Writing to a Donor’s Family

Connecting to the family of your donor hero

A woman writes something down in a notebook


What to know before you write a letter to your donor’s family

HonorBridge can help facilitate communication between a recipient and the family of an organ donor, when the family is ready.

If you received a transplant and would like to send a letter to the family of the organ donor, HonorBridge can help. Sending a letter of thanks can mean so much to a donor family. Your letter will come to us at HonorBridge, and we will hold it until the donor family gives their consent to receive it.

Your first letter should not include personal contact information.

For your safety, we ask that your letter include your first name only. Please don’t include your address or other contact information. We will scan your letter to make sure you haven’t shared any personally identifying information. You may decide later on to exchange personal contact information with your donor’s family, or even meet in person. For the initial letter, though, we encourage you to keep it general. Contact us if you have questions about this.

The decision to write a letter is a personal one.

For some recipients, reaching out to the family of the donor who touched their lives can be incredibly healing and meaningful. Some recipients want to write a letter soon after their transplant; others wait for many years before they write. There is no right or wrong way to do it, and you can send a letter to your donor family whenever you wish. You can send a card, write a letter, or share a photo. See our guide in English and in Spanish.

You may or may not hear back.

Every donor’s family will grieve the loss of their loved one differently. Some donor families say that hearing from the recipients of their loved one’s gifts can be healing and comforting. Others, however, prefer privacy and choose not to communicate with – or receive communication from – recipients. Regardless, you may find that writing to express your gratitude and share your story is an important personal exercise on your own road to healing.

You can handwrite your letter or card, or you can submit a letter online.

If you’d like to submit your letter online, you can use the form below. Once you submit your letter, you’ll get an email confirmation that we’ve received it. If you’d like to mail a handwritten or typed letter, please see the instructions below.

Write a Letter

Identifying information is for HonorBridge purposes only and will not be provided to the donor family

Submit by Mail

If you want to mail your letter, place it in an unsealed, unaddressed envelope. No need to include a stamp on this envelope.

Put your letter in another envelope along with a separate piece of paper with your full name, transplant hospital & date of transplant along with your address and phone number. Then, mail the packet to us:

Family Resource Specialist
7000 Millhouse Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Have Questions?

Sending a letter of thanks can mean so much to a donor family

Donor family and dog wearing t-shirts with Donate Life outside

If you are a tissue recipient, please reach out to your surgeon or the tissue bank for guidelines on writing to your donor family. If you have questions for us, you can always contact us.