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Stressed1

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ST LABRE INDIAN SCHOOL
April 23, 2013

I'm writing this in response to one for_the ride 's comment and concerns.
Anyone else who takes the time to read through all this. Thank you for making the time. This is what happens when you are involved ( giving ) to a place for 10,12+ years.

Here are 2 much more recent articles from the Billing Gazette, the same newspaper that had the story about the lawsuit , which mind you, I was very concerned about myself.

http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/st-labre-school-celebrates-history/article_fa591d9d-21ef-50cb-bdf0-7991bd67dbd3.html

http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/parts-of-st-labre-ruling-overturned/article_17fbe127-642a-54dd-8bfb-e2f425a87a9a.html
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Over the many years that I have been giving to St. Labre Indian School, I have learned things, by asking and by experiencing, and reading.
- They don't share their mailing list, though they GET lists. We have a unusual last name spelling. I asked for them to correct it. I don't remember ever seeing ANY OTHER junk mail to show they shared us.
- They're very good at keeping track of your donations, it seems. I wouldn't always get an acknowledgement, but at $100, you get a certificate for the Century Society.
- The number of students has increased from 650 to almost 800 students at the school. The quality of their education also gone up at the same time. No small feat. I can tell by what is written/seen in their newsletter.
- Students used to "end school" after the 8th grade; then after high school, and now they provide support into college by scholarships and mentoring.
- St. Labre's only started in like, the 1950's, and struggled for a bunch of years. They are learning as they go what helps the children to thrive.
[For College: The mentoring program just started a couple years ago =>So Many promising students who went to college were struggling from 'culture shock' and 'home sickness', and after a short time would drop out.]
- Misti, who is in charge of "donor relations" seems very well informed and very easy to work with. By the way, the times I have spoken with her, I had to go through a couple transfers (I called). I think that equals old phone equipment that hasn't been replaced just because it was old.
- They are there for the children, first. That said, what they have been doing has changed over time. They used to be like regular schools with one meal a day; then they started breakfast; I think they added something at the end of the day too - all because they were finding out that the children were going hungry and failing to thrive.
- I've seen in their mailings: In Fall into winter they watch for children dressed in appropriately for the weather and ask, "Where's is your coat? If the child gives an answer like "I don't know" or something, they know to be prepared to provide one: They learned that the children had no coats(or had outgrown theirs) and started a program for that. That are just SO MANY needs that the Indian children had that other children don't.
- Their services outside of education to the children(and adults) have expanded over time. IT's taken time.
- Long ago, Curtis had written to me that they never turn anyone away that comes to them for help-that was 10 years or so. But improve a structure for a person(That's what it sounds like the Northern Cheyenne Nation is asking for) That I'm not sure is within their scope.
- An estimated 92 percent of students are Native American. About 50 percent are Catholic. Tuition for all of them is free. I'm guessing that some of their stuff have children and go to school there.
- Curtis Yarlott, the executive director of 20 years, said this year the school awarded $250,000 in scholarships to 55 students - some of them older graduates who have decided to pursue a higher degree. [From the article above.] They aren't really that big of a school. That is BIG CHUNK in scholarship money.
- Per a mailing: Last year, they were trying to raise money to replace their old water pump, which was on it's last legs. It looked like it had been in been in need to replacement for a very long time (Major rust)and had finally given out. Why couldn't they have taken the money from their ample savings. I'm sure that some of it DID come from the savings. You don't leave 800 people (staff and kids) without running water, when you have a minimum of 30 kids staying the night all week. Replacements like that don't just happen. I think sometimes one needs to hold money aside.
- Curtis Yarlott, the executive director of 20 years, said this year the school awarded $250,000 in scholarships to 55 students - some of them older graduates who have decided to pursue a higher degree. From the article above.
-The online article states: the priest Hoffman, said: The old chiefs befriended me and they said, 'We need it[the school] for the children'.....Who knows what the truth is? I DO see, that the couple(who gave their opinion) below says they saw what they should of. Programs, food, and positive energy. Power/Heating costs, especially during the winter, can really add up. They've increased in side. I've gotten numerous acrylic blankets, that have changed in design. I was going to give to them anyhow, but with this encouragement, I gave more.

I believe I made a difference. They send a newsletter quarterly highlighting one student in particular and with various articles about what has been happening/going on. Curtis has his column and talks about the state of things.
It's funny, I don't usually recommend ANY charity to ANYONE. I just don't; maybe I need to start.
I have recently suddenly retired early, after a disability, but otherwise if money were no object I think my heart would lead me to still be giving to them. Maybe I wouldn't increase anymore in amount, $25, $35 and if I was well off, $75, but I would still give.

Anyone else who has taken the time to read through all this, Thank You for making the time. This is what happens when you are involved ( giving ) to a place for 10,12+ years. And I'm a caring type; I get all involved, like they are "my own".

More feedback

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

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?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

MY ROLE:
Donor

Smile Train, Inc.
April 23, 2013

I had been solicited through the mail by Smile Train. I am a trusting sort and believed all their claims, plus was taken in by their pictures (which are calculated to elicit an emotional response, meaning: a FINANCIAL donation) from you. Since then a number of things have occurred. 1) I suddenly found myself bombarded by a LARGE number of charity solicitors 2) I started receiving frequent mailings - we are talking maybe as many as 4 askings a week for money- REALLY. Yes, I DID try to tell them when I had amassed 3 asks by putting them all into one envelope. I mailed them and then another one came the next day. 3) I found myself on quite a number of mailing lists with varieties of organizations ever growing. 4) When I asked to get taken off the mailing list, in about a weeks time, I was suddenly receiving mail from new "requesters"(if you will, as if my statement that I no longer wanted them[Hell have no fury like a scorned charity?!? : 0], caused them to trade or sell off my information to other charities.

Other people have had the same issue (slow/non-responsive to remove from mailing list) I found per an web search and article on CharityWatch.org

If I had know that Help Me See would lead to Smile Train, would lead to Burn Rescue and SO MANY other mailing lists I never would of given to them

More feedback

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

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?

2013

MY ROLE:
Donor