7 Innovative Ways You Can Raise Money for St. Jude

The children’s research hospital never sends its patients’ families a bill

Paul Ryburn, M.Sc.
6 min readJun 11, 2024
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA
David Adams, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You ever have one of those moments when a conversation gets real — I’m talking, real real, unexpectedly?

I was sitting at a neighborhood bar one afternoon after work. A commercial came on TV asking for donations to St. Jude, the childhood cancer treatment and research hospital founded by actor Danny Thomas.

“You ever donate to them?” asked the guy next to me, with whom I’d struck up a conversation.

“I think I stuck a 20 in one of their cans one time,” I replied. Living one mile from the hospital, I had heard about it so often that I’d become a bit desensitized to its message.

“I’m 24 years old,” the guy told me. “I owe St. Jude the past 15 years of my life… and many more to come, I hope. I was a St. Jude kid. I went through treatment there and was declared cancer-free at age 9.”

Wow. I was sitting next to a miracle.

Hopeless cause no more

In the early 1940s, Danny Thomas was an actor struggling to find work. One day he prayed to St. Jude, the patron saint of hopeless causes. He said if the saint would help him do better, “I’ll build you a…



Paul Ryburn, M.Sc.

I write about writing, ideas, creativity, homelessness, intuition, spirituality, life lessons. Ex-college teacher Twitter: @paulryburn