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St. Joseph's Indian School

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Literacy, Special Education

Mission: St. Joseph's Indian School partners with Native American children and families to educate for life - mind, body, heart and spirit.

Target demographics: Native American children and families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 220 Native American children

Geographic areas served: South Dakota

Programs: Residential Care including Food and Clothing, Education, Counseling, Medical Care, College Scholarships

Community Stories

159 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

This "charity" has $200 million in assets and each year sends tens of millions of mailers soliciting more money. The mailers are stuffed with literal junk--stickers and Chinese-made "dreamcatchers" and letters from fictitious students. The school's "Needs list" includes items like lip balm and toothpaste. Maybe it should save some of the money it spends contributing to our waste epidemic, buy the kids the basics and stop its aggressive marketing campaign. Shameful!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

After many years of donating to St. Joseph's my husband and I we able to attend the annual powwow in 2019. What an experience! The school was everything we thought it would be but even better! We could immediately see that all the donors' money is well spent. The grounds are beautiful and well cared for, but most importantly, the children are loved and well cared for. Many of the employees we talked with have been there for many years, speaking to their devotion and how they are treated as well.
A nice surprise was how enjoyable it was to be with the other donors (many attend the powwow every year). Most of the men, and some of the women, are veterans like my husband, and they are given an honored role during the powwow.
St. Joseph's reaches out to help the families of the students as well and provides services such as a day camp during the summer and book mobiles. While my husband and I do not have a lot of money, this is definitely our favorite charity and we have increased the amount we donate to it.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 01/22/2020

Thank you Annie for your kind review! We are so appreciative of the loving support that we receive to give our Lakota students the very best! It is always great to hear how our Powwow is from our visitors as well. it is a favorite time of year for all of us here at St. Joseph's! Again, thank you for your continued support and hope to see you and your husband again!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After it was determined that primary charity was no longer living its mission, needed another one that touched my heart.
I have made small contributions to SJIS over the years and decided to explore them a bit more. What I'm finding are people trying to make a better world for NA children - about 200 each year.
Contributions are sincerely appreciated and make a real difference to the children. The staff ensures you are treated as part of the team and they personally express their gratitude. That means a lot to me.

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stjo1927 01/20/2020

Thank you so much for such kind words! Educating our students for life-mind,body, heart and spirit is our Mission. Hearing such positive feedback from our extended family is great.

2 Cherokeepride2

Donor

Rating: 5

I love St. Joseph's Indian School,the children there are so kind and they never ask for much,the people,the who help run the school are awesome,they have powwow's for the children to keep up their heritage,and Father Kluckman has a heart of gold, i am very proud to say i do support this school and will continue to do so. I give what i can,and on Christmas i buy gifts for the children because what they ask for are items they can use to learn and keep warm since it gets so cold out there. I love to see the smiles on their faces,and the staff makes sure they keep up their education and when they graduate,i smile because in my indian heart i know just how special they are. I use Amazon Smile as a way to contribute to the school and when they move on to college is a great moment in my life. One day these children might be our future president, or doctor,their smart and kind considering how they grew up,in a poor envirement,so please if you can continue donating to this wonderful school,they have become my extended family please do so, God bless this wonderful school

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 11/15/2019

Thank you so much for your very kind words about St Joseph's Indian School. We appreciate your support for the children and all that you do.

