11/19/2012 08:06 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Marlo & Sofia's Special "Family" Affair

Hi, it's Marlo and Sofia -- posting together!

Although we appeared in prime time series a generation apart -- Marlo in "That Girl" in the Sixties, Sofia currently in "Modern Family" -- our TV characters have a lot in common: high energy, endless chattiness and a certain...combustibility. Most important to both characters, though, is the concept of family. "That Girl's" Ann Marie was devoted to her Mom and Dad; and "Modern Family's" Gloria would move heaven and earth for her husband and son. We both love that about our characters.

Off camera, both of us have a deep connection to our families. And though our ancestors hail from different parts of the globe -- Sofia's from Colombia, Marlo's from Lebanon and Italy (by way of Beverly Hills) -- these days we're a part of a different and special kind of family: the kids and moms and dads of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 2012-04-04-AL.jpg

As you may have seen, Sofia is now a member of the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign, appearing on screens both large and small (from TV spots to movie theaters to airplanes) with a darling St. Jude patient named Arianna. It was so sweet how Arianna lit up when she first saw Sofia. Everyone at St. Jude lit up, too, when Sofia said yes to joining a beloved family (there's that word again!) of familiar faces who have long devoted their time and energy to the hospital -- from Jennifer Aniston, Robin Williams and Morgan Freeman, to Shaun White, Luis Fonsi, Michael Strahan and many others.

Sofia's decision to join hands with St. Jude is a very personal one: as a mother and a cancer survivor, she is doubly moved by the landmark work of the hospital, which not only provides the world's most cutting-edge research and treatment for gravely ill children, but also continues to stand by St. Jude's founding promise -- that no child will ever be turned away for a family's inability to pay.

And, of course, for Marlo, family runs deep within the walls of St. Jude. Her father, Danny Thomas, founded the hospital 50 years ago; and after his passing in 1991, Marlo, her sister Terre and brother Tony proudly took up the reins. Then, in 2004, they came up with an idea: Wouldn't it be great to celebrate the holiday season -- the time of the year in which families joyfully come together -- by turning our attention to children and their families who desperately need our help?

That's when they came up with the hospital's annual St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign, an unprecedented collaboration of the nation's leading retailers, top media and corporate partners and celebrities. The name itself speaks to the heart of the program: to "Give Thanks for the Healthy Kids in Your Life, and Give to Those Who Are Not."

Launching Thanksgiving week, the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign asks holiday shoppers across the country to visit our partner stores where they see our St. Jude logo. This year, more than 60 brands are participating including Kmart, CVS/pharmacy, Kay Jewelers, ANN Inc., Dick's Sporting Goods, Williams Sonoma, Target and many more. Some will be selling specialty merchandise and almost all of these devoted (and wonderful!) retailers will be asking shoppers that familiar question when they're paying for their purchases: "Won't you add a donation for the children of St. Jude?"

As far as both of us are concerned, there's only one answer to that question: A great big "Yes!" Why? Because since the launch of the St. Jude Thanks and Giving program, we have raised more than $340 million for the children of St. Jude -- and each and every one of those dollars has gone toward ensuring that we get closer to realizing the words that are expressed -- and engraved -- at the hospital's entrance: that "No Child Should Die in the Dawn of Life."

We have so much to give thanks for in our lives, and we are both so happy to take this time to be together as part of this wonderful annual family reunion. And we invite you to be part of it, too -- by joining us in making this year's St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign the kind of family affair that we love!

P.S. By the way, we just found out that we have something else in common: we're both Marymount girls. And, no, neither of us has forgotten that one important lesson that the nuns taught us: "No lipstick when you're in uniform!"

To donate to St. Jude, CLICK HERE.

Friends of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital