National Donor Memorial
Visiting the memorial
We invite you to visit The National Donor Memorial in person or virtually. Designed to reflect the emotional journey of donation and transplant, the memorial is open every day of the year.
“When I visit the Memorial and read all the names, I know that I am not alone on this journey.”
—Donnetta Quarles-Reese, donor mother and donor wife
Created to honor all organ, eye and tissue donors, the Memorial holds in one space the loss and hope, gratitude and sorrow, memory and possibility of donation and transplant. Since the memorial was first dedicated in 2003, thousands of visitors have come to remember loved ones, to give thanks for the gift of life and new beginnings, and to walk among the hundreds of names carved into the memorial’s walls.
Scroll down the page to find additional ways to honor donors.
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.
The Lisa Schaffner Community Advocate Award
Developed by UNOS in 2010 as the National Donor Memorial Award for Excellence, this honor was recently reimagined as the Lisa Schaffner Community Advocate Award, in honor of the memory of Lisa Schaffner, a beloved advocate for donation and transplant and longtime member of Team UNOS who passed away in 2021.
The Lisa Schaffner Community Advocate Awards recognizes unsung heroes from across the country who have gone above and beyond to promote organ donation. Like its namesake, recipients are tireless champions who help change lives and inspire others through their advocacy.
Dr. Brittany Clayborne, 2023
Lisa Schaffner, 2022
Jon Lee, 2021
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
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.
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and Donate Life America (DLA) will host the National Tree of Life virtual event on Dec. 19, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. EST.
To view the 2022 National Tree of Life event during which we shared stories and honored the legacy of donors in each state who gave the gift of life in 2022 and celebrated the thousands of lives they saved, open the toggle below.
2022 event recording
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 Revitalization Fund
20 years after its inauguration, the National Donor Memorial has sustained damage from general aging, detrimental weathering, and structurally invasive landscape elements. UNOS has launched the National Donor Memorial Revitalization Fund to renew our nation’s memorial garden for organ, eye and tissue donors.
Please help us reach our fundraising goal of $150,000 by making a tax-deductible gift to the fund today. With your support, you are helping to ensure the National Donor Memorial remains a safe, publicly accessible, and peaceful sanctuary for donor families and friends, grateful patients, and public visitors to honor America's selfless donor heroes.