I rarely, if ever, use my Watercooler blog to exhort you to buy SKINS gear.
But November is an exception.
SKINS has entered into a partnership with a wonderful cause, Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation, to help promote a very important message – organ and tissue donation. What this means is that five percent of total of all online sales in Australia for the month of November will be given to Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation to help them continue their important education work regarding organ and tissue donation.
Let me explain a bit about the Foundation and our partnership.
The partnership, which we announced last month, came about as a result of meeting the CEO of the Foundation, Allan Turner, earlier this year.
I was blown away by the story Allan told me about his daughter, Zaidee, after whom the Foundation is named, as well as some facts and figures about organ and tissue donation.
Zaidee Turner died in 2004, aged 7, from a cerebral aneurism. Unless you’ve tragically been in similar circumstances, you can only begin to imagine what it is like to lose a child.
But Allan and his wife, Kim, were committed organ and tissue donors, and they had already started talking about the concept with their young family prior to Zaidee becoming ill. When it was clear that she would not recover, the decision was easy for Zaidee and her family – she wanted to help others by being an organ and tissue donor herself.
At the time – remember, this is 12 years ago when these matters were hardly talked about – Zaidee was the youngest organ donor in Australia. Her gift helped six children and one adult. In other words, her last gesture in life was to make a difference and, by doing so, she helped save the lives of seven other people.
What a wonderful and precious gift!
Because Zaidee loved rainbows, Allan and Kim set to work using rainbow shoe laces as a symbol and fundraiser for the Foundation they subsequently established.
It was in this context that I met Allan because SKINS was planning for our #RainbowLaces campaign in April this year to highlight the need to kick homophobia out of sport.
Allan and I agreed that a rainbow is a symbol of hope and a better future regardless of the cause behind it.
Until I met Allan, I didn’t know about the demand for organ and tissue donors in Australia, and just how important the need is for continual awareness-raising. What I find so inspiring is the impact it can have on other peoples’ lives as well, both the donor family and the recipient families.
Around 1,600 people are on the Australian organ transplant waiting list at any one time. Government data shows that 80% of people who have made a donation decision have discussed it with their family, and that families are more likely to say ‘yes’ to donation if their loved ones wishes are known.
Of course, this differs from country-to-country. In Australia, you can follow the links and find out more about organ and tissue donation from donatelife.gov.au
Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation focuses on vital community education and outreach work about organ and tissue donation, particularly focusing on children. Allan Turner believes that children, such as Zaidee, understand the concept of giving and helping others from an early age and it’s a positive experience to educate and discuss these issues openly.
It is this work by the Foundation that will be supported by a percentage of all SKINS online sales in Australia throughout the month of November – Zaidee’s birthday month.
By the way, that’s not all we’re doing. SKINS is also providing marketing support, and we are working on a special project to produce a prototype ‘Organ SKINS’ to assist Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation with their education activities. The ‘Organ SKINS’ will take the best part of a year to develop, refine and produce – so more on that in 2017!
As I said at the outset, I don’t often ask you to buy SKINS products – although obviously I hope that you do!
But please be assured that when you do buy from skins.net/au throughout November, you will be helping honour the memory and the gift of a courageous and loving 7-year-old girl named Zaidee, the drive and passion of her family, as well as contributing to the vital community outreach and education work of Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation.
Buy online here. www.skins.net
Allan and Kim Turner appear on Andrew Denton’s ‘Enough Rope’ for the first time.