St. Jude’s Research Children’s Hospital’s National Outreach Director Marlo Thomas sat down to explain what makes the hospital so special in a new uInterview.

“Well the great thing about St. Jude is that it’s a research center,” Thomas said. “If it was just a research center, it is such a great research center that that would be enough, but it’s also a great hospital. A great children’s hospital. So, what we create in the research center, we take it over to the children and the clinic so that’s why they’re getting the up to the minute last word in state of the art medicine. That’s why so many children come to us with a death sentence where other hospitals have said to their parents take your child home and photograph them so that you’ll have memories, and they come to us and often we save them.”

“Obviously we don’t save every child, there are some diseases that are really rough, that we can’t save them, but that’s why we need to continue to do our research and have our clinic to work with the research,” Thomas added. “And so you know it costs about $3 million a day to run St. Jude, and we don’t have any paying customers. My father [Danny Thomas] made a promise in 1962, when he opened St. Jude, was that no family would never pay St. Jude for anything, not for treatment or travel or housing or food. And also we’re a non-profit, so we have to get our money from the public.”

St. Jude has partnered with more than 60 companies, including Best Buy, Home Goods, Dominos Pizza and Autozone for their Thanks & Giving program.

“They’ve opened up their hearts and their doors to the children of St. Jude,” said Thomas. “And leave a dollar on your bill. I think most of us can afford a dollar.”

The Thanks & Giving program has been around for 17 years and has raised more than $1 billion.

“And my Dad used to say that he’d rather have a dollar from a million people than $1 million from one person because that way everybody be involved in doing the good and having their consciousness raised.”

This year, many celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston, Michael Strahan, Sofia Vergara, Louis Fonsi and Yara Shahidi, have all appeared in spots urging people to donate to St. Jude’s.

“They’re lending their credibility, their fame, their goodwill to let people know that they’ve been to St. Jude and they love it there and that they see how genuine it is,” Thomas said. “There’s so many ways that people can give.”

To donate to St. Jude you can go to stjude.org, call 800-4st-jude.

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