History & Mission Statement

For more than 35 years, Gift of Life Donor Program, the federally designated non-profit organ procurement organization has served as the link in the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware between patients awaiting organ and tissue transplants and those who donate. Since its inception, Gift of Life Donor Program has coordinated more than 38,000 life-saving organ transplants and hundreds of thousands of life enhancing tissue transplants – serving as the leader in the nation. In the Gift of Life service area there are over 6,500 people waiting for a transplant and it is likely these candidates will have surgery within a transplant Program served by Gift of Life Donor Program. Many others living outside of the Gift of Life service area will also travel to the Philadelphia area from outside the region for transplant surgery. While transplant outcomes have improved, the anxiety and challenges associated with the transplant continue to significantly impact each family member, emotionally and financially. Transplant patients and their families experience a great deal on their journey towards the gift of life. Endless hours, false hopes and the patience to persist are just some of the trials faced when transplant is only the answer to a life-threatening diagnosis. Many challenges are encountered by transplant families and homelessness should not be one of them.

Recognizing the critical need for affordable accommodations and supportive services for transplant families, Gift of Life Donor Program and the Transplant Foundation collaborated to open a unique lodging facility for transplant candidates, recipients, family members and living donors. Gift of Life Family House, a 501(c)(3) organization officially opened its doors to transplant families on July 18, 2011.

Mission Statement

Gift of Life Family House serves as a "home away from home" for transplant patients and their families by providing temporary, affordable lodging and supportive services to those who travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for transplant-related care. Gift of Life Family House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization.

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Gift of Life Family House enhances the lives of transplant patients and their families by addressing these essential needs:

  • Providing comfortable and affordable lodging in a warm, friendly atmosphere which includes a private bedroom and facilities for cooking, laundry and recreation.
  • Offering an emotional support system through a network including other families at the Family House undergoing the transplant journey, staff and volunteers. Quiet areas are available for those times when a family or individual needs to be alone and the kitchen and dining areas are always open to support family interaction and discussion.
  • Helping families to re-establish a sense of control and accountability by creating a cooperative and supportive atmosphere. Family members not only experience the benefits of the Family House, they also support Family House operations by maintaining their own rooms and assisting with the general tidiness in the common areas of the Family House.
  • Maintaining a network for family members and caregivers outside the walls of the Family House through the Family House Caregiver Lifeline Program, an integrated network of online educational resources, community based outreach programs and support services in the Gift of Life service area tailored specifically to caregivers of transplant patients.
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