Chip and Joanna Gaines Donate Massive $1.5 Million to St. Jude Hospital

By Tiffany Meier

Chip and Joanna Gaines, former “Fixer Upper” stars, made a generous $1.5 million donation to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in the fight against cancer.

On Wednesday, June 19, the couple presented the hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, with the massive check, according to People magazine. In addition, they also gifted the nearby St. Jude Target House with a new playhouse of their own design.

“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 told the magazine. “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.”

She added in an Instagram post, “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. Thank you @target for throwing the best garden party and for all you do for the families who stay at the Target House. And thank you once again to everyone who helped #ChipIn to support the children at St. Jude.”

The couple raised the donations through a social media campaign called #ChipInChallenge.

On June 4, Chip Gaines shared on his Instagram page: “So here’s the deal, in 2017 we raised $230,000 for @StJude, and in return, I agreed to shave my head. We all came together for something big and what we were able to accomplish together was really special. We are heading back to St. Jude this year and I’d like to bring them an even bigger check! I’m calling in some favors and pulling together a group of people for what we are calling the #ChipInChallenge.”

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So here’s the deal, in 2017 we raised $230,000 for @StJude, and in return, I agreed to shave my head. We all came together for something big and what we were able to accomplish together was really special. We are heading back to St. Jude this year and I’d like to bring them an even bigger check! I’m calling in some favors and pulling together a group of people for what we are calling the #ChipinChallenge—Here’s how it works: Go to chipinchallenge.com, select who you’re “rooting for” and donate under their name. 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. We’ve got till June 11, so spread the word!

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Chip Gaines increased his goal after learning that his long-time long-distance runner friend Gabe Grunewald entered into intensive care after decades of battling a rare salivary gland cancer.

On June 11, he wrote on Instagram: “More than 10 years ago, my friend @gigrunewald was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer. I understand that Gabe is not a patient at @StJude, but right now, she is fighting for her life. Cancer is ugly and it is mean and it doesn’t fight fair. This has gotten extremely personal.. so here’s what I’m going to do about it: I want us to hit that $500K mark by midnight tonight. So I will be personally matching all #ChipInChallenge donations made between now and midnight.

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More than 10 years ago, my friend @gigrunewald was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer. I understand that Gabe is not a patient at @StJude, but right now, she is fighting for her life. Cancer is ugly and it is mean and it doesn’t fight fair. This has gotten extremely personal.. so here’s what I’m going to do about it: I want us to hit that $500K mark by midnight tonight. So I will be personally matching all #ChipInChallenge donations made between now and midnight. ON TOP OF THAT, I’ll also be matching that amount in the form of a donation to the #BraveLikeGabe Foundation, in Gabe’s honor. That is 3x the power of your generosity in the fight against cancer.. and all YOU need to do is donate whatever you can to the #ChipInChallenge (link in bio) between now and midnight CT. I’ll take care of the rest. Together, we’re going to fight for those who are fighting for just one more day. This is for those precious kids at St. Jude.. we are pulling for you! And to my beautiful friend Gabe.. we love you and we are here for you every step of the way.

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“ON TOP OF THAT, I’ll also be matching that amount in the form of a donation to the #BraveLikeGabe Foundation, in Gabe’s honor. That is 3x the power of your generosity in the fight against cancer.. and all YOU need to do is donate whatever you can to the #ChipInChallenge (link in bio) between now and midnight CT. I’ll take care of the rest. Together, we’re going to fight for those who are fighting for just one more day. This is for those precious kids at St. Jude.. we are pulling for you! And to my beautiful friend Gabe.. we love you and we are here for you every step of the way.”

The next day, Grunewald passed away. She was 32.

The Gaines surpassed their goal of $500,000 and raised over $2 million altogether in the fight against cancer.

Chip Gaines took to Instagram to thank everyone for their donations.

“THANK YOU ALL—you blew this thing out of the water. Because of YOU, we have raised $1.49 million for @stjude and $512,000 for the @bravelikegabe Foundation. Over TWO MILLION DOLLARS raised for the fight against cancer! This campaign is proof that when we all work together for something bigger than ourselves, anything is possible,” he wrote. ⠀

He also gave a shoutout to celebrities who also donated, such as Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Lopez, Kacey Musgrave, and Alex Rodriguez, to name a few.

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THANK YOU ALL—you blew this thing out of the water. Because of YOU, we have raised $1.49 million for @stjude and $512,000 for the @bravelikegabe Foundation. Over TWO MILLION DOLLARS raised for the fight against cancer! This campaign is proof that when we all work together for something bigger than ourselves, anything is possible. ⠀ ⠀ And to my friend @dudedadvlog, thank you for the original challenge and motivation to do something BIG. ⠀ ⠀ And of course, also to @lauren_daigle, @drewbarrymore, @arod, @jlo, @kevinlove, @spaceykacey, @jessiejamesdecker, and @floridageorgialine—thank YOU for spreading the word and helping crush our original $230,000 goal!! #ChipInChallenge⠀ ⠀ I’d do it all again for the brave kids @stjude—we will see you soon. And to my dear friend @gigrunewald, til we meet again. #notTodayCancer

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