St. Joseph's Indian School
Rating: 2.58 stars 19 19 reviews 9,370
1301 N. Main St PO Box 89 Chamberlain SD 57325 USA
Since 1927, St. Joseph's Indian School has been serving the Native American people in South Dakota. By responding to the needs of the whole child through an enriched and integrated living and learning environment, we provide opportunity for a balanced, healthy lifestyle through education, group home living, the development and appreciation of spirituality and culture, and the promotion of personal growth and self-esteem.
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Reviews for St. Joseph's Indian School
1 person found this review helpful
I looked into this charity, saw that there are no ratings from multiple charity rating organizations that I hold in high esteem, so there is no breakdown of their financials (religious organization that doesn't need to disclose this) and how they spend their donations/fund raising. Also found this :
Make your own decision. Based on all this information, I personally will not donate to them.
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15 people found this review helpful
I would simply like to ask this question: How much did it cost this organization to send me a donation request that contained ALL of the following items: a pen, notepad, calendar, 3 cellophane-wrapped greeting cards with envelopes, a dream catcher (presumably made in China or Taiwan) with a color-printed legend enclosed, gold embossed self-adhesive personalize address labels, personalized "checks" in specific donation amounts, and a beautifully embossed gold-trimmed certificate of appreciation for my financial support - which I have not yet given???
If that's how this organization spends its public donation money, I'm appalled.
20 people found this review helpful
I have been a donor to this organization for 15 years. It came to my attention when I visited the Akta Lakota Museum at the same location, passing through the school grounds on my way. I have made numerous visits since then. What I see on these visits are bright, healthy, happy children, learning in a safe and positive environment. It is clear to me that the school is doing a wonderful job.
Regarding some of the criticisms I see here, I'd like to make these comments:
1) I agree that they send way too many mailings. I wish they'd cut back.
2) Having said that, I think their overall expenditures are appropriate. I spent the largest part of my career (34 years) as a budget analyst and accountant for an educational institution. St. Joseph's expenses are well in line with what I'd expect to see.
3) One person remarked on the "threatening" tone of one solicitation. Having grown up next to a Reservation (Onandaga) in upstate New York, and having seen the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations myself, I can attest to poverty which must indeed have led to difficult circumstances for some of these students.
4) One post suggested that positive reviews must be concocted by people associated with the charity. I have no association other than being a donor, and never have had any association other than being a donor and a visitor.
All in all, I'm delighted to continue to support this fine organization.
9 people found this review helpful
I have donated to this charity for years. Just yesterday, I received a very nice telephone call from the school thanking me for all the years I've supported them. I have never received and "gifts" or other such items from them. I believe they are an honest, worthwhile charity. They are helping children who would otherwise be left behind.
28 people found this review helpful
Last year was the first year I received a letter with several 'free gifts" requesting a donation to the school. Having just been hospitalized, I was particularly cognizant of my resources. Our family gives alternate gifts: there a wheelchairs made from bicycles in India and Africa; students in this country in Youth Build getting a new start: completing a HS diploma or GED plus training apprenticeships in trades, nursing; Doctors Without Boarders and Heifer Project-each given in honor of a family member. I seriously considered St. Joseph's since I've been adopted into a Lakota Sioux family and am now Winyan Wasaka [strong woman], that is until a received a second letter from the chaplain which I sensed
to be unusually threatening because I had not responded to the initial letter. Further research revealed
what other persons about their accounting practices. I've chosen to give me limited resources to another Native American project this year.
32 people found this review helpful
Why is there cash on hand increasing so much? It seems the only money they are spending is on their own salaries. The children in the commercials are actors. They are another company who's primary purpose is to make more money and give themselves bigger salaries. I would not send them a dime.
34 people found this review helpful
I am very suspicious of the few positive comments about this facility. After so many negative comments the positive ones just do not seem real. I would imagine that it is the staff or Board of Directors person making the comments in hopes of defusing some of the negative aura of the whole place.
I will not give to an organization that will not remove you after repeated attempts to be removed. They seem to be a "Mill" running rampant and flooding any possible market in hopes of getting some cash. Well, not from me.
CEO of Phoenix Rehabilitation Organization, Inc.
25 people found this review helpful
I have read some earlier posted reviews and they do not seem accurate.
I help these people and they are great.
The people running the school are kind and very passionate about what they do.
My suggestion is to just call them and ask where your money is going, you may be surprised at how much they do for these children.
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63 people found this review helpful
I started donating a few years ago because I thought they were doing a good service to the Indian community. I have since then received tons of unsolicitated junk...dream catcher, lousy blankets etc... When I found out that they go all the way to solicitating donations from my family in Europe, I realized that very little of what I donated goes to the cause. I stopped donating about 5 yrs ago but still regularly receive junk from them. I suggest you look them up and.....send your money somewhere else! This organization is definitely not worth receiving donations!
51 people found this review helpful
According to the BBB, this organization does not meets its Standards for Charity Accountability.
I've given to them in the past, and figure they probably help some kids, but according to the its consolidated audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, the organization spent $30,278,951 or 57% of its total expenses ($53,021,662) on program service activities. So only about 30% of the income actually went to help the program/kids.