The Minnesota State Fair is filled with all kinds of temptations. There is at least one healthy choice that fair goers can make – stopping by Health Fair 11 at the Fair to get checked out.

Nineteen organizations are joining forces to make Health Fair 11 at the Fair possible. Among them is  CaringBridge , the largest nonprofit social network dedicated to health. We offer free, ad-free and privacy protected personal websites for people on a health journey that connect patients and families during a health crisis, treatment and/or recovery. The mission of CaringBridge is to reduce stress and isolation and ensure no one goes through a health journey alone.

In 2019, CaringBridge signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs to share CaringBridge to Veterans, service members and their families to offer help, hope and healing that comes from a supportive community. VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said the following about CaringBridge: “Partnerships with organizations such as CaringBridge that can offer impactful support and connection form an integral part of our public health approach to ensure we reach all Veterans.”

CaringBridge’s with Health Fair 11 is to have a CaringBridge and VA sponsored booth that encourages fair goers to share how they show up for a loved one dealing with a health event. The theme of the booth will be “This is How We Show Up – for Veterans and all those on a health journey.” At the booth, we’ll ask fair goers to share with us a message of hope, love and support for someone on a heath journey or a general message for all dealing with a health crisis. We will offer a couple of options for doing so onsite: 1) They can write a sticky note and post it on our “Show Up” white board. CaringBridge will pick a favorite message and post it daily to our social media.  2) They can take a selfie standing in front of a photo wall with our “Show Up” theme and post their picture to their social media and tag CaringBridge. We will extend our physical presence of the MN State Fair online with various engagement activities utilizing our social channels (ideas still being determined).  The goal is to amplify the local fair event and turn it into something that our global community can follow.

We are working with VA to determine which departments will participate as part of the volunteer effort; however, given VA personnel needs and the duration of the fair, we are also actively engaging local Veteran and service member commuity service organizations to volunteer with us. The VA has communicated that their fair outreach efforts will be around enhancing connectedness, providing health benefit look ups for Veterans and possibly giveaways (TBD).

CaringBridge is very excited to partner with the VA to share CaringBridge & Veteran health information with fair goers at the Minnesota State Fair. We thank Health Fair 11 for this amazing opportunity to increase the awareness of CaringBridge, highlight our Veteran-audience outreach partnership with VA and build bridges of care and communication for those on a health journey.

About Health Fair 11 

Health Fair 11 coordinates Health Fair 11 at the Fair. Health Fair 11 is a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide health education and free or low-cost health screenings. Health Fair 11 operates with support from UCare and KARE 11 TV. Learn more about becoming an official sponsor of our organization and about other programs at www.HealthFair11.org .