COTA: Children's Organ Transplant Association
Founded in 1986, the Indiana-based Children's Organ Transplant Association (www.COTA.org ) is a 501(c)3 charity dedicated to supporting families of children and young adults who need life-savingorgan transplants. Two key tenets of COTA support are noteworthy, and set us apart from all other transplant fundraising organizations. Transplant patients/families are not charged for COTA services, and 100% of every dollar contributed in honor of patients is used for transplant-related expenses. This support has been provided to transplant families who live in all 50 states and who represent a diverse combination of ethnic, economic, religious and social backgrounds.
Thirty years ago, COTA’s first family began their transplant journey in Bloomington, Indiana. These young parents learned their son had a rare disease and needed a liver transplant to survive. They also learned he would be excluded from the organ waiting list because their insurance carrier would not cover all costs for the surgery and lifetime follow-up care. Like many others before them, these young parents could not afford the difference that remained. When their extended family members, friends and local community leaders learned of their desperate situation, hundreds responded immediately. School children gave their allowances and went door-to-door collecting loose change. Friends took coin canisters to the local county fair and asked for donations. Local political leaders interceded with insurance companies on their behalf. Within weeks, the community raised more than $100,000, which enabled the child to be placed on the liver transplant waiting list.
Tragically, this toddler died before an organ became available. But this was not the end of the story. Instead, it was the beginning because this young couple and their key volunteers had the vision to found the Children’s Organ Transplant Association.
Each day for the past three decades, our staff members have heard countless comments from parents about the tremendous life-saving impact their local team of community volunteers had on their child’s life and their entire family. Because of COTA’s nationwide network of Miracle Makers (like Sun King Brewery), thousands of transplant families have benefited from contributions totaling more than $100 million from a myriad of committed volunteers and supporters.
COTA’s staff members and volunteers not only help to raise funds to meet transplant-related expenses, but continue to support our families throughout a patient’s lifetime.
COTA volunteers and contributors provide countless hours of service, tremendous emotional support and generous financial assistance in honor of our transplant families. COTA’s team of experienced and dedicated professionals strive each day to make sure that transplant-needy kids and young adult receive a second chance at life.