Riverside, CA — Riverside Community Hospital invited families of organ donors to come and pay tribute and respect to their loved ones for giving the ultimate gift of life in a special Tree of Life Ceremony today. The Tree of Life Ceremony has been a longstanding tradition at the hospital for many years; but there has not been a ceremony since November 2019, pre-pandemic. The purpose of the Tree of Life is to remind all who pass through Riverside Community Hospital that legacies live on, thanks to the individuals who names adorn its branches.

Riverside Community Hospital worked with One Legacy to contact the families of organ donors to ask if they wanted to participate in the Tree of Life. Donor families had the option to add their loved one’s name to a leaf and add to the tree, attend the ceremony, provide a photo and some words about their loved one or any combination of these options.

The hospital had twenty-two families respond to add their leaf to the tree and twenty families personally attended the ceremony to place their leaf on the tree themselves.

“We understand the last time you may have been here at the hospital was when you lost your loved one, said Annette Greenwood, chief nursing officer at Riverside Community Hospital. “Organ donation is a noble act. In the midst of grieving, you helped make the decision to donate the organ of your loved one; your son, your daughter, parent or spouse. Today we are here to honor the memory of those who left behind a legacy by giving the gift of life.”

Other speakers at the event included Jolene Vargas, One Legacy Ambassador and organ donor recipient, Dina Elias, director of trauma at the hospital, and Javier Munoz, Regional Manager Hospital Partnerships, One Legacy.