Would you change your charitable donation?

Organ donation and transplant awareness runs through the core of who we are as a family. We believe in the strength one finds when learning the fine balance between life and death. That’s why we are strongly committed to giving 100% of all profits from our organ donation awareness website to charity… but wonder if we are giving to the right place.

When you donate to a fund, there is a certain amount of blind faith you must have in an organization to truly believe that the money is going to the right place. The organization will hand out literature, send yearly statements and even go as far as to send personalized thank you cards – but it is when you get one of those cards, and it says that the donation is going towards something else that you sit back and wonder if you made the right choice.

Our Angel Cove Organ Donation Awareness Shop regularly donates to the UW-Madison Hospitals Laurie Ferber Heart/Lung Transplant Fund. This fund is supposed to donate all monies to help transplant recipients and their families with medical care, prescription, transplant and lodging costs before, during and after transplantation. However, I received a thank you card just recently that stated otherwise.

The card was from a transplant coordinator at the hospital and it was thanking Angel Cove for the kind donations. The hospital then stated that a portion of the funds were going to help athletes with their 2010 Transplant Games costs.

Umm. No.

Although the 2010 Transplant Games are a great event and we support them highly, we had to back out of the Games ourselves because we could not afford to attend. Sure, we could have used the $1,400 we already donated to the Laurie Ferber Fund this year to pay our way but there are so many people in need of medical care and prescription medications. It was unethical to use that money for anything other than the Transplant Fund – even if it is either we or another family attend the event.

I promptly contacted the transplant coordinator in charge of the fund and, after our brief conversation; she stated that she would make a note on the Angel Cove donations to be used only for the “medical portion” of the Transplant Fund.

Today I am still scratching my head. Any charitable donation to this fund should be used explicitly for what the fund states on their website:

This fund benefits heart and lung transplant patients at UW Hospital and Clinics by defraying the cost of accommodations, travel and other unexpected expenses.

End of story.

Even finding information on this Transplant Fund is almost impossible on their website these days without knowing exactly what to search for. With that said, I am left wondering whether or not to continue donating to this fund or find another fund that will truly help those that will need an organ donor one day, need an organ transplant now, or need help with medical costs due to an organ donation transplant.

What do you think? Should I continue to donate to this fund, find another legitimate transplant fund or donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) for the over 30,000 children and adults that will need a double lung transplant one day if no cure is found? What would you do?

After her husband received a double-lung (bilateral) transplant in 2004, Shannon founded the Angel Cove Organ Donation Awareness Shop, which provides awareness t-shirts and gifts products for transplant recipients, living organ donors and donor families - giving 100% of the profits to help heart and lung transplant recipients with medical costs. Shannon lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her wonderful husband and two chocolate Labrador Retrievers.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.