Letter Writing Guidelines

The decision to write to your donor’s family is a personal one. For some donor families, receiving a letter from you—the recipient—can help the grieving process.

We work with the families of cornea and tissue donors and we would be happy to facilitate communication between you and your donor’s family.

Confidential Communication

By allowing LWVI to contact your donor’s family on your behalf, we can make sure your personal information stays confidential.

Information you can include

  • Your first name and the first names of your family members (no last names please)
  • Job or occupation
  • Hobbies or interests
  • Family (i.e. marital status, or if you have children or grandchildren)
  • How has donation impacted your life
  • Acknowledgment of the donor family’s loss, and gratitude for their gift
  • It is important to note that we do not know the donor family’s personal beliefs, and you should consider this before making religious comments. Please also use simple language.


Please address your letter, card, or note to “Donor Family.” At the end of your message, please sign your first name only.

To make sure your message stays confidential, please do not include your address, city, phone number, email address, name of the surgery center, or name of your physician.

On a separate sheet of paper, please write your full name and the date when you received your transplant. This information will help us match you to your donor’s family. We will be sure to keep this information private.

Mail to or submit by email to
Lions World Vision Institute Family Services Manager
1200 6th Avenue, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98101


Please be aware that you may or may not receive a response from the family of your donor.

Some families have said that after they receive a letter, they are overwhelmed with emotion and have difficulty expressing their feelings in writing. Other donor families may take months or even years before they feel comfortable communicating with the recipient of their loved one’s donation.

Please remember that if you don’t get a response, this doesn’t mean your donor family was not appreciative of your letter.


You may or may not receive a response from your transplant recipient. Some recipients may take months or even years before they feel comfortable communicating with their donor family. Many transplant recipients have difficultly expressing their gratitude in writing, but are still grateful for the selfless gift they have received.

Register for Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donation