Until we all come together again, the Internet provides inspiring ways for us to still support each other. This May, the NJ Sharing Network brought thousands of donors and athletes together through social media for their 5K Celebration of Life.
The NJ Sharing Network is a nonprofit organized around organ transplants. Based in New Providence, NJ, it provides grants for transplant research, education on organ donation, and support resources for patients.
On Sunday, May 17th, the Network hosted its tenth 5K Celebration of Life. Due to dangers posed by coronavirus, viewers gathered online for the first time.
“Clearly, we all wish that we could have come together for our usual 5K event…” said Chris Bautista, Chair of the Long Branch 5K Celebration of Life. “…but nothing was going to stop us from celebrating the gift of life.”
The 5K program has been one of the largest online community events in the state during the coronavirus crisis. Drawing viewers from 18 countries, 38 US states, and towns across New Jersey, the program included the national anthem, a moment of silence, messages from participants and staff, and more.
Following the opening program, participants walked, ran, or biked the 5K through their neighborhoods. Many also shared their progress with NJ Sharing Network through social media.
Since its inception, the 5K Celebration of Life has raised $8 million toward its cause. The NJ Sharing Network plans to host another 5K in-person on September 13th, 2020 at their headquarters in New Providence.
“We are simply overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from our Celebration of Life program participants,” said Elisse E. Glennon, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the NJ Sharing Network. “We plan to keep going until we ensure that everyone who needs a life-saving transplant gets one.”
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