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writing to recipients

How to Write Your Letter

Many donor family members find comfort or meaning in writing to the transplant recipients who received their loved one’s gifts. You may write a note by hand or type it.

In some cases, a donor family and recipient may choose to meet. The first step toward this is to write a letter to your loved one's recipients.

Please use the guidelines below to write your letter.


Start Your Letter

  • Use the type of transplant in your greeting (Dear Heart Recipient, Dear Cornea Recipient)


Introduce Yourself

  • Your connection to the donor (John’s wife, Jane’s sister)
  • Your occupation
  • Your family (spouse, children, grandchildren)
  • Your interests and/or hobbies
  • The state where you live


Write About Your Loved One

  • What kind of person they were
  • Their family (if not written already)
  • Their job
  • Their interests and/or hobbies
  • Special memories of them

 **Since the religion and culture of the recipient is unknown, please consider this as you write your letter.


Share How Your Loved One’s Donation Impacted You

  • Has it helped you heal?
  • Has it given you peace knowing their legacy lives on?


Close Your Letter

  • Sign your first name only
  • Do not reveal your last name, address, city, phone number, e-mail address, or the hospital where your loved one died


Send Your Letter

LifeShare Carolinas
PO Box 32861
Charlotte, NC 28232

LifeShare will mail your letter to the transplant center, and they will send it to the recipient.

Remember, what you say isn't as important as who the letter is from.

After You Send Your Letter

You may or may not hear from your loved one’s recipients. Many transplant recipients feel connected to their donor and are honored to write letters of thanks. However, some transplant recipients do not write. Even though they are grateful for the gift of life, they may struggle to express their feelings. Just as some donor families prefer to remain private, so do some transplant recipients. It may take several months, or even years, for a recipient to feel comfortable writing.

After writing letters back and forth, some donor families and recipients make the decision to meet in person. To see some of these emotional gatherings, visit our YouTube channel.


Contact us

Our Bridge to Healing team is available to support our donor families.

You can reach us anytime using the button on the left. If your contact information has changed, use the button on the right to update us.

You can also call us at 704-473-3684.