St. Jude Children's Research Hospital founder Danny Thomas and his friends raised the money to build St. Jude. Then they faced the daunting task of funding its annual operation.
Danny, who was of Lebanese descent, turned to his fellow Americans of Arabic-speaking heritage. Believing deeply that these Americans should, as a group, thank the United States for the gifts of freedom given their parents, Danny also felt the support of St. Jude would be a noble way of honoring his immigrant forefathers who had come to America. ALSAC's sole purpose is to raise awareness and funds for St. Jude.
Read the preamble to the ALSAC constitution that Danny signed at ALSAC's founding in 1957.
Preamble to the constitution of American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities
One hundred and one years ago, our people began a migration to the blessed shores of these United States of America, seeking the freedoms and opportunities won for us by our founding fathers.
Since that time, we have increased greatly in number and have been enjoying the protection of the “Bill of Rights,” yet we have never done anything as a body to justify our use of these rights. True, many of our people have distinguished themselves as good Americans and have risen to lofty heights in their particular lines of endeavor; but we have never really distinguished ourselves in a body. We have never united on a national basis in a common American cause.
Therefore: we who are proud of our heritage; having met in Washington, D.C., in June, Nineteen Hundred and Fifty-Seven, then again in Indianapolis, Indiana, in June, Nineteen Hundred and Fifty-Seven, and now in Chicago, Illinois, on this Tenth Day of October, in the Year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Fifty-Seven; have formed a non-profit, non-sectarian, charitable corporation titled ALSAC (American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities) dedicated to the parable of the “Good Samarian,” to love and care for our neighbor, regardless of color or creed. This dedication shall manifest itself in the maintenance of St. Jude Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, which, in turn, is dedicated to the cure of leukemia and related blood diseases in children, absolutely free. In doing so, we shall serve God and Our Country and we shall serve the good names of our fathers and mothers who made possible our birth in America, the land of the free.
We, at long last, shall take our rightful place in this community of nationalities—standing proudly with our heads held high in the knowledge that we have earned the right to perpetuate the name of our heritage and maintain our reputation as unquestioned good American Citizens.
With these thoughts engraved in my mind and my heart, I shall call upon that powerful patron, St. Jude Thaddeus, to obtain for our organization the blessings of “Our Heavenly Father.”
To this Preamble I hereby dedicate my life and affix my signature. — Danny Thomas