Imagine what your state of mind would be (or has been) when you receive the devastating news of your loved ones passing. Then, picture knowing that your treasured loved one gave the most amazing gift in their final goodbye - the gift of life as an organ donor.
While it’s a fact that families of organ donors do not experience any additional medical costs due to the choice to donate, donor families are still left facing costly emotional and financial burdens. Not only did this gift of life came out of a tragedy of their loved ones passing, but the costs associated with a funeral to honor this loved one's life and other unavoidable expenses don’t stop when life feels like it has. Consequently, there are often basic needs that will go unmet for donor families - from funeral expenses, food, clothing, shelter, and various other monthly bills.
Experiencing first hand what it’s like to be a donor family, founders of Taylor's Gift Foundation Tara and Todd Storch quickly noticed an overwhelming need that families in situations just like theirs were facing. In response, Taylor’s Gift established the Legacy Gift program in an effort to provide happier, healthier, and brighter tomorrows to those touched by organ donation.
My First Legacy Gift
A few weeks into my time as Executive Director for Taylor's Gift, we received a Legacy Gift request.
Thrilled to finally be a part of the work that I’d witnessed from the outside, I was excited to have a hand in the process. The request for funeral costs was immediately sent to the Legacy Gift committee that oversees all our program grants distributed where the application was promptly reviewed and approved. The committee saw the need, quickly voted to fulfill the need, and within less than 24 hours we were on our way to helping another donor family during their great time of need.
It was a flurry of emotions picking up the phone and making that first call to the funeral home. I spoke directly with the Funeral Director to ensure that the Legacy Gift was made immediately, as it is crucial that arrangements be made in a timely manner in such fragile moments as these. After speaking with the Funeral Director for a couple of minutes, the phone was passed to the Office Manager to take the payment information.
After ensuring that everything had been taken care of, the Office Manager shared with me that the donor family was actually sitting in their office at that very moment with their Pastor, finalizing the arrangements with the Funeral Director. While I didn’t actually have the chance to speak with the donor family receiving the gift, from the tone of the Office Manager’s voice it was evident that I wasn’t the only one humbled by the perfect timing of it all. Hanging up the phone, chills ran down my spine - I’d just experienced a moment of absolute joy and gratitude for the work that Taylor’s Gift does. Knowing that the gift had been received and the family was able to immediately proceed with their arrangements and finalize their loved one's celebration of life is an indescribable feeling.
The Legacy Gift program is successful at helping families like this one because of our generous supporters and the wonderful OPO partners that we have who are our hands and feet working directly with the organ donor families who give the gift of life.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of our supporters who make this special program a reality. YOU are making an impact. Let's make more tomorrows!