One Child of Immigrants’ Contribution to America


While reading Facebook today I came across a post on my millennial Memphis friend Rebecca’s page. It was written by her friend Adam Sloan, another millennial. I say that in light of what is currently occurring in the United States and that he is the future of this country. There is hope. He wrote:

For 4 years in Memphis, I volunteered at Target House. That’s a residential facility for long-term patients of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you probably know, St. Jude families never pay for treatment, travel, housing or food. And that’s amazing. But did you also know that the hospital was created by a Lebanese immigrant as a thank you to the United States? Fact.

Oh, and the charitable organization within the hospital, which exists only to make sure the doors stay open and that children are saved, is called ALSAC – American Lebanese and Syrian Associated Charities. The board is largely of Lebanese and Syrian descent.

Knowledge is power. And immigration is not the enemy.

Who was this child of Lebanese immigrants who began St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, now known worldwide for its pediatric cancer patients?


Many already know the founder of St. Jude’s was the beloved actor and comedienne Danny Thomas who was known to many baby boomers for “The Danny Thomas Show.” Others have seen his actress daughter, Marlo Thomas aka That Girl, who carried on her dad’s work after his death.

But he started life as Amos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz.

Read the story of how a young Danny Thomas, unsure of his life’s direction, “sought guidance from St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes. If the saint would point to the path he should take, Danny vowed to build a shrine in his name. Success followed Danny’s plea and soon after, the legendary entertainer set about fulfilling his vow to St. Jude. The result was St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital” (from St. Jude’s website).

That is but one story out of countless others of how immigrants have come to America and bettered the world. Who will be the next Danny Thomas?

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2 thoughts on “One Child of Immigrants’ Contribution to America

  1. Calvin Lucy says:

    Eric Trump was forced to close his foundation that had given millions to St. Jude. This is typical of unintended consequences in politics. So sad !! Hope someone else will step up!! YLSF

    • This is not unusual for presidents and their families. My understanding is he is avoiding the conflict of interest about whether donors would expect to have access to the president. Reasonable concern. Others have always “stepped up” for St. Jude’s and the work they do.

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