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2

Donor

Rating: 5

I AM PART NATIVE AMERICAN,ST JOSEPH'S INDIAN SCHOOL HELPS THE POOR CHILDREN TO BECOME SOMEONE SPECIAL,THEY DEAL WITH HARD LIVES,COLD WEATHER AND DON'T HAVE WHAT WHITE CHILDREN ASSUME IS NORMAL,TOYS ,TV, CLOTHING. THESE CHILDREN MY EXTENDED FAMILY FACE HARDSHIPS NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO FACE ESPECIALLY A CHILD. ST JOSEPH'S GIVES THESE CHILDREN HOPE, THEY FEED AND CLOTH THEM AND MOST IMPORT A SOLID EDUCATION. TO SEE A CHILD SMILE ON CHRISTMAS MAKES MY LIFE WORTH LIVING FOR I DONATE WHAT I CAN,AND NOW GETTING BOXES OF CLOTHING AND TOYS TO SEND TO THESE WONDERFUL CHILDREN, THE STAFF AND THE PRIEST DO A WONDERFUL JOB TEACHING AND KEEPING THEIR HERITAGE TOGETHER FOR THE CHILDREN. I LOVE THESE CHILDREN AS I WOULD MY OWN,SO PLEASE HELP DONATE TO ST JOSEPH'S THROUGH AMAZON SMILE, AND DONATE ON YOUR CREDIT CARD MONTHLY HELPS. I AM VERY PROUD OF THESE CHILDREN FOR FIGHTING TO BECOME SOMETHING SPECIAL.THEY ACCEPT ALL CHALLENGES THROWN AT THEM,AND STILL SMILE.THIS IS A GREAT SCHOOL, WITHOUT IT, THEY WOULD NOT HAVE A CHANCE AT GETTING A GOOD EDUCATION,SO PLEASE HELP THEM. DEBORAH LITTLE WOLF CIESLEWSKI

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 01/14/2019

Deborah, thank you for your kind words about St Joseph's Indian School. We can help this children out and give them so many opportunities thanks to donors like you.

6 Jay C.1

Donor

Rating: 1

Although St. Josephs Indian School may do some good I'm extremely disappointed and frustrated with their fundraising efforts. After donating to this charity I have received countless gifts in an effort to convince me to donate more money. Unfortunately after a couple of years the cost of the gifts have probably exceeded my original donation amount. We have contacted St. Josephs and asked them to stop sending these gifts yet I continue to receive them. My intention was to have my donation be used for the children and NOT TO BE SPENT ON FUNDRAISING.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 01/20/2020

Jay, we apologize that you are still receiving the mailings. if you would like to contact us at 1-800-341-2235 Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm central time, we would like to make sure your request is honored.

2

Donor

Rating: 4

I have given to this school in the past. I now 80 years old and because of medicines and health concerns I want off their mailing list. It hard not to give because I look at the children and it breaks my heart. I received another big package today. I have written them, they have called me and I have told them by phone that I can no longer be able donor. My church and local community needs what help I can give. They just keep sending stuff. I am glad I looked up this web site. I was almost ready to donate again and again ask to be taken off the list. After reaing the comments I see I am not the only one with a reduced income that has a willing heart but not the funds to give to a worthy cause. God bless you all. Please take me off your mailing list!

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 11/11/2019

Linda, we can certainly remove you from our mailing list if you can give us a call at 1-800-341-2235 Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm central time.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I don't know how they got my name on their mailing list. But the amount of "free" stuff they send in their packages through the mail must cost a lot to produce. I'm sure it is more than would be covered by the amount I could afford to give. I am in favor of supporting any charity that helps native Americans and their children, but I have my doubts about this one. I hope that by not donating for the past two years they will remove me from their mailings.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 01/20/2020

Our main focus at the school is to provide a warm loving home, an education and medical needs for over 200 Lakota boys and girls in our care. In order to do this, a series of mailings are sent to people throughout the US asking for their support. Our school is located in a rural area in Chamberlain, South Dakota. We don’t receive regular, ongoing federal support nor do we receive large donations from huge corporations. Instead, we rely on caring individuals from across the country to support our work through tax-deductible donations, one gift at a time. Our work is life changing and we want to share with as many people as possible about the programs for the Lakota children in our care. We are certainly able to remove our donor's from our mailing list as they request. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you are still reviving our mailings and wish not to. Our contact info is 800-341-2235 Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm Central Time, Or you can email us @ Saintjosephs@stjo.org.

