RUSSELL DICKERSON’S “HOME SWEET” SHINES AS ST.JUDE RESEARCH HOSPITAL’S THEME FOR THE 2021 DREAM HOME GIVEAWAY
Russell Dickerson’s brand-new song is a fabulous example of how country music can speak to many people and tell a story. Russell is the ambassador for the St. Jude’s Research Hospital’s ‘2021 Dream Home Giveaway’. Country music artists have long supported St. Jude Research Hospital in Memphis Tennessee. Many of these stars visit the hospital to reach out and provide a break to the families and the children at St. Jude. There are many ways to support the research efforts of St. Jude Research Hospital. Russell shows his support to St. Jude in many ways, and his song relays a perfect message.
“Home Sweet” embodies that feeling of home is wherever “your people” are located not a physical building, it is a state of mind. The song represents you are home with loved ones no matter the situation. It is evident with lyrics like “I think it’s wherever I’m with you. It’s more than some bricks and stones…there ain’t nothing like ‘Home Sweet’, you and me”. The song is written by Russell Dickerson along with a fellow friend of St. Jude, Charles Kelley of Lady A, and Casey Brown. “Home Sweet” is featured on Dickerson’s latest album Southern Sympathy. The song is a reminder of how precious life is and how a family is everything. Wherever you are together is home. All about having each other to get through the challenging times. The singer finds new meaning in the track by supporting the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway that sees the famous hospital giving away homes in more than 40 cities across the United States. To Russell Dickerson, the song is special as it tells the story about him and his wife, Kailey. They had to worry about paying rent for their apartment when Russell was just starting in the industry. They were newlyweds, and dealing with the struggles of starting in the music business, in addition to all that life adds in general. Kailey was not just along for the ride but helped drive the van to gigs in the early days. Russell’s career started taking shape and there was a move into a new house as well as the joy of starting a family. Remington came along in September 2020, and as a father now Russell can appreciate what St. Jude does for families. He has said this about what home means to him, “Whenever you are with your people, that’s home.”
His single encompasses the message that St. Jude Research Hospital would like to get out about its “2021 Dream Home Giveaway”. Dickerson is a friend of St. Jude Research Hospital throughout his career. He was leery the first time he visited the St. Jude campus back in 2017, but Russell went with a bunch of fellow artists while on tour. He knew the environment toward hospitals and prepared himself for what was ahead. After his experience at St. Jude’s Research Hospital, he came away with a different impression. What he once saw as a sad place he now viewed the hospital as a place of hope, joy, and optimism. After that visit, Russell came away with the outlook that St. Jude’s was a place filled with happiness and giving kids opportunities for a new lease on life. The kids are grateful for the day and to be here in the moment. Russell commented about his day by saying “we had a craft day, made hats, and decorated them with glitter.” This is quite the opposite of what most people expect when they visit a children’s hospital.
During a recent virtual meet and greet Russell Dickerson had the opportunity to meet Ian and his mom, Anna. Ian is a 13-year-old that was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor at 6 months of age. The conversation was not about Ian’s treatment it was about “homey” pleasures; like fun and games, therapy dogs, and Ian’s favorite food, Macaroni and cheese. While Anna and Ian are not fans of being away from home, they make it feel as if they are at home simply because they are together. Anna spoke of how being at Target House was like being on a cruise ship. They would wake up in the morning to check on what the day’s activities had in store for them.
Each ticket purchased goes to help the kids and families of St. Jude Research Hospital. Each entry costs $100. All money goes directly to the families and could cover two platelet tests or even six meals for St. Jude families. Participants are allowed to buy up to 50 tickets at a time, online or via phone. There is no limit to the number of times you can purchase that 50-ticket limit. St. Jude’s Dream Home Giveaway is taking place in more than forty cities across the country. Russell has found new meaning in his song “Home Sweet” by it being a message to help support the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway. This is why Russell is lending his song to the Dream Home Giveaway 2021. It is to give these families that buy the tickets a chance to win a home. The locations are all in different stages of the contest.
A few examples are as follows: The Dream Home Giveaway in Peoria Illinois is all sold out, while in Cincinnati, Ohio tickets are being sold for a dream home with an estimated value of $500,000. In October 2020 Jerry Wright was announced as the winner of the San Antonio Texas home. Colorado Springs, Co is starting to sell tickets and the winner will be announced in summer 2021.
Russell is encouraging everyone to reserve tickets for the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway (dreamhome.org) On the website you can see the forty communities involved in the giveaway; as well as virtual tours of these beautiful homes. Sponsors of the Dream Home Giveaway are very generous in the donations they contribute. They are hoping to help end childhood cancer through research funded by the donations of the patrons buying the raffle tickets. They are hoping to make the dreams come true for the winners. Brizo became a sponsor in 2010, providing fittings in the kitchens and bathrooms of each home. Since 2012 the Shaw Flooring Company has provided the flooring in the dream homes. Trane joined the group of sponsors in 2014 and provide the heating and cooling in the homes. Bosch is proud to be a sponsor and support the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway by providing home appliances in the homes.
St. Jude’s mission statement is to advance cures and means of prevention for pediatric catastrophic disease through research and treatment. St. Jude Research hospital was founded by Danny Thomas more than 70 years ago. Mr. Thomas prayed to the patron saint of hopeless causes, St Jude Thaddeus when his career had yet to take off. He said, “show me my way in life and I will build you a shrine”. Danny Thomas became one of the biggest stars of radio, television, and film of his time. He used his fame to fulfill his vow and to change the lives of children and their families through St. Jude Research Hospital in Memphis Tennessee. Supporting St. Jude through programs like the ‘Dream Home Giveaway’ means that these families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing, or food. As the families should only have to worry about helping their child fight to live and find a cure for childhood cancer.
Ultimately, Russell and Kailey worried about paying rent and making it in his song “Home Sweet,” Danny Thomas worried about supporting his growing family “Home Sweet” encompasses all of those feelings. The contest brings together participants in the Dream Home Giveaway and raising funds for cancer research for the families of St. Jude. Hopefully, everyone’s dreams become a realization. To help families not have to worry about bills and other essentials while trying to get that dream of finding an end through research of childhood cancer. Helping the families by becoming a part of the Dream Home Giveaway is a comfort to those families that are looking for at least one worry eliminated through St. Jude. Think of it as it is a small price to pay to win your dream home and create your very own “Home Sweet” while helping fund research to fight childhood cancer.
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