Announcing Our Philanthropic Partner: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Our readers may have noticed that on the big banner at the top there’s an ad promoting the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. It’s rotating with the America’s Natural Gas Association ad.

That St. Jude ad isn’t some PSA we’re getting from Google. There’s a purpose behind it, one we’re happy to talk about further.

We’ve been at this Hayride stuff since December of 2009, and we really haven’t come up for air in 21 months or so. But one thing we did notice was that we were coming up a bit short in a key part of our mission as a conservative website.

Namely, this – you can rail day in and day out about how the government needs to butt out of people’s lives and how the nanny-state needs to be rolled back and abolished so that individual freedom will reign. And that’s a philosophically correct attitude to have; one we shouldn’t apologize for in any way, shape or form.

That said, though, what makes that philosophy work in real life is this – when the government and all its waste and abuse vacates the scene, there are some functions society will need someone to perform. Thankfully, we have such things as charity organizations who do great work without the waste and abuse you see in government.

But charity organizations have to be supported on a voluntary basis. That means us. All of us, whether our role is to give time, money or (or perhaps in this case it’s better to say “and/or”) banner ad space and e-mail blasts.

And so we decided to get involved. And that’s why we’ve chosen St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as our philanthropic partner. We didn’t make that choice because we’re big Danny Thomas fans. We did it because pretty much the worst thing that can happen in this world is for a kid to get cancer or some other life-threatening disease, and the folks at St. Jude are dedicated to fighting for the people who get hit with such an awful eventuality.

It just so happens that St. Jude is one the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. It’s also the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.

And we’re also involved because St. Jude has treated children from Louisiana and every other state, as well as from countries around the world, and the hospital is a beacon of hope to children in communities everywhere. That’s because St. Jude freely shares its research with the global medical community, helping children who never even visit St. Jude. Which we like; some charity organizations get into this proprietary credit-mongering stuff, but the St. Jude folks are more into getting the job done.

St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatments that are not covered by insurance. No child is denied treatment because of a family’s inability to pay.

Obviously, it takes resources to make that happen. So over the coming days, weeks and months you’re going to see updates on what’s going on with St. Jude – events, fund drives and so on, and how you can help.

And it just so happens that the Give thanks. Walk. is the big upcoming event we need to tell you about.

What is the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk.? Well, on Saturday, November 19, 2011, supporters of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 80 communities across the country will join together to participate in an exciting family-friendly 5K walk to raise money for the children of St. Jude.

Among those 80 communities will be Baton Rouge and Shreveport. Last year, more than 950 St. Jude supporters attended the 2010 event in Baton Rouge, which raised more than $110,000. This year, we anticipate more than 1,200 walkers to participate at BREC’s Forest Community Park. With your help, we hope to raise $130,000 through our local event to help support the global mission of St. Jude. And by the way Nov. 19 is the day of the LSU-Ole Miss game, which is a road game for the Tigers. So you can do this; it won’t interfere with your tailgating.

Registration will cost you precisely zero. But participants are encouraged to form walk teams with their friends, family and co-workers and recruit sponsors to make donations in support of their efforts and the lifesaving work done at St. Jude. We will be putting together a Hayride team for the Baton Rouge event, and hopefully for the Shreveport event as well; more on that as we get a little closer to the event.

Why is it called the Give thanks. Walk.?

Because it’s a reminder to give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not. And because a 5K walk is good for you.

Now that we’ve gotten your attention, later this week we’ll talk a little more about joining our team for the Give thanks. Walk. event in Baton Rouge. But of course you don’t have to join our team to get involved. You can do that all by yourself, and you can do it online by clicking here.

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