Honoring Organ & Tissue Donors

The courageous decisions of donors and donor families motivate and inspire us at LifeCenter Northwest and we’ve created a variety of ways to both show our thanks and to honor you and your loved one. Keeping the memory of your loved one alive is an important part of honoring their legacy. Honors include donor medals, Donation Celebrations, Rose Parade sponsorships, and the Washington and Montana Gift of Life Awards.

Honor Quilt Program

Cover quilt 2

A quilt is something that symbolizes a sense of comfort, warmth, and safety. At LifeCenter Northwest, we strive to provide the best support possible for our donor families through the donation process. We offer honor quilts to all organ donor families as a memento of their loved one and something that can bring the family comfort and warmth in a difficult time.

Beginning in July 2014, this ritual was created with the intent to honor someone when they become an organ donor. Organ donation is a life decision that holds great significance and a great deal of generosity. In honor of that generosity, we make a quilt, to give to the donor family in the hospital, to be laid over their loved one and then taken home when they leave the hospital. Each quilt is specially made with a space for the donor’s footprint or handprint. Our hope is for the quilt to indicate to everyone who passes nearby that something very special is taking place.

To care for the quilt, dry clean or machine wash with cold water. Use a warm iron to set paint before first washing. Hang dry only – do not tumble dry. Paint is specially made for fabrics and aligns with these care instructions.

Gift of Life Donor Medal

gift-of-lifeThis medal was created to honor the extraordinary compassion demonstrated by families of donors in the face of their tragic loss. It also serves to honor the life-giving generosity of donors themselves. Although originally designed as a headstone memorial, you may choose to display it framed on a wall, on a tabletop easel, or in a creative way that captures the spirit of your loved one.

The medal is three-and-a-half-inches round and the design incorporates two hands holding a heart with a rose in the center. Rays of light emanating outward from the heart with the words “Gift of Life Donor” at the top of the medal and “Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donation” at the bottom. It is the only medal of its kind in the United States. The medals are provided by LifeCenter Northwest free of charge.

Donation Celebrations

We believe that it is important to celebrate the lives of donors and the second chance provided to recipients through the gift of life. Every year, we host Donation Celebrations across our region to honor donors, their families, and all members in the community who have a connection to organ, eye, and tissue donation. These gatherings provide an opportunity for people to come together to honor donors, share their story, and see firsthand the widespread impact of organ, eye, and tissue donation in our communities. See photos from our past celebrations.

Rose Parade Donate Life Float

Organ donor, Julie Shepherd, is being honored on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float

Each year, LifeCenter Northwest selects a donor family for the opportunity to honor their loved one through the creation of a “floragraph” (a memorial floral portrait) to adorn the Donate Life Rose Parade float in the annual Rose Parade on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California. The float was established as a memorial for organ and tissue donors and a platform for donor families, living donors, and transplant recipients to share the important impact that organ, eye, and tissue donation has had in their lives.

The float also features a dedication rose garden in which individuals and organizations can purchase a rose in honor of someone who was touched by donation. Each rose is placed in a vial containing a personal message and collectively form the dedication garden on the front of the float.

Read more about Julie and her story

Washington State Gift of Life Award

The Gift of Life Award was created by the Washington State Senate to recognize and honor organ donors throughout the state who have given others a second chance at life. Each year, donor families are invited to attend a ceremony honoring all organ donors from the state of Washington at the governor’s office in Olympia.

Read the blog post on the 2019 Gift of Life Award ceremony:

Gift of life award ceremony honors organ donors from 2018

See photos from the 2019 Gift of Life Award ceremony:

Washington Governor’s Gift of Life Award album

Montana Governor’s Gift of Life Award

The Gift of Life Award was created by the State of Montana to recognize and honor those who gave the gift of life in the past year and to recognize their greatest act of kindness in donating organs to save the lives of others. Donor families are invited to the Capitol Building in Helena, MT for the event.

Read the blog post on the 2019 Gift of Life Award ceremony:

Gift of life award ceremony honors organ donors from 2018

See photos from the last Gift of Life Award ceremony:

Montana Governor’s Gift of Life Award album