Thanks and Giving with St. Jude

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We’ve all been rushed at the cash register, especially during the holiday shopping season. You don’t always feel like buying a raffle ticket from the hockey player bagging your groceries, and sometimes (for me, anyway) the “No, thank you” comes out a little too quickly.

But this is something that’s going to make you want to say “Yes,” with every fiber of your being — especially if you’re a parent.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is kicking off their 11th annual Thanks and Giving Campaign (with 60+ business partners), and we’re encouraging you — readers of Scratch or Sniff — to support their lifesaving mission.

After all, this is a time of year to be thankful, and the greatest thing to be thankful for is the health of your children.

Families whose children are patients at St. Jude do not receive a bill for treatment, housing, or food, because the hospital believes all a family should worry about is helping their child live. 

(I’ve been letting that sink in for a bit, and yes, I’m totally crying right now)

I’m guilty of taking my children’s health for granted. We have only gone through a handle of minor hospitalizations, never longer than half a day. I can’t imagine what the families at St. Jude are going through, and my heart hurts for them.

St. Jude has the world’s best survival rates for the most aggressive childhood cancers, and treatments invented there have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent.

Meet Markell, possibly the toughest, strongest, most awesome kid who has ever kicked cancer’s butt (again and again) thanks to St. Jude. This video brought our entire team to tears …

So now that we’re all sobbing quietly, let’s get down to how we can help. You might come across a donation opportunity the next time you’re out for dinner, or while you’re holiday shopping — even while you’re flying to visit family for Thanksgiving. You could…

    • Donate while shopping: At certain stores — like Best Buy, and Christopher & Banks — it’s as easy as donating on the pin pad right at the register. Other partners will be selling special products benefiting St. Jude, like the cuddly stuffed animals available at Kay Jewelers.
    • Donate while dining out … When you’re finished your meal at Chili’s Grill & Bar, you can add a donation to St. Jude directly to your check using Ziosk. Domino’s and Coca-Cola have partnered on a St. Jude Meal Deal, offering customers the opportunity to order and make a donation to St. Jude.
    • Donate while catching a movie … National theater partners including Regal Entertainment Group, AMC Theatres and Carmike Cinemas will showcase a star-studded St. Jude Thanks and Giving trailer to promote awareness throughout the campaign.
    • Donate in the air … American Airlines and Delta Air Lines will promote the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign via in-flight video promotion, inclusion in their in-flight magazines and social media support.
    • Donate while vehicle-shopping … Purchase or lease a new Mazda (from Nov. 21 through Jan. 2) and Mazda’s Drive for Good campaign will donate $150 to St. Jude.

Learn more or make a donation directly at, or participate in the St. Jude Give Thanks Walk, the official kick-off event for the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign held on Saturday, Nov. 22, in more than 65 communities nationwide.

This is not a sponsored post. We’re happy to share about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital because we believe they do important work.

Heather Laura Clarke, a contributing writer at Scratch or Sniff, lives in Nova Scotia, Canada, with her high-school sweetheart husband, seven-year-old son, and five-year-old daughter. She writes for newspapers and magazines across Canada and the U.S., and blogs about her family life at Heather's Handmade Life. Follow her adventures on Twitter or Instagram.

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