Donation will support award-winning youth education program
Pamela and Krishna Sawhney of Bloomfield Hills have donated $125,000 over five years to Gift of Life Michigan to support the organization’s award-winning student education program, All of Us. It’s the largest gift in the organization’s 51-year history.
“I just have so much respect for everything that goes on at Gift of Life. I’m touched by this entire program and the lives saved,” said Pamela Sawhney. “We both gravitated to All of Us and hope it now will go on forever.”
The All of Us student education program is designed to teach middle and high schoolers about organ and tissue donation. It won a Pinnacle Award from Donate Life America for Best Multicultural Outreach in 2021. All of Us features a life-sized plastic torso that shows the anatomy of the human body and genuine organ and tissue samples, which have been plasticized, that can be brought into classrooms to give students a hands-on experience. Organ or tissue recipients often accompany Gift of Life education specialists to share their stories and explain how donation has changed their lives. The red trunks containing the All of Us materials will be named “Pam’s All of Us Student Education Program Traveling Trunk” in honor of the couple’s generosity.
“This major gift allows us to continue to share All of Us education with students across the state and also take it to a new level,” said Susan Rink, chief of philanthropy and financial programs for the Gift of Life Foundation. “It’s an incredible gift because we know education leads to new donor registrations, which save lives. We simply cannot thank the Sawhneys enough for their generosity and support.”
Pamela is an attorney with a nursing background who serves on Gift of Life’s Governing Board. Krishna is a surgeon at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital who in 1989 was involved with helping the Michigan Secretary of State place the organ donor signature area on the back of Michigan driver’s licenses. The red heart on the front has since replaced that early indicator.
Both are champions of organ and tissue donation and believe educating children is the key to breaking myths passed through generations. They also enjoy giving to organizations and causes that are often overlooked and hope their gift encourages others to consider Gift of Life in their philanthropic decisions.
Krishna said reaching young people is the key to making a difference.
“If you want to inspire change, teach the children, who will then teach their parents,” he said.
For more about the All of Us program, visit golm.org/allofus.
To sign up as a donor, visit golm.org/register.