FAQ

How can I help?

If you’d like to donate to the Foundation, please see the sidebar to the right. If you’d like to learn more about our mission, click here.

Who qualifies for grants?

To qualify for a grant, you must meet the following requirements:

1) You or someone in your immediate family must have made a significant contribution to science as a research subject without personal benefit, particularly those who have been used in research or contributed biological materials for research without their knowledge or consent. For more information, visit our grants page.

2) You must be in financial need.

How can I apply?

If you qualify for a grant and would like to submit an application, you may do that here.

What is the mission of the Foundation?

We provide financial assistance to individuals in need, and their families, who have made important contributions to scientific research without personally benefiting from those contributions, particularly those used in research without their knowledge or consent. For more information, see the About section.

When was the Foundation created?

The Foundation was established in 2009, and received tax exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization in 2010.

Who benefits from the Foundation?

The Foundation benefits individuals and their families who have made important contributions to scientific research without personally benefiting from those contributions, particularly those used in research without their knowledge or consent.

How many grants have been given?

The Foundation has awarded more than 50 grants to many qualifying members of Henrietta Lacks’s immediate family. It has also awarded education grants to the family members of the survivors of the Tuskegee Syphilis Studies through its support of The Voices of Our Fathers Legacy Foundation.

How are beneficiaries chosen?

Once an application is completed and it is determined that the applicant meets the criteria listed above, the Board of Directors evaluates the application to determine whether the grant being requested is consistent with the stated mission of the foundation, which awards grants for education, medically necessary medical and dental needs that are not covered by an applicant’s insurance, and in rare cases grants for emergency assistance connected with maintaining housing and employment. Once it is determined that the application fits within the mission of the Foundation, and that the recipient is eligible to receive such a grant, the Board of Directors votes on the application.

Who is on the board?

A full list of the Board of Directors is available within the About section.

Why isn’t a member of the Lacks family on the board?

If a member of the family were sitting on the board, IRS rules would forbid the foundation from granting any funds to anyone related to Henrietta Lacks due to a conflict of interest on the board. In lieu of a family member, the Board of Directors has been carefully selected to include specialists with a deep understanding of the story and legacy of Henrietta Lacks, and with a close relationship to and understanding of the family.

Who is Rebecca Skloot?

Rebecca Skloot is the founder of the Henrietta Lacks Foundation and author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. For more on Rebecca, and answers to commonly asked questions about her writing and her work with the foundation, visit her official site.


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    Or you can send your donation as a check or money order to:

    The Henrietta Lacks Foundation 5315 N. Clark St., Box #117 Chicago, IL 60640 USA


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