6 Curt A.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

The only thing we know about this ministry is that each year they send us a large packet of gifts which includes Christmas cards, dream catcher, calendar, note pads, and other items. It makes us wonder if by receiving all these gifts that somehow we should feel beholden to the organization and send a gift. Having been in fund raising for a number of years I am wondering who is paying for all these materials? Are they donated? Is a portion of the gifts that are received going to pay for the fund raising costs of St. Joseph's. I saw a comment that stated that just 65% of what is raised is going to fund the organization. This means that 35% of the gifts are going to either some third party fund raising organization or are purchasing these items. Our goal in my organizations was 10 cents to raise a dollar, perhaps a bit higher. If true, 35% sounds kind of high. We understand the need but have some other priorities for support in our area.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 01/20/2020

People often ask why we send mail at all. Direct mail is our primary means of fundraising at this time. To simply stop our mailings would put a halt to our income and, as a result, our ability to care for the Lakota (Sioux) children. For every dollar raised, 68% goes directly to the children attending St. Joseph’s Indian School, their families living in reservation communities, and toward cultural and faith development. For any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact us at 800-341-2235 Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm Central Time.

Review from Guidestar

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Been getting their mailing for years. Most of it made in China (not that it is bad in and of itself). But looking at the posts, the gross is $80,000,000 per year. Divided by the 200 students they have in the school, that's $400,000 per each student. If money is leftover, each year, where does that go? It boggles my mind. Granted they do other stuff, but please, donate your money elsewhere.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 01/20/2020

No tuition is charged and St. Joseph's Indian School provides for all the needs of over 200 Native American students. Everything from food and clothing to education, counseling and healthcare is provided. St, Joseph's work does not stop on campus, we are also happy to share our loving support helps with our Summer Day Camp,Bookmobile,Sacred Heart Family Safe Shelter in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, college scholarships and much more. Please let us know if you have further concerns or questions! You can contact us at 1-800-341-2235 Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm Central time.

Review from Guidestar

13 Craig C.3

Volunteer

Rating: 3

We have supported St. Joseph's for a number of years. Recently St. Joseph's significantly increased the number and frequency of their fund raising mailings to the rate of 4 -10 mailings/month which raises the question of their legitimacy. St. Joseph's does not file an annual "nonprofit" return with the IRS and we've been unable to determine their ratio of solicitation/administrative expenses to funds actually given to the school. The frequency of mailings is indicative of a hiring a high pressure, high cost fund raising subcontractor with the risk of funds donated not being used for the purposes we support. Has anyone else had this experience and been successful in 'checking them out'? Lacking valid information we're leery of continuing our support.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/30/2019

Craig, thank you for your comment we can certainly adjust your mail settings if you would like to give us a call at 1-800-341-2235 Monday through Friday 8AM to 5PM central time. We are evaluated by the Council on Accreditation which provides a more thorough evaluation of our organization’s credibility and thus, our value. Through the Council on Accreditation’s extensive audit process, we receive evaluation by a panel of experts in social services fields. The evaluation, including site visits and interviews with St. Joseph’s personnel and families served, assesses more than just finances. St. Joseph’s Indian School receives ratings in: • Ethical Practice • Financial Management • Governance • Human Resources • Performance & Quality Improvement • Risk Prevention & Management • Best Practices in Child Care All areas are then measured against national standards for service organizations.

Review from Guidestar

17

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I have tried to get my mother off of their mailing list and somehow, every few months she gets back on it. (She has even moved twice since she first got these donation requests) I have even put her on the do not mail list at dmachoice.org and that does nothing even though they are not supposed to mail these things to her.

I think it is disgusting the way they try and raise funds from people that are on limited income. They raised $81,937,575 in unrestricted contributions in 2018. Enough already. Stop trying to get people on limited incomes to donate to your school.

I also have an issue that only 65 cents of every dollar raised is going to the Lakota children that attend this school. Seems very low for a charity.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 09/30/2019

ral420- we can certainly get your mother removed from our mailing list if you would please call 1-800-341-2235. Our hours are Monday through Friday 8 AM to 5 PM central time.

