I have been donating a small amount to St Labre for years and realize that they must raise money to run the school. Education is so important whether it be for Indian children or any other. Our country is currently going to the dogs and we need educated citizens to run our great country. Those children at St Labre may be the ones to get us back on track.
My in-laws have been giving to this charity for years, and receiving fleece blankets with 'tribal' prints as thank-you gifts. Do not give to them! They have been sued by the tribe, as only a few Northern Cheyenne children attend the school, and it is marketed as being 100% N. Cheyenne. It's really just a rich private school that solicits donations using false pretenses. Do your homework!
The major objections I read here, have to do with the expenditure of 50% of their budget for fund-raising. Now, there are a number of schools with similar missions, who serve less people, are constantly financially strapped and consequently can't do the job St. Labre does. Few people have heard of these schools, and fewer still support them. St. Labre may spend a lot of money fund-raising, but it looks to me that they are raising two dollars for every one they spend. Yes, it would be nice if they could spend less, but common sense tells me that if they spent less, they would likely raise less. I am greatly impressed with their success with graduating students, and how many go on for higher learning. So I don't care how much they spend to raise the money to do this. What is important to me is they seem to be succeeding very well in their mission. I am happy to increase my donation now.
I, too, have received numerous solicitations for this outfit. At first, many years ago, I was tugged by the heartstrings to donate because of the charity and what it is doing; however, when someone suggested Charity Navigator as a good site to check with before donating any money to any charity, I did so with these folks. too much wasted money on fundraising and "administrative" money goes out and not nearly enough to the charity itself. If you go to GOOGLE and type in the name - St. Labre Indian School - you'll see that it no longer is rated because it "cannot qualify and prove some information and, it does not (or is not available) IRS forms 900's to verify its activities. Now, I just throw away the wasteful mailing that I know I have repeatedly asked to be taken off the mailing list.
I will not donate to this charity.
I have read both positive and negative reviews, but my experience has been all good. I donated money and received my blanket...which was never promised to be handmade...right away. Then I received a student-written thank you note for my gift and photos of the children. After that, I received a card which played "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" sung by the children when opened. The response of thank yous impressed me and demonstrates the values taught at the school.
I read a review written by a reporter about how one tribe had sued the Catholic Church and Diocese because they feel the school is exploiting the Cheyenne tribe who are not benefiting enough from the school. I am not donating to a tribe, I am donating to a school who is spreading the values of Catholicism. If a person donates to a school, then he or she needs to realize, unless the donor explicitly states what the money is to be used for, the school can use its own discretion. 700 students are getting a free education and three meals a day. That is what I am donating toward.
My husband and I have been donating to St. Labre since 1985. My parents long before that. We usually go to the school every summer and this last year went to their ranch. What a great place!! We have had some very interesting talks about St Labre's educational opportunities with Curtis and the staff, for students, especially the cultural experiences they receive. I know that the fund raising goes directly to support the school. I'm a little confused as to why the Cheyenne Indian Nation thinks they should share in the monies donated to the school. After all the money is to educate the Cheyenne and Crow students. The educational opportunities are excellent and the resulting statistics surpass ordinary public school high school and college graduation rates for peers. Our family will continue to support this school and other Native Schools.
In the early 1970s, I donated to St. Labre each month and at the time 90% of the money went to the charity. I just got the first solicitation in years and was going to donate, but not after reading all these reviews.
My mother has dementia and receives loads of solicitations from this charity. Six months ago I placed her name on the "Do Not Mail" list and yet, they are still mailing her. Former reviewers have indicated that they spend half of their revenue on advertising. I believe it.
My father has dementia and is now living in an assisted living facility. While he still lived at home he sent hundreds of dollars to various charities and sweepstakes. I have now assumed responsibility of handling his finances and mail. St Labre is the only charity so far that is unwilling to stop mailing the frequent requests without my providing the copy of my Power of Attorney. Strikes me more as an attempt to protect their ability to bleed seniors dry.
Review from Guidestar
This is a sad commentary of Native American heritage. 1st no one should give in hopes of receiving anything; and should the school insist in doing so - than how about true Indian art work that is bought and purchased from the tribal peoples. I do have a problem when 50% of contributions are for marketing in any charity - Its about the Children, and I honestly believe that people are willing to give for the sake of giving (everyone wants to make a difference but no one wants to be exploited nor do they want the purpose of their gift exploited). Even an adoptive program for each child with several donors (receiving semi-annual updates on the child's progress while preserving the child's name is worth considering. I hope that all donations are kept local and within the school - none going to the Catholic Church; I do not support religious organization, but do support them when they keep God's mandate :"True religion is the care of the widow and the fatherless child". And this is all charities. It is easy to say that I will not give my donation because 50% will go to jobs in China and obscene gestures of abject poverty to tear jerk a donation. This is proud Nations of Native Americans (the only true Americans without benefit of law). I send my donation that they can be successful in a changing world and maintain their proud traditional heritage at the same time. I will continue to donate at this time and pray God that you change your marketing methods to bring that figure closer to 10% or less. One fully realizes that teachers and staff cost money and should be included in the cost of educating and schooling children as well as bills relating to building maintenance and grounds up keep and that should be that 90% inclusion. It is obscene that 50% of contributions is going into a toilet or Neverland. I'm sorry to hear of the Tribes lawsuit against the school and I hope that some lease agreement can be reached on the lands and/or some involvement with the tribes that they can clearly understand that the future economic benefit that a well ran and highly educating school can provide in the long term for the future of their peoples and especially their children. Educate them to the fact that I already pay taxes into a dead beat public school system. I'd rather donate my money to them through your school. I also donate to ST Joseph Indian School as well. I'm not into "well this Indian tribe is more worthy than that one", tell them to shove that crap. It's about the children and their future, not about past hatreds-divisions-derisions. It's about moving on and forward.