Saturday, December 8, 2007
I recently had the opportunity to tour the St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN. The tour was a very enlightening as well as an emotional experience for me personally. If you want to get to the heart of a man or woman show them a hurting or disadvantaged child, it truly takes you on an emotional journey.
A colleague and I were able to tour the hospital, see from a distance the research area, and walk the hallways of the hospital where mothers, fathers, and their sick children were either being treated or waiting to be treated. We were able to enjoy lunch in the cafeteria commingling with staff members as well as family members of many those young and hurting children. I will never forget the experience.
Being a father of two beautiful and healthy girls I realized just how blessed my wife and I are to have children with good health. Health is something we all take for granted no matter what age group we find ourselves.
This same colleague also introduced me on the idea of donating to St. Jude in Memory of someone’s loved one as opposed to always sending flowers. Although this is not what I do with every friend’s death I am exposed to, I decide what form of memorial I will use on a case-by-case basis. While many people appreciate the flowers or floral tributes sent to the funeral home in many instances, they feel the flowers are wasted and the money could go for a greater good.
So what I do is go online at: www.stjude.org and I donate in Memory of that friend, family member or business colleague. As card will be sent from St. Jude to the family member that you provided the name and address for. The card simply reads, “St. Jude children’s Research Hospital has received a gift in tribute to DECEASEDS NAME. The gift, which will bring hope to the children of St. Jude, was given by and YOUR NAME & ADDRESS will appear on the card.” The family will then see first hand that a contribution was made in memory of their loved one. I believe this can go farther and create more of a positive impact than sending flowers in many instances.
Lets think about it for a minute. During the funeral process, family and friends surround the immediate family of the deceased. In many cases, they receive floral tributes, food, etc., but after the funeral oftentimes, when they need a note of encouragement the most, they may not hear from many people at all. Just because the services for the deceased has now ended, this does not lessen the impact of loss on their family members. Really, after the services is when the family needs to hear from friends and family the most as well as read a word of encouragement.
The family about a week or so after the funeral will receive the card from St. Jude.
Here is how you can participate:
Donate By Internet
Donate By Mail
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, TN 38105
Donate By Phone
Please keep in mind there are numerous other charities that offer the same type of memorial contribution programs. The best advice I can give on how to choose whom to contribute to is always donate to the charity that is closest to your heart.