Mission and History

Gift of Life Family House was created to provide a unique service for area transplant families.

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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.

History

gift of life donor program offices
Gift of Life Donor Program offices located just a couple of blocks away from Family House.

For more than 44 years, Gift of Life Donor Program—a federally designated non profit organ procurement organization—has served as the link in Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware, connecting patients awaiting organ and tissue transplants and those who donate these precious gifts of life.

Since 1974, Gift of Life Donor Program has coordinated more than 47,000 organs for transplant and approximately one million tissue transplants that have resulted from Gift of Life donors.

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. That facility, Gift of Life Family House, officially opened its doors to transplant families in July 2011 in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia.

A World Leader

In 2018, Gift of Life broke two national records, representing the highest totals ever recorded for organ donors and transplants for a U.S.-based OPO in a single year! For the 11th consecutive year, Gift of Life is also the nation’s leading organ procurement organization, coordinating the most life-saving organs for transplant among all 58 U.S. OPOs. It represents an ongoing legacy of new beginnings from grieving families to those awaiting the “gift of life.”

In the Gift of Life service area—eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware—there are over 5,100 individuals waiting for a transplant, and it is likely that these candidates will have surgery at a transplant center served by Gift of Life Donor Program. Yet, many others living outside of this service area must travel to Philadelphia’s world-class hospitals for such treatment.

Meeting a Need

While transplant outcomes have improved, the anxiety and challenges associated with the transplantation process continue to significantly impact each family member both emotionally and financially. Transplant patients and their families experience a great deal of stress and anxiety during their journey toward the gift of life. Endless hours of diagnosis, treatment, and waiting for the call for an available organ, false hopes when an available organ is not an ideal match, and the financial burden of medical treatment paired with time away from work are just some of the trials they face when a transplant is the only answer to a life-threatening diagnosis.

News & Events

My First Home was Gift of Life Family House

When he was finally able to leave the hospital's care, the Family House became Asher's first home.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Pledges to Support Family House

Jefferson Hospital made a $250,000 pledge to support transplant families at the Family House.

We've Got You, Mom

Nicole became her mother Donna's caregiver and together, they navigated the transplant journey.

Corporate Spotlight: Laundry Made Easy

Our friends from Hercules Laundry generously donated five new washer and dryer sets!

Getting by With a Little Help From our Friends

As part of our Caregiver Lifeline Program, we bring in therapy dogs to spend time with our guests!

The Flight For My Life

Karen's life-saving transplant relocated her and her family over 350 miles from home.

#FacebookFUNdraiser: Anthony Vetrano

Learn why Anthony decided to host a Facebook fundraiser for the Family House!

From Hospital to Home

"My stay at the Family House gets better each time," says Lauren, a past Family House guest.

Grown Up and Giving Back

Read about Mya, a liver recipient and employee, and her experience here at the Family House.

Families Joined by Love and Life in Family House Kitchen

The Hess and Palmer families come together to celebrate the life of Mason Hess.

Family Close By

“Having my wife nearby was especially helpful to my recovery,” Tim says.

#SupporterSpotlight: Facebook Fundraisers

Did you know you can hold an online fundraiser to support the Family House on Facebook?

Gift of Life Volunteer Recognition Ceremony

Gift of Life Family House honors volunteers at the Gift of Life Volunteer Recognition Ceremony.

Peter Mansaray, father of a heart recipient and past Family House guest.

A Father & Son Journey

"...by the time we left [the Family House], I left with a whole family.”

Legacy Society members Elizabeth and David Kennedy.

Leaving a Legacy

David and Elizabeth are leaving a legacy with planned gifts to the Family House.