National Donor Memorial

Christmas tree with red banner containing words'National Tree of Life'

Dec. 17: National Tree of Life

Join us here for the livestream beginning at 5 p.m. EST. Learn more about the event.

Located at United Network for Organ Sharing, the National Donor Memorial honors America’s organ and tissue donors. Funded entirely by private contributions, the 10,000-square-foot memorial garden was designed by a volunteer committee of donor family members, living donors and transplant recipients from across the country.

The memorial symbolizes the emotional journey experienced by donor families during the donation process.

Launch the full-screen virtual tour

Visit in person

Visit and tour the garden and UNOS headquarters

Connecting donor families and recipients

Sometimes donor families and recipients choose to contact one another. While the decision to share your experience is a personal choice, many donor families and recipients find comfort in correspondence. How to reach out.

Donor tributes

Honor an organ donor by sharing an online tribute of their life’s special moments, accomplishments, and precious memories with family and friends. View tributes or share a donor tribute story through the links below.

Wall of names

See the section key to locate names on the wall

The National Donor Memorial Award for Excellence

Established by UNOS in 2010, The National Donor Memorial Award for Excellence honors “unsung heroes” who have gone above and beyond in promoting organ donation in their community. Like the Donor Memorial itself, the award acknowledges that no transplant takes place without the donor.


Tom and Susan Robinson, 2020

Jim Gleason, 2019

Terry Murray, 2018

Alejandra Cortes, 2017

Harvey Steele, 2016

David and Susan Caples, 2015

Barbara Lee, 2014

Patty Jo Herndon, 2013

Tom Gano, 2012

National Tree of Life

Donate Life America (DLA) and United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) invite you to join us for the National Tree of Life virtual event to celebrate life, honor the gift, and remember the lifesaving generosity of organ, eye and tissue donors and donor families. On December 17 at 5 p.m. EST, we will share stories and honor the legacy of donors in each state who gave the gift of life in 2020 and celebrate the thousands of lives they saved.

The National Tree of Life virtual event is an opportunity to gather together to recognize the gift of organ, eye and tissue donation, to pay tribute to donors and their families, and to celebrate the lives of recipients across the country. We also hope this event may be a moment of solace for friends and families who are grieving, and for all who may experience a greater sense of loss during the holidays.

2020 event program


David Fleming, President & CEO, Donate Life America (DLA)

Brian Shepard, CEO, United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)


Stories of Hope

Shalonda & Greg Jones, kidney patient on the national transplant waiting list

Andrew Jones, heart recipient

Deanna Santana, donor mother

Pono Shim & Malcolm Lutu, living kidney donor and recipient


Recognition of Donors - By State

Lisa Schaffner, UNOS

States will be called in alphabetical order. For each state, the number of organ donors in 2020, and the number of lives they saved, will be shared. As each state is called, a volunteer on site at UNOS will hang an ornament on the national trees of life and light a candle of remembrance. All of the volunteers are DLA and UNOS staff or ambassadors, each with their own personal connection to donation and transplantation.


Closing Song, The Gift

Gary Snead, donor father

In years past, the program provided an opportunity for families to hang an ornament of their choosing on the Tree of Life in memory of their loved ones. Many of those ornaments can be seen here.

Make a gift to the National Donor Memorial

Your gift supports the 10,000 square foot memorial garden located in Richmond, Virginia dedicated to organ donors nationwide, as well as programs and activities supporting education, tours and memorial celebrations. Give now.

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