About Kid-U-Not

Sarah (Sally) McCartin first dreamed of founding an organization that helped living organ donors with their non-medical expenses after donating a kidney to a fellow hockey mom in 2013. She decided that she would name her organization Kid-U-Not, but had trouble figuring out how to get started.

In 2016, Sally became familiar with the American Living Organ Donor Fund (ALODF), and Kid-U-Not became one of its chapters. Kid-U-Not was a chapter of the ALODF for a year when Sally realized that she wanted more independence in directing Kid-U-Not. In 2018, Sally incorporated Kid-U-Not Living Organ Donor Fund as a local charity in her home state of Connecticut. She began the process of obtaining 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization designation from the IRS. As of July 2018, Kid-U-Not's 501(c)(3) application is still pending.

Kid-U-Not neither encourages nor discourages donation, but assists people who have become living organ donors with their non-medical expenses. It is the Kid-U-Not belief that living organ donation should be cost neutral. Living organ donors are the unsung heroes of the transplant story; they should not need to make financial sacrifices when they donate. As a result of our beliefs, Kid-U-Not assists all types of living organ donors (kidney, liver, lung, etc.) regardless of income.

Although there are several organizations that assist living organ donors, Kid-U-Not is the only organization in Connecticut that works to cover donors' legally allowed non-medical expenses, as far as we know. Kid-U-Not does not have a specific income cut off for who is helped, but applicants are helped with exploring options for getting lost wages and other expenses covered before Kid-U-Not steps in and provides a grant to cover any otherwise uncovered legally allowed support under the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA).  Usually, Kid-U-Not grants cover two weeks lost net wages for the donor and up to ten days lost wages for the donor’s caregiver. We also cover other non-medical living organ donor expenses as long as they aren’t otherwise covered. 

Donor applications are considered in the order in which all the necessary documentation is received, and applicants are assisted to the fullest extent allowed by law. To date, Kid-U-Not has never turned a donor away for lack of funds.

Kid-U-Not encourages living organ donors to apply for assistance with other charitable organizations. Kid-U-Not will then supplement those grants in order to maximize each donor’s assistance within the limitations established by the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA). For example, the National Living Donor Assistance Center (NLDAC) will often cover travel and lodging expenses for donors and their caregivers. The NLDAC is a need-based program that evaluates if organ recipients can afford to cover such costs for their donors and will assist if they cannot. Generally, if the NLDAC does not assist, recipients are able to cover their donors' travel expenses. Sometimes, however, recipients cannot cover the costs; or donors give organs to unidentified recipients in need. If recipients are unidentified, NLDAC cannot help. In such cases, Kid-U-Not will step in to assist with travel expenses and more, which can include a donor's lost wages. Sometimes Kid-U-Not is able to cover a donor's caregiver's expenses and lost wages, as well.

The American Transplant Foundation (ATF) also assists with expenses. The ATF assists living organ donors who take unpaid leave with monthly bills such as a mortgage, electricity, and car payments. Historically, the ATF has helped with payments of $1,000 or more. Since the beginning of 2018, however, the amount of their grants has dropped by 50% or more due to strain on their resources.

Kid-U-Not believes that assisting with some monthly payments is not the same as covering a donor's lost wages, which are used for monthly payments and other expenses like groceries, gasoline, and more. Kid-U-Not believes that covering lost wages is a more accurate measure of a donor's actual non-medical financial costs. As a result, Kid-U-Not will supplement an ATF award to reach a donor's total lost wages, not just those needed to cover critical monthly bills. Kid-U-Not will thus provide package of grants and benefits that comes as close as legally allowed to covering all of a donor’s non-medical expenses.     

​Mission, Goals, and Vision
Mission

The mission of Kid-U-Not is: to provide information to possible donors, enabling them to make informed decisions; and to provide as much financial support as possible to ease the financial burden that donating an organ may create for donors.

We work to help living organ donors achieve their goal of saving the life of a loved-one or one or more strangers. We will assist every kind of living organ donor, such as kidney and liver donors. Listening to donors, assessing their needs, and acting in order to assist are our primary functions.

Kid-U-Not wants to end the cycle of abandonment felt by many living organ donors. Living organ donors are sometimes assisted by government and private organizations to get them to and from the transplant center, but often feel forgotten after they have donated. We feel strongly that society’s obligations to living organ donors does not end with the transplant.

While our services are available to all American living organ donors, we recognize and are working to correct the social injustices of a transplant allocation system that disadvantages the poor, blue-collar workers, and minorities. The law allows living organ donor recipients to pay their donors' expenses, but does little to take care of donors in communities where their intended recipients cannot afford to help with expenses.

Kid-U-Not is here to help. We will support donors in their decision to help save a loved-one or stranger with information, support groups, and in-person mentoring by other living organ donors in the community. We will also support through financial assistance for those who have no option but to take unpaid leave to donate.

We have never turned away an American living organ donor who has come to us seeking help. If we do not have the financial resources to help a donor outright with a legal and verifiable donation related expense, we will help the donor by fundraising to pay for the given expenses.

Goals

Our primary goal is to help American living organ donors so they are able to save the lives of fellow Americans. There are plenty of organizations that help transplant recipients and their families, but few with the purpose of making organ donors’ lives safer and easier by providing services and assistance that those who save others' lives deserve. These services often are needed by people who are unable to donate for socioeconomic reasons. But, Kid-U-Not helps all donors regardless of economic status. We believe that no donor should suffer financially as a result of their good deed.

To that end, Kid-U-Not will:

  1. Provide information to help donors make informed decisions, including the most recent articles and literature on the risks and benefits of living organ donation.
  2. Provide resources, state by state, so donors can search for the services and benefits available to them where they live or in the region where they might donate (support groups, local charities, and information on hospital and government programs for living donation).
  3. Provide a closed, online support group for only living organ donors and those serious about becoming living organ donors.
  4. Provide a network of in-person mentors for living organ donors.
  5. Provide actual financial benefits and support services to donors to the fullest extent permissible under U.S. law. These services (funds permitting) will include travel, lodging, lost wages, and other forms of support needed for donors and their caregivers to help reduce the burden of living donation.

NOTE: Financial benefits (charity grants to donors) are distributed based on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please see the Apply page for information on when we will next be accepting applications for assistance. The number of donors we can help is directly linked to the amount of donation we receive.

Vision

Kid-U-Not would like to see a world where the decision whether or not to help save a fellow American through living organ donation is not a financial decision. To accomplish this vision, we support the Center for Ethical Solutions' Save Lives, Save Money Now! initiative to try to change U.S. law to help living organ donors with their expenses. In the meantime, we at Kid-U-Not will do whatever we can under current law to limit the financial and social burdens faced by living organ donors.

​The Team

Without our hardworking and dedicated team, Kid-U-Not would not be where we are today. From directors to interns, everyone chips in to ensure the success and prosperity of the organization.

To take a look at our team and meet all of our members, please refer to the link below.
Meet The Team