The individuals who support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are among the most amazing people that I have the honor to meet every day.
Recently, we welcomed more than 700 volunteers to St. Jude for our Volunteer Leadership Conference where they learned more about the work of St. Jude, best practices in fundraising and how they are playing a critical role in helping the kids and families who turn to St. Jude for hope and healing.
These are folks from all walks of life and from communities large and small, who choose to give their valuable time and expertise to lead events that raise much-needed funds and awareness for St. Jude. They chair committees that host galas and dinners, coordinate golf tournaments and handle the myriad details that make our St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer events so successful every September.
And they do it out of love and dedication to the mission of St. Jude. I found it so inspiring to visit with these committed volunteers and to hear how passionate they are about making sure that St. Jude can continue searching for cures for childhood cancer and helping children fight these terrible diseases.
Just a few days after their visit, I received a letter from a donor in California. Her grandmother had been a longtime St. Jude donor, and she wrote to say how she wanted to continue that support now that her grandmother was gone. I was so touched by her tribute to her grandmother and humbled at this example of how generations of families pass along their love and support for St. Jude.
St. Jude volunteers traveled from around the country to attend the Volunteer Leadership Conference.
It is this type of commitment from all of our donors, supporters and volunteers — from each and every one of you — that truly makes it possible for St. Jude to exist. Your support helped St. Jude open in 1962, and your support keeps the research and treatment of life-threatening childhood diseases going at St. Jude today.
At St. Jude we take that support seriously. We promise that we will do everything possible to advance the research — and new and better treatments — so that we can continue to push survival rates for childhood cancer higher and higher, until we reach 100%.
And we promise that families will never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food. Families should focus on helping their children beat these diseases, not on how to pay the medical bills.
And we take steps every day to make sure we keep those promises. That’s why we have begun a multi-billion dollar expansion that will build new research and clinical care facilities, as well as housing for more patients.
St. Jude just announced we will be breaking ground this spring on a $412 million advanced research center which will propel St. Jude for the long term, accommodating growth for the next 20 years and beyond. We are also embarking on a global initiative to impact more children fighting cancer around the world.
Thank you for being a part of this journey — for your commitment, your dedication and your generosity — to further a mission like no other: Finding cures. Saving children.®