Jessica Burpee is a busy mom, wife and business owner. But no matter how full her days are, the California woman always finds time to spread the word of another important piece of her life, and that is raising funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Burpee has been donating for years and has encouraged others to donate and participate in events to raise funds for the research hospital and its lifesaving work. Several years ago, she and her husband, Kevin, formed “The Holy Walkamoles,” a team that participates in the St. Jude Walk/Run in Los Angeles. The team so far has raised more than $30,000 since it formed.
In addition, three years ago, the couple, who own Pride Public Adjusters, became corporate sponsors, and in that role have donated another $18,000 to St. Jude.
“It’s something that came into my heart and soul,’’ Burpee said. “Once we made that decision to do as much as we could for St. Jude that was it. That is the mission. It is something that just feels right.”
The St. Jude Walk/Run event is among Burpee and her husband’s favorites. She said she enjoys watching the other teams get as excited as hers to participate. Members sport T-shirts emblazoned with an avocado every year.
“I love the noise. I love the crowds,’’ Burpee said. “I love that everybody just kind of unites and everybody’s on the same mission.”
Burpee’s introduction to St. Jude dates to her days working in retail. The store she worked for at the time raised funds for the research hospital. One year, her husband recalled, the store was not going to meet its goal, so the couple decided that they would chip in the amount needed to reach that mark. They have donated to St. Jude ever since. Even during times when making ends meet was difficult.
A few years ago, the Burpees visited St. Jude, and said seeing patients and their parents reenforced their commitment to St. Jude and its work.
“Everything I do, I do it with a full heart, and my heart belongs to St. Jude,” Jessica Burpee said. “The last thing that a parent should be worrying about is the hospital bills. All they should worry about is their baby and that is it. The fact that St. Jude can do this is beyond amazing, and it just makes me have all this faith in the world, in humanity and everything that is around.”