Travel

Carnival Cruise Line’s “Day of Play” at St. Jude Research Hospital

A few days ago, I took a quick trip to Memphis to visit St. Jude, courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival Cruise Line's "Day of Play" at St. Jude Research Hospital

My assignment? Volunteer at a Dr. Seuss-themed “Day of Play” for the kids of St. Jude Research Hospital. How could I possibly say no to that?

Carnival Cruise Line's "Day of Play" at St. Jude Research Hospital

photo credit: St. Jude

St. Jude Research Hospital

If you are not familiar with St. Jude, let me give you some insight.

Carnival Cruise Line's "Day of Play" at St. Jude Research Hospital

“The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.”

Carnival Cruise Line's "Day of Play" at St. Jude Research Hospital

This was my second time receiving a tour of St. Jude and the second time that I was blown away by the staff, facilities and children of the hospital. It doesn’t even feel (or smell) like a hospital. Instead, it feels more like a large family home.

Carnival Cruise Line's "Day of Play" at St. Jude Research Hospital

It may sound crazy, but it takes $2.2 million to keep St. Jude running each day. Yup.

Carnival Cruise Line's "Day of Play" at St. Jude Research Hospital

The good news? Donations take care of the costs. In fact, 70% of the donations received at St. Jude are from individuals who send an average of $35/month. If that isn’t an indicator of how many people adore this facility, I don’t know what does.

Carnival Cruise Line's "Day of Play" at St. Jude Research Hospital

St. Jude’s Partnership with Carnival Cruise Line

Being the family-friendly company that they are, it only makes sense that Carnival Cruise Line partnered with St. Jude a few years ago. Carnival supports the hospital’s goal of never sending a bill to families who receive cancer treatment.

Carnival Cruise Line's "Day of Play" at St. Jude Research Hospital

Carnival reached the $5 million fundraising mark through its Care to Play program with St. Jude, which an additional $10 million goal by 2020. These funds were raised mostly from activities onboard and shoreside through Carnival, such as the “Groove for St. Jude Dance Party,” bingo, waterslide fun and the sales of bakery items.

Day of Play

“Part of Carnival Cruise Line’s “Head of State Play Date” at the hospital, the #CatinHat4Prez-themed event coincides with the release of the new Dr. Seuss book, “One Vote, Two Votes, I Vote, You Vote,” that teaches kids about the election process and the importance of voting.”

Carnival Cruise Line's "Day of Play" at St. Jude Research Hospital

Carnival Cruise Line's "Day of Play" at St. Jude Research Hospital

In fact, I was assigned to the voting station at the event! I will admit that the ballot was a bit rigged. 🙂

Carnival Cruise Line's "Day of Play" at St. Jude Research Hospital

I bet you can guess who won.

Carnival Cruise Line's "Day of Play" at St. Jude Research Hospital

In addition to the voting station, there were fun crafts, games, snacks and a presidential parade.

Carnival Cruise Line's "Day of Play" at St. Jude Research Hospital

photo credit: St. Jude

The kids had the best time!

Carnival Cruise Line's "Day of Play" at St. Jude Research Hospital

photo credit: St. Jude

A big THANK YOU to Carnival Cruise Line and St. Jude for allowing me to help with this heartfelt event. The children of St. Jude will forever be an inspiration to me. <3

As I said, St. Jude relies on donations to keep their hospital free for all children who suffer from cancer. Consider donating here.

Disclosure: Carnival Cruise Line sponsored my travel and accommodations for this event.