Review from Guidestar

2

Donor

Rating: 5

We help support programs & projects at St. Joe and believe It's truly money well spent.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 08/14/2019

Thank you so much for your support to St Joseph's Indian School and to the children we appreciate all that you do.

6

Donor

Rating: 5

I am so proud to finally have joined the ST. Joseph Indian School in 2018 after some time receiving such sweet notes, little adorable gifts by mail I had meant to become a part of this exciting, worthy, beautiful cause. I will continue to give financial for financial support of these beautiful children, families, and the community. I have over many many years purchased Native American Jewelry as a help to my native sisters, and Brothers that I continue, now with this direct cause as well I feel complete on my mission to help as I am mixed Cherokee blooded on my grandmothers side. I am so proud to have finally joined my new family I feel reunited with my people a sense of belonging on that side of my life my blood line at last! I am a proud American that has lived a fortunate life yes through much hard work, this year 2019 is my 60th keep me posted keep it coming God Bless each and everyone.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 01/14/2019

Shellamaria, thank you for your kind words and we are happy to have you be a part of our Tiyóspaye.

2 Sandy G.3

Donor

Rating: 5

I support St Jo's because this is a wonderful, much needed school for children and families who otherwise wouldnt have the opportunities that this school offers. The new horse therapy program is fantastic! The families are very blessed to have a place like this to go to. I am proud to be a part of it.

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stjo1927 01/14/2019

Sandy, thank you for your kind words. We are also very excited about the equine therapy program on our campus and look forward to the benefits it will have to help the children.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I began contributing to St. Joseph’s Indian school many years ago. Their wonderful work with the children, and families, not only educates but also lifts up the entire spirit of everyone.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 01/14/2019

Cwengert, thank you for your continued support over the years. We appreciate all that you do for the children at St Joseph's Indian School.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I donate to St. Joseph's Indian School to support the amazing children there.
Each child deserves far more than I give each month. I am very excited to continue
to read about the Equine Therapy Program -how it progresses over time. I hope that
I will be able to increase my monthly donation in the coming years. God bless the students,
faculty and staff of St. Joseph's Indian School
Carole O'Leary
Rockport, MA

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 01/14/2019

Carole, thank you for your kind words and continued monthly support to the children at St Joseph's Indian School. We are so blessed to be able to have the Equine Therapy Program on our campus thanks to our generous donors such as you!

4 Deb M.2

Donor

Rating: 5

I support st. Joseph's Indian School monthly just as my mother did before me. Our family owes a great debt to Chief Sitting Bull who was a friend of my great-grandfather's. They were unlikely friends at a chaotic time in the history of the Lakota. But they became close and Chief Sitting Bull held a naming ceremony for my grandmother when she was born. That was always a source of great pride for her. The chief warned my great-grandfather to take his family and leave The Dakotas because great trouble was coming. That was five generations ago. Perhaps my family survived because of the Friendship of this great man. So I am honored to help as I'm able in the good work of St. Joseph's Indian School.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 01/14/2019

Deb, thank you for all that you do and continue to do in supporting the children at St Joseph's Indian School.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I donate to help the children of St Joseph's because the white man has screwed the indians over ever since they came to North America. They were made to change language and put on reservations that won't grow weeds let alone decent crops.
My wife was from South Dakota so our heart is there. She is gone now but I do enjoy seeing the kids dance and sing in their native gowns and headdress.
Even though I am from New York state and have tribes here I still think the Indian tribes out west are the most colorful.

Comments ( 1 )

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stjo1927 01/14/2019

Thank you for your support to the children at St Joseph's Indian School. We appreciate all that you do.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

We donate to St. Joseph's as much as we can throughout the year.
It's wonderful knowing that the many children have a place to go where they are nurtured..educated..
kept safe...and they learn about Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
We always receive such wonderful thank you gifts from the school! My Dream Catcher hangs over our bed to trap those bad dreams.

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stjo1927 01/14/2019

Thank you for your support to the children at St Joseph's Indian School. Its because of donors like you that the children are getting a good education.

