In a few days we celebrate both Thanksgiving and the 10th anniversary of a program called “Thanks & Giving All Year Long.” Started by Marlo Thomas, whose birthday is today, it provides ongoing support for the wonderful work of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital – the world’s leading center for research on treating catastrophic illnesses in children.
In 2004 Thomas had the idea of writing a children’s book and album that would both inspire young people and help fund St. Jude’s work. For her effort Thomas won a Grammy Award; but more importantly she started a project that may go on for decades, continuing to both inspire kids and draw attention to St. Jude’s – which was founded by her father Danny Thomas.
While winning a Grammy would be a capstone of some artists’ careers, it was only one of many, many awards for this tireless actress and writer, who has received four Emmys, a Golden Globe, the George Foster Peabody Award, and the 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Thomas, by the way, also wrote a 1983 children’s book/album called Free To Be … You and Me. Its major thematic message is that anyone—even a child—can achieve anything. That book/album has sold three-quarters of a million copies and is still going strong – every dime of profit going toward major causes supporting children and families.
“My father said there are two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers,” Thomas noted. “The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.” Definitely a focal point for writers, and a Thanksgiving reflection for us all.
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