Danny Thomas and the Founding of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
More than 70 years ago, Danny Thomas, then a struggling young entertainer with a baby on the way, visited a Detroit church and was so moved during the Mass, he placed his last $7 in the collection box. When he realized what he’d done, Danny prayed for a way to pay the looming hospital bills. The next day, he was offered a small part that would pay 10 times the amount he’d given to the church. Danny had experienced the power of prayer.
Two years later, Danny had achieved moderate acting success in Detroit, but he was struggling to take his career to the next level. Once again, he turned to the church. Praying to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes, Danny asked the saint to “help me find my way in life, and I will build you a shrine.”
His career took a turn for the better, and soon he moved his family to Chicago to pursue career offers. A few years later, at another turning point in his life, Danny visited a church and remembered his pledge to St. Jude. Again he prayed to St. Jude and repeated his pledge to build a shrine to the saint if he would show him the way.
In the years that followed, Danny’s career flourished through films and television, and he became an internationally known entertainer. He remembered his pledge to build a shrine to St. Jude.
Danny started raising money for his vision of St. Jude in the early 1950s. By 1955, the local business leaders who had joined his cause began area fundraising efforts, supplementing Danny’s benefit shows that brought scores of major entertainment stars to Memphis.
*Based on the 2010 Philanthropy 400 ranking by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Luke 21:1-3 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said,“this poor widow has put in more than all the others.
Give what you have. Dedicate it to God. Follow your vision. Bathe it in prayer.