Silvia meeting Michael’s kidney recipient

Connect With Recipients

Many donor families find that corresponding with the recipient(s) can be a powerful experience. In addition, many families take comfort in sharing stories and sending well wishes to those who live on because of their loved one.

Getting started may be the hardest part. You might not be ready to write a letter at this time. It might be months or longer before you’re able to express your feelings. There’s no time limit or requirement to correspond. This is a personal decision that only you can make.

If and when you’re ready, we’re here to help. All names are kept confidential unless both parties have agreed to share their identities with one another. If you decide to write, we have some guidelines, sample letters, and an address to use for sending your correspondence. Letters and cards can be such a gift—to both the donor families and recipients.

Here are some tips for writing your first letter:

  • Tell them why the decision was made to donate.
  • Wish them well on their recovery.
  • If you would like to hear from them, let them know. For example: “Dear Recipient, we would love to hear from you as it helps to know that some good came out of our tragedy.”
  • To keep identities protected, you may use first names, but please avoid including last names, addresses or phone numbers.

Some recipients may respond to your letter, and others may choose not to write at this time. This is their personal decision. Many recipients have said they feel overwhelmed and have difficulty expressing their gratitude in a letter.

Sending Your Letter

To protect the confidentiality of both the donor and recipient, all correspondence is initially facilitated throughSierra Donor Services of Nevada. Once your letter is written, send it to the address below in an unsealed envelope. Include a separate sheet of paper with your full name and the name of your loved one. You will be notified by Sierra Donor Services of Nevada when your letter has been forwarded to the transplant recipient.

Sierra Donor Services of Nevada
c/o Sierra Donor Services
3940 Industrial Blvd.
West Sacramento, CA 95691 

After the initial contact, you and the recipient may decide to contact each other directly or schedule a time to meet. Before releasing personal information, Sierra Donor Services of Nevada requires both the donor family and recipient to sign release forms. We are also honored to help facilitate your first meeting or phone call.

For more information email sds.info@dcids.org or call 775-954-0911.