Here at CenturyLink, we think small is big. Small businesses and nonprofits make a real difference in our communities. To celebrate that along with National Small Business Week in 2021, we invited small businesses throughout the United States to participate in a sweepstakes with a chance to win one of $1,000 gift cards. Now, it’s time to meet our winners and hear all about the important work they’re doing in their communities. Next up, let’s meet Delaney Goldsworthy of The American Transplant Foundation.
Introducing Delaney Goldsworthy of The American Transplant Foundation
A recent graduate from the Iowa State University with a degree in public health, Delaney is a Denver resident who serves as the program coordinator for The American Transplant Foundation (ATF). The ATF focuses its efforts on maximizing live organ donation and “believes that no one should die while waiting for a lifesaving transplant.” As a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, The ATF strive to save lives by reducing the growing list of women, men, and children who are waiting for a transplant.
Delaney is part of small team at the American Transplant Foundation, and she oversees all programming, including the intern programs. As a former intern at the ATF herself, Delaney know how to support, hire, and onboard new interns. “As an intern, I could see the struggles that transplant recipients go through and how this foundation really saves the lives of those people. I was able to see firsthand how big of an impact we can make. It was a really rewarding process and I wanted to continue doing and learning more about the process,” she said.
The ATF works to reduce the transplant waitlist, and they do that by advocating for living donations. It also provides three tiers of support to transplant recipients: emotional, educational and financial assistance to transplant patients and their families.
Community and impact at the American Transplant Foundation
Though the American Transplant Foundation operates nationwide, it’s based out of Denver, Colorado. And the ATF has a lot of local supporters in the community, according to Delaney. She emphasizes how much of an impact community members can have on small businesses and local nonprofits. “I want people to know that an individual contribution, no matter how big or small really impacts that business. Just one person support can really change the foundation. Even if you think it’s too small, it matters,” she said.
The proof comes from the transplant recipients. “We have a lot of people who will reach out to us afterwards and just send us a letter and say, ‘Thank you, you saved our lives,’” Delaney said. “The best part is getting an email where they send a photo of themselves. We just like to connect with them after the fact. We like to connect with them after and just see how it’s actually helping them.”
The challenges of COVID-19
Like many small businesses and nonprofits, the American Transplant Foundation experienced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s impacted us a lot,” Delaney explained. “It’s impacted the people that we help, and it’s impacted how we operate.” Since transplant recipients are considered high risk, many couldn’t go to work or live their normal lives. That left a lot of transplant recipients struggling with financial stability. Fortunately, the ATF was able to step in and help.
The ATF created an emergency fund to help struggling recipients during COVID. The fund helped keep people afloat if they were out of work. It also helped people afford the medications they needed for transplant health. The demand for this safety net was really high, so the ATF needed to get creative about
“We usually to have in-person fundraising events,” Delaney said. “It’s how we support these people, but we weren’t able to do that thanks to COVID. So, we switched to a lot of virtual events.”
Making the switch to virtual events helped The American Transplant Foundation stay afloat. “We’ve had several virtual events, and they’ve all been pretty successful. It’s a good way to keep doing what we’re doing without just not being able to continue.” While Delaney and her coworkers at the ATF are looking forward to getting back to in-person events and to be reunited with their community, the virtual events are working well for them.
Events aren’t the only jump to virtual that the ATF has made. Within the organization, Delaney and the small team she’s on have used Zoom to collaborate. Their interns are also working remotely, and Delaney emphasized how much the team is trying to give them a good experience without an office space.
It’s also changed how the ATF works with transplant recipients. Staying constantly connected to their population means the ATF relies on phone, email, and video conferencing. They use video conferencing to run orientations with transplant centers and patients. They also connect patients to social workers when they apply for assistance.
What’s next for Delaney and The American Transplant Foundation
As winners of the CenturyLink Small Business Week sweepstakes, The American Transplant Foundation planned to use their winnings for an upcoming holiday event and Tree of Life campaign. The Tree of Life campaign gave transplant recipients to the opportunity to share their story and drummed up support for the organization. Delaney used the money to give the transplant recipients a gift for the holiday and give families some extra support.
As for the rest of 2022, Delaney wants to continue to expand their programs and reach. “We’re trying to advocate for living donation, more and more,” Delaney explained, “and then also just trying to find that new normal.”
Learn more about the American Transplant Foundation
To learn more about the American Transplant Foundation and the work they do, please visit their website. There, you can check out their upcoming events, including any virtual fundraisers. You can learn all about becoming a living donor or support their work financially.
The CenturyLink Small Business team would like to extend a warm and hearty congratulations to Delaney and The American Transplant Foundation. Thank you for entering the sweepstakes, and we can’t wait to see how your nonprofit grows. For more small business resources, please visit the Small Business Hub.