St. Joseph's Indian School

Rating: 2.37 stars   27 reviews

Nonprofit Issues:

Education, Religion

Address:

1301 N. Main St PO Box 89 Chamberlain SD 57325 USA

Mission:

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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http://www.stjo.org

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Reviews for St. Joseph's Indian School

Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was giving to this charity for several years then looked up it's financials.. I was giving so they could heat the school of 200 kids in the cold winter.. Then I looked at the financial statement.. They raise $67M a year and have $145M in the bank for 200 kids.. And they have Catholic priests run the place. God save them. THe foodbank that feeds everyone in my state doesn't have as much money. They are shameful.

http://www.stjo.org/site/DocServer/Annual_Report.pdf?docID=1761

Jon

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

this place is a huge scam. they do not care one bit about the money you send. my mother in law used to send these people money until we got ahold of her finances. i told them to stop sending me their ridculous info after seeing the expose about their kickbacks from the company that makes the crap they send. they told me they will keep me in their system for 3 months, even though i will not send them a dime. they know this and will not even try to stop this stuff from coming to me. if they do, they do not get their kickback
a complete joke of a charity
now they sold my info to another scam of a charity and they are sending me stuff!!! like i said, they care nothing about the school or kids, only the kickbacks for the crap they send.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I've donated here for many years and while never a visitor there, I have asked friends to stop in and check them out. Universal praise for the children and persons they met there and the apparent good work they try to do. A skeptic as well, I've looked into these many "gifts" and courtesy phone calls. Apparently some organizations donate the gifts as their contribution in lieu of cash; other cover mailing and phone fees. Clearly from the School's follow-up activities, this is a very well-managed organization...far better than most others I've donated to. I wish they'd better conform to rated organizations (Charity Navigator's screens for example) but for my money, theirs is a worthwhile exempt charity to donate to.

 
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Rating: 3 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I also have been receiving the "free gifts" asking for a donation - I have donated for several years but an skeptical. Seems as though I'm not the only one as I was thinking I was - not sure what to do - I don't need the gifts - save the money on printing all this stuff.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

54 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.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

24 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.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 2 stars  

44 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.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

30 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.

-DC

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

77 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!

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

59 people found this review helpful

We also have received numerous extravagant give packets from St. Joseph's Indian School. Although we made a small donation once long ago, we will not do so again. This last gift packet was the last straw. It included a form "letter" from a child at the school (obviously written by an adult) which blatantly says the child's home and family would not be a safe place to live. Here is the actual wording of the form letter:

"Dear Ms.________, Things are so fun here at St. Joe's. I like the other girls, we giggle at each other all day. I asked my teacher if I could write you and tell you about the school. My name is Stacy. I'm 12. Anyway, I've only been at St. Joe's for a couple of months. I's so warm and safe, not like my house on the reservation. School's awesome. I have lots of things to do and read. I really, really, like the science project I'm doing with Tasha and Tommy. The food is good here. What I enjoy most is the campus home I share with 11 other girls and my houseparents. My bed is so comfortable. I know I don't have anything to worry about when I go to sleep!
"Well I have to go now but I'll pray for you when I pray for my mom, my sister and my uncle. And thanks a lot! Love, Stacy"

I wonder if the children's families know what is being said about them. We find this unconscionable. That, and the lavish gifts intended to solicit by guilt. The money used for these mailings could benefit the Lakota people and their children… and their families deserve more respect than this.

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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