Kelsea Ballerini Encourages Fans to Support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital: 'It's Such an Inspirational Place'
"For every patient that's cured here, people are cured all over," the country star says
When the “Legends” singer — who was nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2017 CMA Awards — is not performing, the glam country star has kept busy by supporting the hospital’s annual St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign, which aims to raise awareness and funds for the battle against childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
St. Jude is dedicated to furthering medical progress by freely sharing its discoveries and knowledge with scientists worldwide.
“It’s such an inspirational place to be and to see the research facility,” Ballerini — one of five Country Cares champions, along with Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, Thomas Rhett and Brett Eldredge — said in the campaign video, premiering exclusively on PEOPLE before debuting nationally on Monday. “For every patient that’s cured here, people are cured all over because of that.”
The research hospital has helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened in 1962. The facility relies on donations because its patients and their families are never billed for any treatment-related expenses: The goal is to let families focus on helping their children survive.
Ballerini, 24, has been a longtime supporter of the research hospital, and even took a St. Jude teenage cancer patient as her date to the 2016 CMA Awards, according to NBC.
“I’ve heard about St. Jude for so long, and just to be able to come here and see everything and get to meet some of the kids has been incredible,” said Ballerini.
The Thanks and Giving campaign asks consumers to support the hospital by doing their holiday shopping at companies that have partnered with the hospital. Some of the 70+ brands include Best Buy, Claire’s, Marshalls and Kay Jewelers. It also asks people to raise awareness for the campaign by using the designated hashtag to share what they #GiveThanks for on social media.
Ballerini called the research hospital “a very hopeful and awesome place.”
She added: “With your help, St. Jude can keep finding cures.”