“It’s odd to be in a place where there is a mixture of sadness, but also joy. Loss, but also hope,” Jonathan Bevis said recalling his recent trip to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He was ecstatic to be given the privilege to hand deliver a $60,000 check on behalf of everyone at Cook Sales, Inc.
Jonathan, Cook Portable Warehouses’ marketing director attended the St. Jude’s Partner Summit in Memphis, TN. “It was a powerful few days. Large companies are often the subject of criticism but we rarely see how much good they do,” Jonathan said describing the summit. “I was in a room with companies like Chili’s, Best Buy, Domino’s, Carrier and so many other companies responsible for hundreds of millions in donations.
“Anyone who is fortunate enough to visit the St. Jude campus is left with a feeling of hope,” Jonathan said, “Hope that someday, maybe in our lifetime, they will accomplish their mission.”
St. Jude’s campus is home to the children’s hospital but it’s also home to world renowned research. On his second day, Jonathan was able to tour the research facilities and meet some of the researchers who are actively pursuing new treatments and cures.
“These donations don’t just benefit children in the U.S.; St. Jude shares their knowledge with the world,” Jonathan said. “They have partner hospitals all over the world utilizing treatments pioneered at St. Jude. I wish I could describe the emotions at the summit. It’s a mixture of sadness due to loss, joy because of the advancements being made, and hope for the future.”
Jonathan was able to meet one gentleman during the summit who came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic after being diagnosed with cancer as a child. St. Jude was able to pay for his travel as well as his treatment, Jonathan said. “He beat cancer. Became a U.S. citizen. Graduated with an IT degree. Now, he’s working as an IT specialist,” Jonathan recounted with a smile. “That was possible because of St. Jude.”
St. Jude relies primarily on donations to fund treatment and research. “As a parent, it’s so comforting to know that if your child is ever faced with cancer, there is an organization that will treat them and never send a bill,” Jonathan said.
While attending the summit Jonathan was able to hear other stories of St. Jude’s impact. “A mother of a child who lost her battle with cancer last year, tearfully told us her family’s story and thanked the supporters in the room,” Jonathan recalled.
“We also met a girl whose high school years were interrupted when she was diagnosed with cancer and came to St. Jude. But, at St. Jude she is able to receive treatment and continue her schooling with teachers who work at the hospital,” Jonathan explained.
The $60,000 donation was given straight out of their Cook Cares initiative. “Our goal however is to get our employees and customers involved over the next few years,” Jonathan explained. “We’ve set a short-term goal for ourselves to reach an annual contribution of $100,000.”
Cook Cares is a division of Cook Portable Warehouses which is dedicated solely to giving back to their community across 14 states. Jonathan said they decided they wanted to support organizations that align with their values. During their initial visit to St. Jude, years ago, they were overwhelmed by the people carrying out this mission to end childhood cancer, while also walking beside those currently battling the disease.
The donation from Cook Cares will go to ALSAC, the foundation that funds both treatment and research at St. Jude. They then distribute the money as they see fit. If you would like to donate or learn more about St. Jude’s mission please visit stjude.org.
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