, 2014 via Cesarean and spent a beautiful 90 minutes on this earth with her family. She heard a lifetime of “I love you’s” and died peacefully before donating her liver cells and heart to the International Institute for the Advancement of Medicine, a partner of NJ Sharing Network.
Cheryl and Jared Wolf, and their two daughters, have helped other women who find themselves in a difficult pregnancy and offer encouragement and support through one on one mentoring and large group speaking engagements. In addition, because of Hope, there is now a “Hope Bag,” an organ transport bag with all necessary materials for an infant donation at NJ Sharing Network.
In Hope’s honor, her family has become advocates for organ and tissue donation and has raised over $20,000 for NJ Sharing Network through the 5K Celebration of Life.
About NJ Sharing Network: Dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation, NJ Sharing Network is the nonprofit organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue for the nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents waiting for a life-saving transplant. With headquarters in New Providence, NJ, the organization is also part of the national recovery system, serving the 115,000 people on the national waiting list. Each year, our Foundation and dedicated partners like Dignity Memorial Funeral Homes work together to help families honor their loved ones on the Donate Life Rose Parade float.
In 2020, the Transplant Games of America are coming to New Jersey with more than 12,000 people expected to attend this biennial multi-sport festival recognizing the success of donation and transplantation and honoring the generosity of donors.
To learn more, get involved and register as an organ and tissue donor, visit NJSharingNetwork.org