A Tidal Wave of Support

A perspective by John Rich

A Tidal Wave of Support

John Rich visits with St. Jude patient T’ara Johnson during a recent trip to the hospital.

Who’s on your email list? If we all reach out to our friends on behalf of St. Jude, we could make a worldwide impact.

In 1995, I was a young bass player and songwriter in a band called Lonestar. As a 22-year-old bachelor running with a wild country band, the last thing on my mind was kids fighting cancer.

Then we visited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, going into rooms, singing songs, having our pictures taken with the kids. Once you’ve done that, you’re never the same again. It will always stay with you.

Through St. Jude, I became friends with Randy Owen of ALABAMA. Randy is the guy who started the relationship between country music fans and St. Jude. His passion for St. Jude inspired me to try to do bigger things. As the years passed, I was able to introduce more and more people to the hospital. I’m really following in Randy’s footsteps as I bring what I have to the table on behalf of St. Jude.

Now, as the father of two sons, I realized that when I give to St. Jude, I could be helping somebody in my family who may need it at some point down the road. Or my neighbor. Or a kid in my community. But I’m also helping kids on the other side of the planet.

Several things make St. Jude unique, but one thing really clinches the deal for me. When St. Jude discovers a new treatment or has some kind of breakthrough, they don’t keep it to themselves. They share that information so that every hospital on Earth can access what they’ve learned. I like to say that St. Jude shares their marbles—they don’t hoard them. They let the whole world see their technology.

To me, that is world impact.

The small things you do can make a huge difference. When you send money to St. Jude, you know for sure that it’s going to help kids who are at the hospital and it’s going to help research ways to eradicate cancer. But don’t stop with just your own donation. Reach out to your email list and say, “Hey, I give to St. Jude; you should too.” Then you can share links to articles that describe some of the incredible things St. Jude is doing.

I challenge you to reach out and start your own tidal wave of support through your connections. Everybody’s got connections … and 20 or 50 or 100 bucks a month adds up when you start multiplying it times millions of people. It becomes a viral thing.

And that, too, is world impact.

Country music artist, songwriter and producer John Rich is a loyal and vocal supporter of St. Jude. Among his many activities, Rich raised more than $1.2 million for the hospital through his appearances on The Celebrity Apprentice. His annual St. Jude Presents John Rich and Friends concert raises funds and awareness through a star-studded evening of songs, stories and hope.

Abridged from Promise, Autumn 2013

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