Five reasons your organ procurement organization or tissue bank should offer bereavement texts to donor families

After the hectic whirlwind of logistics surrounding an organ or tissue donation, donor families begin the work of processing the death of their loved one and their loved one's posthumous identity as a donor. As you support families through your organization's bereavement program, consider incorporating ongoing, expert grief support via text message, as a part of your outreach.

Here's why:

1. We offer personalized texts for sudden, traumatic deaths like the ones many of your donor families faced.

Help Texts messages can be personalized with not only the names of the griever and their person who died, but also with the cause of death. Especially for families coping with sudden loss like stroke, heart attack, aneurysm, car accident, suicide, or homicide, it can be helpful to receive messages that address the shock of losing a loved one suddenly or violently. According to ATS Journals, "Responses to [donation] can range from gratitude for the opportunity to help others to distress at the prospect of causing further injury to the body of the deceased." Receiving messages tailored to their specific type of loss can help donor families navigate emotions like distress and disbelief regarding the way in which their loved one died.

2. We help your donor families cope and make meaning.

According to Grief Link, many donor families say that donation was the one positive thing to come from the death of their loved one. While donation cannot take away the pain of loss, it can offer some sort of meaning in the darkness of death. Help Texts messages —written by a myriad of grief experts, authors, therapists, and doctors—offer everything from gentle questions to practical resources to help donor families determine what meaning looks like to them.

3. We help donor families feel less alone by texting their supporters too!

Every Help Texts subscription comes with the option to invite two friends or family members to receive texts about how to support their grieving loved one. These caring supporters get reminders of important dates (like death dates and birthdays) as well as practical tips for being there for their grieving friend or family member. We go beyond coaching grievers on how to live with loss and invite the people surrounding them to pitch in to help as well.

4. We save you time and postage by texting donor families reminders of your organization's events.

Help Texts messages can be customized to include texts and event reminders from your organization. Michelle A. Post, MA, LMFT, CTBS, Board of Governors & Chair of Donor Family Services Council for American Association of Tissue Banks and former Manager of Donor Family Aftercare for OneLegacy in Southern California told us: "One of the things I love about Help Texts is that it’s non-invasive. Donor Family Services Teams can be in regular touch with the families they support without it being awkward. Help Texts can also customize some of the text messages to come specifically from a donation or recovery organization as well as send out important reminders for annual events like Donate Life Month. All of this saves valuable staff time and print/postage costs by leveraging text messages."

5. We strengthen your relationship and reputation with donor families, so they see the process of donation as positive and worthwhile.

Providing Help Texts subscriptions to your donor families can help them feel like they're in good hands. Whether they choose to use Help Texts in tandem with your bereavement services or wait to sign up for texts later in their journey, having a way to engage with their grief and remember their loved one can help them feel like they are cared for by you and your organization beyond the medical process of donation. Help Texts messages are an affordable, scalable and easy way to strengthen your relationship to donor families so they see your organization as empathetic, compassionate, and worth utilizing again in the future—should they choose to become donors themselves or encourage others to donate their organs or tissue.

Interested in adding Help Texts to your organization's bereavement programs? Email us to learn more.

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