Q1. What is Friends of St Jude?
The Friends of St Jude program is specifically designed to incorporate the large support base of the school that is not associated with sponsorship or donations. The motto of being a friend of St Judes is "raising awareness, not money" and all a "friend" has to do is pledge to have at least 1 event each year where they will show the DVD, give out some brochures and have a power point presentation if possible (our "Friends coordinator" at the school can give you all these things). It could be a brunch with 10 friends, it could be a lunch with 5 work mates or it could be a major function-everything helps!! If you would like to be a friend then just email Gemma on firstname.lastname@example.org
We understand that not everybody can support the school in a financial capacity. While we have our very special sponsors and donors, we also have a multitude of dedicated and caring people who spread awareness about the school and its mission.
In 2002, The School of St Jude opened its doors to three very small, bright and underprivileged students. We began with a $10 donation, one teacher and a single classroom. Six years later and the school has grown to over 1000 students, 2 amazing campuses and over 300 local staff. This has been possible only due to word-of-mouth, and the awareness that has spread concerning the school and the fight against poverty.
As the need for accessible and affordable education is a constant need, the support we depend on to keep our promises to these children, their families, and the community continues to grow. Friends of St. Jude targets that support. As much as we would love to, we do not have the resources to fly around the world and present our case to all the interested people who would love to know about The School of St. Jude. This is why we depend on our Friends. We trust you to spread support for us. Not by raising money, but by raising awareness. In six years, we have one thousand children...with your help, imagine what we can do in another six?
Q2. Who can be a Friend of St Jude?
There is no special requirement to become a Friend of St Jude. A Friend can be a sponsor, a donor or an average person who has the dedication and stamina to accept the responsibilities of the Friends program.
If you would like to be a "friend" then just email Gemma on email@example.com
The task of Friends is to raise awareness, not money!
Each Friend pledges to raise consciousness in his or her community regarding our goals at St Jude. Whether it is a small dinner among friends or a large event with a hundred interested people, the point is to get the word out and help interested people get in touch with St Judes. Each Friend should aim at holding about 1-2 events every year, and can take any shape you like, as long as awareness is raised.
We would love to hear about your event and receive some pictures. This way we can put the pictures on our website and spread the fantastic ideas amongst our Friends for potential events.
Anyone can be a 'Friend.' Keep reading!
Caitlin and Annaliese (left), aged 10 years old are two of our youngest 'Friends'; and Joan Carr (right) is using her life experience to spread the word about St Jude's.
Annaliese and Caitlin
Annaliese sets an amazing example for the rest of humankind. For the last two years, Annaliese has said 'no' to birthday presents at her birthday parties. Instead, she has asked guests to donate to her nominated charities. For her eighth birthday she nominated the Brisbane Mater Hospital's little miracles program which helps newborns; and last year for her ninth birthday she nominated the Hear and Say centre in Brisbane (they help profoundly deaf children).
However, after her mother had read her an article about St Jude's, she decided she would like us to benefit from her donation this year. Apparently, St Jude's ran a close race with Steve Irwin's Wildlife Warriors. We fell very honoured that Annaliese has chosen to help the school's cause.
Annaliese first got the idea of giving instead of receiving on her birthday from her best friend Caitlin (pictured) who did the same thing on her 8th birthday. Since then, other families have taken up the idea since attending Annaliese's parties.
Annaliese stresses that it won't be a lot of money as there will only be about 10 children at the party but as we all know, every little bit counts. We say a very big "Asnate Sana" (Thank you very much) from all of us at St Jude's. What a great example for the younger generation!
Joan Carr, knew Gemma when she was her senior boarding supervisor at St Vincent's College, Sydney. Joan was trained in Primary teaching and teaching of the Deaf. She went onto teaching at School of the Deaf in Melbourne and then taught at the Red Deer state institution for physically and intellectually disabled children and adults.
In 1987 Joan worked in Zonkwa in northern Nigeria with CUSO (Canadian University Services Overseas) to establish a department of special education at Women's Teachers College there.
So Joan's love of helping others has been evident throughout her life. This can also explain her interest an love for St Jude's. Since Gemma started the St Jude's project , Joan has been a keen follower and supporter.
Just recently, Joan spoke at Lindisfarne School for Seniors about St Jude's to raise awareness of the school. Joan explained she finds many people in her age group (ie retired) are keen to find some way in which they can help people (especially children as they are close to our hearts, most of us being parents and grandparents) but they are all wary of overseas aid organisations which haven't always had good press. Therefore her aim is to point out to them that she has very real contact with her own sponsored student, which is always a concern when giving money to a charity.
Thanks Joan, getting the right information out to the public about our organisation is very important. You are a superstar!
Q3. What support does the school give to Friends?
While we may have some natural born event-organizers amongst our Friends, we understand that most of our supporters are starting off simply with a good heart, great intentions, and a deep commitment to the School. This is why we have a Friends Coordinator, and a very supportive Friends network in place to support you as you are supporting us.
In return for your time and energy, the school pledges to assist our Friends as well. Each new friend receives a "Friends pack" filled with brochures, a DVD of the Australia story, a DVD of "The Story So Far" and a CD containing over 190 beautiful photos, power point presentations, flyers, newsletters and extra information regarding sponsorship and the School.
Our Friends coordinator is always available for any questions, suggestions or updates. Email Alexandra anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and we assure you that you will receive a prompt response.
Friends of St Jude Coordinator Dale Dawes with her husband Richard receiving a special gift at a school assembly in Arusha.