Donor Families


Every donor has a STORY, every family has a JOURNEY, and through organ and tissue donation, every life has a new BEGINNING.

Your loved one’s decision to donate provides hope to someone else- hope for a chance at living a healthier, more productive life. To recognize and pay tribute to this selfless act, WRTC provides bereavement support to our courageous families through the Donor Family Advocacy Program and offers various opportunities to honor a loved one’s legacy.

When a loved one dies, grief affects every part of our being- physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual, and behavioral. Grief is exhausting and can be overwhelming at times as one is adjusting to life without their loved one. Feelings of shock, devastation, anxiety and loneliness are common and normal.

The Donor Family Advocates are available to listen to and support you on this journey, providing resources and other materials that may assist you as you move towards healing and the development of a new normal- life without the physical presence of your loved one. We encourage you to contact us with questions or just when you need to talk with someone. You may find attending a grief seminar or the Donor Family Retreat, where you can meet other donor families who have experienced loss, helpful to you.

WRTC services include:

THE REMEMBERED FOR LIFE MEMORIAL with a certificate of appreciation, remembrance pins, green donation bracelets, and donate life information registration sent to families to honor their loved one.

PERSONAL CONTACT with donor families to provide support through bereavement letters, email, telephone calls, and referrals to grief resources. Confidential communication services for donor families who want to write and/or meet their recipients.

QUARTERLY BEREAVEMENT SEMINARS facilitated by grief professionals, each covering a different aspect of grief.

ANNUAL DONOR FAMILY GATHERING, a service dedicated to the memory of those who have died and are part of our donor family community.

WRTC’s DONOR REMEMBRANCE QUILT providing an opportunity for families to honor and remember their loved one with a quilt square and narrative about it.

WRTC’s DONOR FAMILY COMMUNITY ADVISORY COUNCIL established to provide WRTC guidance and advice on various issues affecting donor families, the advocacy program, and the donation process.

TREE OF LIFE Winter Holiday remembrance event.

HOSPITAL MEMORIALS  Beautifully sculpted bronze trees bearing the names of organ, eye and tissue donors are located in public spaces at Prince George’s Hospital Center, The George Washington University Hospital and Inova Fairfax Hospital. Each shimmering leaf represents a deceased individual who went on to donate precious gifts so that others may live. Donor families are invited to have their loved one’s name and dates engraved on the leaves. Located next to the tree are plagues that recognize and forever remember these donors as heroes. A dedication ceremony is held periodically at each hospital for donor families to place their loved one’s name on the tree.