Writing to Donor Families

You can now experience the precious gift of life thanks to the generosity of your donor. This is your chance to express your gratitude for the hero who gave you a second chance at life.

Please take the time to write to your donor family. This will allow them to share in your joy, and provide them with a sense of healing and comfort in their time of grief.

All correspondence is completely anonymous and identities are confidential.


Upload your letter to your donor family here


Guidelines for correspondence:

Provide general information:

  • Your first name only
  • Your family situation, such as marital status, children or grandchildren
  • Your occupation, hobbies or interests
  • What led to you becoming a transplant patient
  • The state where you live

Closing your card or letter:

  • Sign your first name only
  • Do not reveal your address, phone number or e-mail address
  • Do not reveal the name of the hospital or physician who cared for you

How to Mail Your Letter

  1. Place your letter in an unsealed envelope. (No postage necessary.)
  2. Include a separate note in the envelope with your full name and the date of your operation.
  3. Mail to:
    Attn: Family Correspondence
    204 Sigma Drive
    Pittsburgh, PA 15238

When we receive the envelope, CORE will review the content to ensure confidentiality before forwarding your letter to the family.


Sample Letter Prompts

  • I have been thinking about you and your family since I received the gift of life through your loved one’s gift of organ donation. I want you to know that I continue to give thanks each day for this gift.
  • I wanted to write sooner, however, I could not find the words to appropriately express my gratitude for the gift of life and sympathy for a loss as overwhelming as yours.
  • Words cannot express how thankful I am for your compassion and your generosity.
  • I will never forget your kindness, nor the memory of your loved one. 
  • I hope I am living a life worthy of the priceless gift of life I have received. And I hope you have been able to take some small comfort in your loved one’s generous donation.
  • You and your loved one are never far from my thoughts. Thank you for your generosity.
  • When your life is saved due to someone else’s precious gift, there are no words to express your gratitude. Please know I will always cherish the gift and remember your loved one.
  • One person can make a difference. Your loved one did.
  • Thank you for the gift of life. Without your family’s generosity in a time of grief, I would not be able to…
  • Words cannot express my gratitude for the gracious gift your loved one has given me. My life is forever changed. Thank you.
  • I don’t know if my gratitude can help your healing, but I want you to know how your loved one saved my life.
  • You have given me a second chance in life. Every new day brings new possibilities and that I can accomplish things that were inconceivable before. I know that no words I could possibly say could free you from the grief of your overwhelming loss, but please accept my heartfelt deepest sympathy. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the gift of life.



Please keep in mind that you may or may not hear back from the family. Some families correspond with recipients, and others simply find comfort in knowing their loved one’s donation provided a second chance at life.

Thank you for considering this opportunity to provide donor families with comfort and express your feelings. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact our Donor Family Services Department at 800-DONORS-7 (800-366-6777) or donorfamilydepartment@core.org