St. Jude Children's Research Hospital:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital was founded in 1962 by entertainer Danny Thomas. Early in his career, Thomas often prayed to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes. He felt that his prayers were often answered and pledged to someday build a shrine to the saint.
Having consulted friends and family, Thomas ultimately established St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. By creating a unique research hospital devoted to curing catastrophic diseases in children Thomas' dream became more than just a treatment facility. It became a research center for the children of the world.
Thomas was a tireless fundraiser, criss crossing the U.S. giving benefit performance to raise money to build the hospital. Memphis business leaders joined in the fundraising effort. Once the hospital was built, there was the problem of financing its ongoing operation.
Thomas, who was of Lebanese descent, appealed to others of Arabic-speaking heritage. Eventually an organization was formed, ALSAC, with the sole purpose of raising funds for the support of St. Jude. Today, ALSAC is the nation's second largest health-care charity and is supported by the efforts of more than 1 million volunteers nationwide.
St. Jude has spearheaded huge improvements in the treatment of cancers that plague children bringing about improved health care for children all over the world. Thanks to St. Jude's physicians and scientists, the overall survival rates for childhood cancers has improved from less than 20 percent when the hospital opened in 1962 to 80 percent today.
"The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay."
Today, St Jude Hospital is a cause-marketing powerhouse. AdAge, in a 2011 article said the organization has "media ubiquity," appearing on Fox News, the Super Bowl, cozying up with the NBA, not to mention a bevy of celebrities from Jennifer Aniston to Robin Williams to Antonio Banderas.
From the article: "Over its 49-year history St. Jude has used celebrity star power and connections, smart marketing decisions and programs to appeal to a broad cross-section of consumers and businesses. The result is a pervasive brand that brings in hundreds of millions of dollars each year -- $692 million in fiscal 2010 alone -- from preschoolers and professionals, eighth graders and 80-year-olds."
- Named the most-trusted charity in the nation by Harris Interactive.
- Nation's top children's cancer hospital, according to U.S. News and World Report.
- Recognized by FORTUNE magazine as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For."
- Thanks and Giving Campaign named as one of the top three cause marketing campaigns by consumers according to a study by the 2010 Cone Holiday Trend Tracker.