After leading the fight against childhood cancer for decades, ALSAC/St. Jude remains at the forefront of innovation.
Since its founding, in 1957, by entertainer Danny Thomas, the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC) has raised money to fund St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, helping to drive the survival rate of childhood cancer patients from 20% to 80%. A few years ago, a young developer at ALSAC named Zach Whitten suggested tapping into the gaming industry to raise money. Backed by ALSAC president and CEO Richard Shadyac, Whitten created a fundraiser that brought in $500,000 its first year. Since 2014, the annual Play Live program has raised more than $26 million by inviting competitive gamers from around the world to raise small donations from followers during live-stream events. “I think you would be hard-pressed to find a more generous and caring community than gamers,” says Whitten, now an ALSAC director of innovation.
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