Jessie’s Day at the Independence Seaport Museum Gives the Gift of Scholarship to Organ Transplant Recipients

Jessie's sister and mother with the CEO of Gift of Life, Howard Nathan.

Jessie’s sister and mother with the CEO of Gift of Life, Howard Nathan.

Jessica Beth Schwartz may not be a household name, but her legacy lives on.

At the age of 23, Ms. Schwartz died after receiving a heart transplant 8 and a half years earlier. She was a Temple University journalism student and a regional advocate for Gift of Life. After her death, Ms. Schwartz’s family wanted to raise global awareness for youth who have received organ transplants and their ambitions to obtain higher education. Thus, the Jessie’s Day Scholarship Fund was born.

Each year, the fund awards college-bound youth who have had an organ transplant a $2,500 scholarship to continue their education, which can often be difficult if the student’s health is compromised. Clearly, education is an important hallmark of the Schwartz family: I met Jessie’s mother, Janice Schwartz Donahue, last week during a happy hour event at Center City’s Capital Grille, who presented an eloquent slide show about Jessie’s Day, a somewhat easy task given the fact that she was a 5th grade teacher for years.

Jessie’s Day has provided over $90,000 in scholarships to eligible students throughout the last 11 years, but the organization is looking to do more, and they need the public’s help. The 13th Annual Jessie’s Day celebration is being held at the Independence Seaport Museum on Sunday, November 8 from 1 to 4 pm. Tickets, which cost $45-55, include access to the museum, entertainment, food, live music, and more.

If you’re interested in sponsoring a full $2,500 scholarship, Jessie’s Day would love to talk to you. You can find out more about the organization and purchase tickets by visiting this link.