St. Jude Connections | Episode 2

Acts of kindness

St. Jude Connections brings together folks who have a link to St. Jude, but may not otherwise be connected. Many are supporters. Some are patients and families, doctors and researchers. Every one of them has a unique story to tell.  


In this season, we asked four people to join us. Keeley represents the St. Jude Leadership Society. Chris works for the fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon. Kaia and Ronni are in the sorority Zeta Phi Beta, Incorporated.


In this episode, they’re answering the question, “When was the last time you received or witnessed an act of kindness?”




Hi, I’m Emily Hines. This is St. Jude Connections. I’m on the social marketing team for ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. One of my favorite things about working here is meeting St. Jude supporters when they come to campus. People all over the country give to St. Jude, and they all have a unique story to tell, their ‘why’ for supporting. We wanted to get to know some of them a little better, so we gathered a group and asked some big, open-ended questions.

In this episode, they’re answering the question, “When was the last time you received or witnessed an act of kindness.”

You’ll hear from Kaia. She’s in Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.

“Coming out of college was, it was very hard coming out of my bubble.”

And you’ll hear from Ronni, she’s also a Zeta Phi Beta.

“I was able to shadow this doctor, this pediatrician in Baltimore.”

Chris is also in the conversation. He works for the fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon.

“That was really special, to see that all come together.”

And first we’ll hear from Keeley. She’s a graduate of the St. Jude Leadership Society.


I think my favorite gift that I've received recently – so last semester at college, I studied abroad, and I went to Thailand. So, it was pretty far. But I was very excited. I wasn't very nervous and one of my friends gave me this gift, and she told me not to open it ‘til I got there. I was like, Okay, fine, I'm holding it in me, I’m not going to look at it, but it was just like a whole bunch of cards. And, you know, it's like, ‘Open when you're sad’ ‘Open when you are happy.’ And that's like 15 gifts. And then I got to read them all throughout the five and a half months. And there were pictures and little gifts inside of them. And it was just like an ongoing thing. So that was really cool. I liked that. My freshman year roommate, she's awesome. I got lucky.


For my wife's birthday, I set up a series of phone calls with folks from all through her history, childhood friends, elementary school teachers, every school she's attended and worked at. And to see people's responses, when I asked them to be a part of this, they were so excited to help and just give a little time. I thought it was going to be a lot more work than it would to set that all up and everybody's responsiveness to that and what they were willing to do for their love of her. That was really special to see that all come together.


The biggest thing I feel like I received lately, I think, is just love and support because I just graduated college and coming out of college was it was very hard coming out of my bubble. You know, when you're away from home, you think you're in the real world. And when you graduate and you're actually thrusted into the real world and all these all these responsibilities and you have to do this, they were like, yeah, you're out of school now. So, student loan payments are coming up. And I'm like, okay, that's cool. And so, I've had a lot of support from my sorority sisters, my family. My family was gracious enough to, you know, let me come home and like, figure it out. And so, I was able to get on my own feet. And so, I think that was probably one of the best things I was able to receive in this moment. Just all the love and support, kind of like Kaia, we see what you're doing, and we see you, you're doing great. Don't give up, we got you. All that love and kindness that I've received has really been able to get me to where I am right now. And that's amazing.


You saying that? I definitely agree. I'm originally from Atlanta, but I just finished an internship in Maryland. I was able to shadow this doctor, this pediatrician in Baltimore, and I had these advocates, my godparents, they live in Maryland, and they helped me out so much when it came to contacting her and low-key convincing her that it wouldn't be a waste of her time. And it really would not have happened if they hadn't pushed – not only pushed me, but also supported me. I'm like, well, where am I going to live? They're like, We live here. You can stay with us. And I'm like, Really? Thank you. Because I can't afford to take out another rent. And being there, at the practice that I was shadowing her, her staff, they all made me feel so welcomed. And it was just like a big, like weight off my shoulders that I didn't even know I was carrying because I was so anxious about not only like going, but being able to go and just having the transportation and the money. But all of my family, they banded together and they were like, This is going to help you figure out not only what you want to do, but also help you with your schooling and your studying. So yeah, we got it. These material things are not going to hold you back from gaining this knowledge.


I love that sense of security Ronni got from her family, just hearing, ‘Do what you need to do, we’ve got your back.’ I’m so thankful that I know exactly how that feels.

There’s a lot more to this conversation – listen to the other podcast episodes or watch it on video at or you can find it on the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital YouTube channel. You can also learn more about the St. Jude Leadership Society and our relationships with Zeta Phi Beta and Tau Kappa Epsilon. And while you’re on our site, check out how to support to St. Jude. I was a patient here when I was a teenager – St. Jude saved my life – because people like you gave money to fund research and breakthrough treatments. Please give today.

St. Jude Connections is a production of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It was recorded by Jason Latshaw, Dan Yohey, and Nathan Black. Produced by Geoffrey Redick. Edited by Grace Korzekwa Evans. I’m Emily Hines, thanks for listening.

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