The country superstar recently completed an emotional 18-city reunion tour with daughter Wynonna. It was the first time in 10 years that the Grammy-winning duo had toured together, and the Judds chose to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital throughout the tour.
“St. Jude was our number one choice for a concert charity,” Naomi Judd told FOX411.com. “I have never been so impressed by a hospital in my life. The fact that they don't turn away anyone is as important as the incredibly cutting edge medical advances they offer. Wy and I were extremely proud to be associated with such an outstanding medical institution. I've stayed in touch with some of the kids at St. Jude, it has made it even more deeply personal to me.”
“Naomi and Wynonna have been involved with St. Jude through the Country Cares for St. Jude Kids program for many years,” Teri Watson, Senior Director for ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, told FOX411. “Most recently, St. Jude was the beneficiary of the Judds’ Last Encore Tour through special VIP and Fan Packages. Additionally, there was a text to donate component to the concert that included a St. Jude video and a call to action for concert goers to contribute to the hospital’s life-saving mission.”
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, based in Memphis, TN, has always had a strong connection to country music stars.
“We have been very fortunate that the country music industry has so enthusiastically embraced the mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” explains Watson. “The Judds’ support and the support of country music fans nationwide continues to help keep Danny Thomas’ dream alive that no child should die in the dawn of life.”
Naomi Judd’s philanthropic nature was also stirred during a break in the filming of her hit docu-drama series on OWN, “The Judds,” when she and her family made a visit to the Santa Train in Pikeville, KY.
“We began at 4:30am on a dreary bone-chilling cold day,” Judd explains. “It seemed appropriate for the extreme poverty and deprivation that greeted us as we went through 15 tiny hamlets. More than anything I wanted to give them food, clothing, an education and hope. As we traveled on the old train, Wy and I, along with the rest of our family, felt bits of cheerfulness and gratitude. I wish we could have piled all of them on the train and taken them with us. It reminded me of when I was in nursing school in Eastern Kentucky and fantasized about starting free clinics in these pockets.”
Judd also believes that charity is not only good for the mind and soul—it can help heal the body.
“Being altruistic, helping others, not only helps us feel better about our own circumstances, but it stimulates the body's immune system,” said Judd, who has been free of the Hepatitis C virus since 1995. “There's scientific data to prove that it greatly increases immunological functions.”