St.-Jude1By: Chrysa Smith

I was doing my usual Monday morning rounds–picking up the leftover remnants from the evening before (chip bags, empty bottles, shoes left on the floor, etc.). The TODAY Show was playing in the background. And as it goes this time of year, more charities than normal stand up and ask for help. And so it was this morning.

But I was stopped in my tracks when Marlo Thomas spoke about the founding of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital by her father, entertainer Danny Thomas. The story rang so true of what Thanksgiving really is all about, I wanted to share. It is copied and pasted from a source much more knowledgeable than me—-so here it is.

Maybe you won’t build a hospital, but here’s to hoping that you build some sort of bridges with those you meet throughout your life. Happy Thanksgiving.


More than 50 years ago a man named Danny Thomas longed to be in show business. However, he was not having much success in making his dream a reality. One day, in a church in Detroit, he knelt in front of a statue of St. Jude and prayed
for guidance. St. Jude, one of the Twelve Apostles, has often been seen
as the patron saint of lost or hopeless causes. Danny Thomas wondered
if his dreams were hopeless. He asked St. Jude to give him a sign as to
whether or not he was on the right path with his career.

In the book I Like Being Catholic, Marlo Thomas, daughter of Danny Thomas, says that her father then put $7 in the church basket. As he gave the money away, he said, “I have to have 10 times this.” The next day Danny Thomas was offered a job as a singing toothbrush in a commercial for $75. He took this as a sign that he was indeed on the right path with his career.

Danny Thomas went on to become one of the most successful early television stars. His show Make Room for Daddy was one of the most popular early TV comedies and ran for 11 years from 1953-1964.

In gratitude for the guidance that Danny believed St. Jude had given him,
the entertainer pledged to build a shrine to the saint. Once the idea
of a children’s research hospital began to take shape, Danny Thomas
combined his growing show business career with continuous efforts to
raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Once he drove to 28
cities in just 32 days to raise money for the new children’s hospital.

Because of Danny Thomas’s great faith, his trust in God and his willingness to
show his gratitude with his generosity, today St. Jude Children’s
Hospital has treated children from all 50 states and from over 70
foreign countries. Families are never asked to pay more than insurance
covers and families without insurance are never asked to pay.