Gift of Life Family House is a special place. The first facility of its kind, the Family House has provided over 80,000 comfortable nights of lodging, more than 336,000 delicious meals, and over $11 million of welcoming, subsidized care to thousands of families since it opened its doors in 2011.
However, places as special as the Family House don’t appear out of thin air. It takes a spark of imagination, generous funders, and years of planning and persistence, to turn pioneering concepts like this into reality. And in the case of Gift of Life Family House, that reality is due largely to the vision of Howard M. Nathan.
Howard is a towering figure in the world of organ donation, having served Gift of Life Donor Program for 43 years, 38 as its leader. Under his leadership, Gift of Life, has grown into the largest and most successful organ donor and transplant network in the nation.
Alongside this work, Howard has spent over 20 years realizing the Family House vision, an idea that began very close to home. In 1991, Howard’s sister Martha needed a liver transplant, and Howard saw first-hand the challenges facing not only transplant patients, but the families that support them. In waiting room conversations with families, Howard discovered that worries about finding affordable lodging and meals were additional sources of stress for families already faced with the challenges of caring for a loved one.
Howard’s vision and determination, paired with the generous support of thousands of contributors, has made the Family House not only a place of warmth and support for people navigating some of the most stressful periods in their lives.
In gratitude for all of these accomplishments, and his tireless dedication to the organ transplant field, Gift of Life is proud and delighted to announce that on June 29, 2022, the Family House was officially renamed Gift of Life Howie’s House.
“I am very honored that Gift of Life Family House is being renamed Gift of Life Howie’s House.” said Howard during his remarks. “Some of you may wonder where that name came from. While most people know me by Howard, my family and close friends know me as Howie. It is a name that reminds me of home, growing up as a small-town kid in the safe haven of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. It is this atmosphere of comfort, warmth, and safety that we provide here for our transplant patients and families at Howie’s House.”
Make a gift to provide a lasting tribute
Beyond Measure: The Howard M. Nathan Impact Fund will benefit the Gift of Life Howie’s House both now and into the future, and is an opportunity to honor Howard with a personal or corporate contribution, in thanks for his outsized influence on donation and transplantation. The Beyond Measure fund will ensure that Howie’s House remains a welcoming home away from home, and continues to fulfill its commitment that no family be turned away for inability to pay.
Every donation to the Fund is a symbol of gratitude to Howard, and a promise to support transplant families and the future success of Howie’s House – and we hope you will join us!
Gift of Life Howie’s House, celebrating its 11 years of providing support and affordable lodging stands as a testament to what Howard sought for all families. Compassion, care and expertise all harnessed to support life-saving work grounded in the altruistic acts of donor families.