6

Donor

Rating: 5

I have supported St. Joseph's School for more years than I can remember. It is the only charity that I donate to. I have always been amazed at all of the things that the school does for the children, from providing basic needs to education including their culture. The recent
equine program has me greatly excited. There are too many great features of this school to write about in this review, I just hope that more people become aware of just how fantastic this school is and decide also to start donating to St. Joseph's Indian School.

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stjo1927 01/14/2019

Thank you for your support to the children at St Joseph's Indian School. Its because of donors like you that we are able to have the Equine Therapy Program. This program and others are doing great things for the Lakota children.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a great and loving School for all these Lakota children, we donate so they may live an abundant and loving childhood, and as a wildlife painter I paint the Great Lakota Chiefs from the late 1800's to honor and share the Lakota Story so Americans can start lending a hand and offering more support. Titled " Chief Red Hawk" in Brule SD in 1900, along the Missouri River, from Edward Curtis . book called " Sacred Legacy." Peace be yours. Jim and Marge

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stjo1927 01/14/2019

Jim and Marge, thank you for your support to the Lakota children at St Joseph's Indian School.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I’ve been donating to St. Joseph’s for about 25 years and have always been impressed by their programs. I’ve even had the opportunity to meet (quite by accident) a couple of their graduates who had only good things to say about the school. I love reading their newsletters and seeing the beaming smiles of their students. It is my favorite charity! Marcia Young

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stjo1927 01/14/2019

Marcia, thank you for your support to St Joseph's Indian School. We are happy that you got to meet some of our alumni.

Donor

Rating: 5

I’ve been donating to Saint Joseph’s school for many years now, happily knowing it helps so many beautiful native American families. Donating monthly makes me happy to know that they are continuing to add to their wonderful programs, including the newest equine therapy.

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stjo1927 01/14/2019

Kathleen, thank you for your continued support over the years. We are also very excited about our new equine therapy program and the great things it is doing for our Lakota children on campus.

5 Linda B.5

Donor

Rating: 5

I became aware of St. Josephs about five years ago. It.caught my interest as my great grandmother was part Native American. With so many charitable organizations vying for donations , and being on a fixed income, I researched St. Josephs to see what type of work they did and what others had to say. I was impressed by their mission and reviews by other donors. What has impressed me most over the years is their generosity. No matter how little I give or how often I always receive loverly gift packages and certificates if appreciation. There is no pressure to donate and all donations are greatly appreciated. I receive information and updates on the school and students which makes it personal. I belive the work they do is necessary and a blessing to the children they serve.

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stjo1927 01/09/2019

Thank you so much for your support and kind words!

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been supporting St Joseph's for years. Awhile back I invested in an annuity with them. I believe the Indian reservations are in desperate need of help.Education at St Joseph's is helping each & every student.
Thank you to all the staff & wonderful students in the St Joseph's community.

Ellen McConnell,NJ

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stjo1927 01/09/2019

Ellen thank you for your support to the Lakota children at St Joseph's Indian School

4 Felicia F.1

Donor

Rating: 5

I’ve been donating to St. Joseph’s for many years, before I started donating every month, I’d only was able to donate only a few times a year. They would always send me gifts even though i wasn’t able to donate often. I love my Indian children there

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stjo1927 10/12/2018

Felicia, thank you for your support and thoughtfulness to the children at St Joseph's Indian School

3

Donor

Rating: 5

The dedicated people at St. Joseph's Indian School are wonderful and the school does such a great job for the Lakota girls and boys. We are so please to be a supporter of this terrific charity.

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stjo1927 10/10/2018

Thank you for your kind words and support!

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been supporting St. Joseph's Indian School as best as I can financially and in prayers for about 4 years now and I am very proud to be a small part of their mission. From everything I know about their work I can tell that they are making an outstanding effort to provide intellectually and materially for the youngsters of the School. But, more than that I believe they are also reaching them spiritually and in a most positive manner. I have no doubt that they are doing wonderful work and making a difference.

