St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Built on one man’s belief that “No child should die in the dawn of life®,” St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
St. Jude was founded by the late entertainer and humanitarian, Danny Thomas, to fulfill a promise he made to St. Jude Thaddeus as a struggling young entertainer. Striving for success and unsure of his life’s direction, Thomas prayed to St. Jude, the patron saint of hopeless causes, saying: “Show me my way in life, and I will build you a shrine.” Success followed Thomas’ plea and the legendary entertainer set out to fulfill his vow by building a hospital devoted to the care of children. St. Jude opened its doors in 1962. But this would not be just any children’s hospital.
Then and now, St. Jude is unique. There are great hospitals. There are great research institutions. There are great charities. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is all three. St. Jude turns laboratory discoveries into lifesaving treatments for cancer and other life-threatening diseases. And families never receive a bill from St. Jude for anything -- not for treatment, travel, housing or food -- because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
St. Jude also relies on the generosity of millions of supporters to fund its lifesaving mission: Finding cures. Saving children.® Seventy-five percent of the funds needed to operate St. Jude comes from public contributions, and a direct mail program is a key component of fundraising for the hospital. St. Jude depends on the U.S. Postal Service to deliver more than 300 million pieces of mail per year to its supporters. The mailing industry also provides a means for donors to return their generous donations to St. Jude.
St. Jude is one of thousands of nonprofit organizations that rely on the U.S. Postal Service to deliver information and appeals that help raise funds and build awareness to advance their missions. Thanks in part to the professionalism and success of the U.S. Postal Service, St. Jude doctors and researchers are then able to continue their work to save the lives of children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent, and they won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
In 2012, the U.S. Postal Service released a commemorative stamp honoring St. Jude founder Danny Thomas. The stamp features an oil-on-panel painting of a smiling, tuxedo-clad Thomas in the foreground with the modern skyline of St. Jude in the background. Tim O’Brien created the artwork for the stamp, Greg Breeding was the designer and William J. Gicker served as the art director. The Danny Thomas stamp was issued in panes of 20 self-adhesive Forever stamps, which are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate. Although it is no longer available, the Danny Thomas Stamp now enjoys an honored place in countless collectors’ albums.
Thomas saw St. Jude as his ultimate legacy, and – to this day – Thomas’ promise still holds true. No family ever receives a bill from St. Jude.
“Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself.
It’s what you do for others.”
– Danny Thomas