Chip and Joanna Gaines worked to make the world a brighter place by providing home-improvement inspiration and entertainment to all those who loved watching their “Fixer Upper” show on HGTV — but that’s not the only way they’ve improved the lives of others. The couple recently helped collect $1.49 million for St. Jude Children’s Hospital after starting a fundraising challenge on social media.
The Chip In Challenge encouraged others to make donations to the renowned children’s hospital. The donations would directly benefit the children and families dealing with fighting childhood cancer. Chip used his platform to spread the word about the challenge on social media.
On June 4, he posted to Instagram, writing, “Every penny we raise will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and it’s a fact that when we all chip in towards one goal, nothing can stop us.”
Days after announcing the challenge, Chip also announced that he’d be matching donations made between a few hours on the last day of fundraising, June 11. He also planned to match donations made to the Brave Like Gabe Foundation, to honor his friend, Gabriele Grunewald, who was also battling cancer at the time, but passed away later that day.
The next day, he announced that the two fundraisers combined had raised over $2 million, all thanks to everyone who pitched in. He shared the news on Instagram:
On June 19, the couple got to present the $1.49 million check to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. While visiting the Target House, a lodging facility in Memphis for St. Jude patients and their families, they played with the kids. Joanna also read her book, “We Are the Gardeners” during an adorable story time.
She posted about the day’s events on Instagram, writing, “Today we’re leaving @StJude feeling changed forever. The beautiful kids and families here carry such strength and hope, and we were honored to spend the day with them.”
The couple also presented an outdoor playhouse they designed for the grounds of the Target House while in attendance.
“When we heard that the space outside of Target House could use a little love, we knew right away that we wanted to create a sweet playhouse for the kids to enjoy,” Joanna said at the event, according to People. “There’s something so special about spending time together outside and while we’re hopeful that these families will not have to stay here for very long, we wanted to create a retreat for them to explore while they are here.”