Writing to Recipients

Guidelines for Writing

LifeCenter supports written correspondence between recipients and donor families. Many donor families and recipients have found that communicating can be healing and comforting. A letter or a greeting card from a donor’s family may open the lines of communication in learning more about a loved one’s recipient(s).

The decision to send correspondence is a very personal one, and there is no timeline. If you would like to write to your loved one’s recipient(s), we encourage you to do so. All correspondence is completely anonymous and identities are kept confidential.

What may I include in my card or letter?

You may provide general, non-identifiable information, including:

Please note:  Since the religion of recipients is unknown, please consider this when making religious comments.

***  If there is more than one transplant recipient, you may write a separate letter for each recipient or LifeCenter can copy your letter and forward it to each recipient.

Where do I send my card or letter?

Mail your letter to:

LifeCenter Organ Donor Network
Attn:  Family Aftercare
615 Elsinore Place, Suite 400
Cincinnati, OH 45202

You may also email a typed letter to Aftercare@lifepassiton.org.

*** When mailing your correspondence, please include the following information on a separate piece of paper, to assist us with identifying your loved one’s recipients:


LifeCenter will review your correspondence first to ensure confidentiality and will then begin the process of forwarding it.

Since your correspondence must be mailed to LifeCenter first and then forwarded, please keep in mind it may take extra time for your letter to reach your loved one’s recipient(s). It may take several weeks after you’ve mailed it for the transplant recipient(s) to receive it.

It is important to understand that you may or may not receive a response. Many transplant recipient(s) have said that they are overwhelmed with emotion and have difficulty expressing their feelings. Others may take several months or even years before they feel comfortable writing to their donor’s family.

Pictured: Tony Mankus – Heart Recipient

Pictured: Sgt. Keith Belcher – Tissue Recipient

Communicating with Tissue and Cornea Recipients

Communicating with tissue recipients differs from that of organ recipients. Most tissue recipients receive their gift during a surgical procedure in a hospital or outpatient facility and their follow-up care is much different than an organ recipient. Therefore, contact cannot be initiated by the donor family.

However, programs have been created to encourage tissue recipients to reach out to their donor families. As a result, the amount of correspondence received has greatly increased. Should LifeCenter receive a letter from one of your loved one’s tissue recipients, we will forward it as soon as possible. For this reason, it’s important to keep LifeCenter informed with your most up-to-date mailing address.

If your loved one was a cornea donor, you may be able to write to their cornea recipient(s). Please contact a LifeCenter’s Aftercare Coordinator for more information.


LifeCenter’s Family Aftercare Department has created a video that speaks in more detail about the writing process. We also welcome you to download a printable PowerPoint of the presentation to be used as a resource when writing to your donor’s family.

Have questions?

For more information or to ask questions about the writing process, please contact LifeCenter’s Family Aftercare Coordinators at 513-558-5555 or by email at Aftercare@lifepassiton.org.
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