ALSAC (American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities) was founded in 1957 and exists for the sole purpose of raising funds to support the operating and maintenance of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The mission of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. It is supported primarily by donations raised by ALSAC. Research efforts are directed at understanding the molecular, genetic and chemical bases of catastrophic diseases in children; identifying cures for such diseases; and promoting their prevention. Research is focused specifically on cancers, some acquired and inherited immunodeficiencies, sickle cell disease, infectious diseases and genetic disorders.