Honoring Life

brown teddy bear wearing a green Gift of Life logo shirt sitting on an afghan blanket

Gift of Life Foundation launches first annual appeal 

As Gift of Life Michigan battles the ever-present transplant waiting list and strives to add one million names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, resources for critical initiatives and donation community programs have never been more important.   

So, the Gift of Life Foundation has just launched its first annual appeal with a goal of raising $25,000 in the coming weeks and months. If you would like to help, you can give securely online at golm.org/contribute  

“There are budgets that don’t cover some of the important programming and initiatives taking place in the donation community. Without the generosity of individuals who want to help change lives for others, some things simply wouldn’t happen,” said Susan Rink, chief of philanthropy and foundation programs for the Gift of Life Foundation. “We think now – during Donate Life Month – is the time for our first annual appeal as a foundation.”  

The Gift of Life Foundation funds support everything from hospital donor memorials, Donate Life flags, and Gift of Life teddy bears for donor families to grants for transplant recipients struggling to buy anti-rejection medications.   

In 2021, the foundation awarded $96,900 in community grants and supported Gift of Life initiatives totaling $100,460. These were made possible by people who believe it’s important to financially support donor families, initiatives that promote and inspire donation, and more.  

The Foundation has provided more than $1.8 million in grants to help honor life, raise awareness, support hospital initiatives, and change countless lives throughout its history.  

From a $35,000 gift made by a widow whose husband died waiting for a transplant, to $237 raised during Anna’s Facebook Fundraiser to honor her sister’s kidney transplant, support at every level makes a difference.  

In many cases, these gifts lend hope and change lives, especially for transplant recipients who need anti-rejection and other medications to live.  

People like toolmaker Darren Dalton, who spent 27 years working in the automotive industry. After suffering from debilitating kidney failure, Darren was forced to go on disability before he received the gift of a new kidney four years ago.  

A new life also came with a new job, but insurance struggles required him to pay for medical expenses that were simply beyond his reach.  

Generous donors helped Darren catch up.  

His gratitude knows no bounds: “When I was going through all this, I was by myself,” he said. “I can’t say enough. This meant everything.”  

Please consider sharing the contribution link with friends and family: golm.org/contribute  

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