Points of Light, a global nonprofit dedicated to accelerating people-powered change, is honoring Jason Farmer, a Memphis, Tennessee volunteer for ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, with the Daily Point of Light Award on the 30th anniversary of the first award.
Farmer has supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital all of his life. He was a part of the early childhood assistance program in the 1970s sponsored by St. Jude in the Memphis-area and never forgot its support. About five years ago, he helped conceptualize and launch an annual event in Memphis during Black History Month called the St. Jude Spirit of the Dream to celebrate the achievements of African Americans who also support its lifesaving mission: Finding cures. Saving children.® This year Farmer is vice chair of the Memphis event committee, leading fundraising efforts by securing sponsorships and individual donor support. He also helped launch a similar event in Nashville in 2019.
The Daily Point of Light Award honors individuals who are creating meaningful change in communities; efforts which often lead to long-terms solutions and impact social problems in their local communities. Founded by President George H.W. Bush, the very first Daily Point of Light Award was presented on Nov. 22, 1989, to The Commercial Appeal, a Memphis newspaper that published a series of stories on local “points of light,” volunteers in the Southern United States.
At the event honoring The Commercial Appeal, President Bush said:
“We are nearing the dawn of a new decade. And so let it be a decade with no dark corners, no forgotten people, no forgotten place.
So, if you’ve got a hammer, find a nail. If you can read, find someone who can’t. If you’re well, do it like the volunteers I just saw at St. Jude: Help someone who isn’t well. If you’re not troubled, seek out someone who is.
Because everywhere there is a need in America, there is a way to fill it. And everywhere there is a dream in America, there is a way to make it come true.”
“At Points of Light, we applaud individuals who step up in their communities, take action, and work with others to solve problems, like Jason Farmer,” said Natalye Paquin, president and CEO, Points of Light. “When our founder, President George H.W. Bush, came to Memphis 30 years ago today, he didn’t know the lasting impact that first Daily Point of Light Award would have. Today, we’re a global organization committed to harnessing the power of people to take action and make a positive impact in the world. We’re honored to return to Memphis and honor Jason Farmer with Daily Point of Light Award No. 6,656 for his lifelong commitment to serving St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and being a leader in his community, and inspiring others to do the same.”
“Jason Farmer demonstrates the powerful impact one individual can have on the world when applying heart and tenacity of purpose to making a difference,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude. “I applaud Jason for this tremendous honor from Points of Light and express my deep gratitude for his lifelong support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As a native Memphian, Jason’s story of triumph over hardship reminds me of our own origin story. Danny Thomas never wavered even as naysayers doubted his dream to open a research hospital in pursuit of cures to save ‘all’ children with childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. We appreciate the courageous leadership journey exemplified by Jason in the military, business community and nonprofit sector and hope his story inspires future generations to discover the rewards of volunteering.”
Three decades after the first Daily Point of Light was awarded, Points of Light continues the recognition each weekday with more than 6,500 honorees to date. In partnership with Points of Light, the United Kingdom Prime Minister’s office launched a Point of Light Award program in 2014, which has now recognized more than 1,200 honorees. In 2018, Queen Elizabeth began a Commonwealth Point of Light Award program to recognize volunteers across the 53 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond.
About Points of Light
Points of Light is a global nonprofit organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes millions of people to take action that changes the world. We envision a world in which every individual discovers the power to make a difference, creating healthy communities in vibrant, participatory societies. Through affiliates in 200 cities across 37 countries, and in partnership with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 5 million volunteers in 14 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it’s needed most. For more information, visit pointsoflight.org.
About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org, sharing stories and videos from St. Jude Inspire, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on Twitter and Instagram and subscribing to its YouTube channel.