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Charles Kelley Says Visiting St. Jude Was Even More Powerful as a Soon-to-Be Dad

Charles Kelley St Jude
Anna Webber, Getty Images

Charles Kelley visited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in January to give back to the patients and families there and raise awareness for the organization, and he says the visit was even more powerful this time, as he was preparing to become a father.

“I had a feeling it would make me kind of walk through the halls and see the kids in a different light knowing I’m having a little boy here in a month. And it does,” he said at the time. Baby Ward arrived on Feb. 11.

“These parents are in such great spirits, but it made me sad for the parents a lot too, what that must be like to get that news and that helpless feeling,” Kelley added.

The singer was able to see how important raising money for the organization is and what a difference it makes for real people.

“It makes what you’re doing when you go out there and raise money for stuff like this, you’re like, ‘Okay, this is why I’m doing this,’” he shared.

A huge part of that difference is relieving parents of the financial burden of care for their child, and Kelley says that’s what he thinks is particularly great about the organization.

“To be going through this and then to have the financial burden and to have to sit there and worry, ‘Oh gosh, is my insurance going to cover this’,” he explained, “that to me is the greatest thing about this place, because they’re already going through such a horrific experience, to be able to at least take the financial burden out of it is pretty strong.”

Kelley got to hang out with a few kids at St. Jude, including Tyler, who he is an Uno master, and Allie, who recently went to the CMA awards with Kelsea Ballerini.

“I walked in and was like, ‘I know you — where have I seen you?’” he recalled with a laugh.

Kelley and his band Lady Antebellum have been supporters of St. Jude for years, and he encourages his fans to join them in supporting the organization that does so much for children and families in such terrifying circumstances.

“There’s so many charities in the world and it’s hard to sometimes sift through them all, but to me I just think there’s no better place to put your money than helping kids in need,” Kelley reiterated, noting that it takes about $2 million per day to keep St. Jude running. “Know that you’re not just giving to some random cause — you’re helping save kids’ lives.”

On March 3 and 4, Taste of Country will join 15 Townsquare Media stations in support of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This two-day web and radiothon aims to raise money and awareness for the world class research and treatment facility in Memphis, Tenn. Now in its third year, this collaborative effort has raised nearly $2.5 million. Country radio has helped raise more than $550 million during 26 years worth of Country Cares radiothons. The mission is simple: raise money, save lives.

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