Robert Jager

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stjo1927 10/10/2018

Robert, Thank you for all that you do for the children at St Joseph's Indian School.

2 Mud Rat 1

Donor

Rating: 5

I learned of St. joseph from my mother. I am 1/4 Souix. Ever since I have been working I give mouthly to St. Joes. I trust and beleave they are helping the children and teaching them about Jesus. When I am gone I have St. Joes in my will.

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stjo1927 01/09/2019

Thank you so much for your generous support to the children at St Joseph's Indian School.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been contributing in small way to the school since the past 5 years. This is one of the charitable utilization i saw. I wish i could donate a larger sum to them. May be some day soon, I will be in a position to make a large donation.

God bless the children and there care takers

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stjo1927 10/10/2018

Thank you for your kind words and support!

9

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been sending money to ST. Joseph's Native American school for more than a decade because of a kinship from my past life and I'm confident there taken care of and in good caring loving hands. I think of them in the winter and hope their staying warm and fed, I think of them as my own kids and worry not because I know there are so many others who care as much as I do about these babies.
your Kola
Charles Adams

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stjo1927 10/10/2018

Charles, thank you for all that you do for the children at St Joseph's and your kind words.

7

Donor

Rating: 5

I agree that all of the gifts I receive with the mailings are overkill and that the donations should be used to support the children. Anyone, like myself, who are donating because they respect our native american heritage, would rather not receive so many mailings with gifts enclosed. I would rather purchase the clothing and artifacts separately and make donations through the mailings. I deeply honor and respect everything that you do to provide an education for the children. I would truly like to visit your school in the near future. Please provide future events in your newsletter so we can plan our trip. Paul & Debra Fiola, Independence, MO.

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stjo1927 10/10/2018

Paul and Debra, thank you for your support. We can make an update on your mailing preference if you could give us a call at 1-800-341-2235.

5

Donor

Rating: 4

I chose St Joseph Indian School because the emphasis is on education and Lakota culture

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stjo1927 10/10/2018

Thank you for your support.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I don't know that I have a story to tell, but I certainly can tell you why I support St. Joseph's Indian School. History has been a great influence in my life, and the American Indian is a big part of the history of the United States. It is too much a sad history, but it is our history. St. Joseph's Indian School respects the history of the Lakota people that they work with, and I find that very commendable. St. Joseph's gives native American youth a chance for a future, and builds that on the proud past that those children come from. That does not simply give these young Americans a chance, it gives them strength to face the difficult future that is mature adulthood. That is not simply impressive to me, it is important. Children are our future, ALL children.

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stjo1927 10/02/2018

Thank you for your comments and support .

7 Marianne D

Donor

Rating: 5

We started donating to St. Joe's in the late 70s and have continued ever since. Then we went to Chamberlain and visited the school and homes. We celebrated Pow Wow with them. On every visit, the children laugh and talk with us. The staff tell us their stories, many planning on working just a few years there and are still there because they are dedicated to educating and caring for these great Lakota children. We once met a high school student at St. Joe's who told us he remembered us because we had given him a truck when he was a little boy. That touched our hearts.

This School is a wonderful place, a place of hope for the children and their families. The staff work very hard and are committed to their mission to serve and teach, to receive and learn. We are honored to be able to make our small donation every month.

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stjo1927 01/09/2019

We are so glad you were able to come an experience the school and the children. Thank you for your support.

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stjo1927 01/09/2019

Marlanne, thank you for your support over the years and all the you do for the children at St Joseph's Indian School.

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43

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been donating to St. Joe's for about 30 years. The staff is extraordinary...really giving of themselves to make the kids there stronger. We visit a minimum of once a year, most often twice and we feel priviledged to be able to see how well the kids are cared for. They accept very little federal money, so they need all of us to help donate...it does take a village...every little bit helps.

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stjo1927 09/13/2016

Thank you so much for your kind words and your support! Our staff has one goal in mind and that is the children! We are so happy to hear you are able to make it campus and experience what your support creates!