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St Labre Indian School

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Education, Primary & Elementary Schools, Secondary & High Schools

Mission: St. Labre Indian School, founded in 1884, was one of the first efforts to care for Native Americans who had been displaced as a result of homesteading. Today, St. Labre Indian School offers kindergarten through high school education for Crow and Northern Cheyenne children on three campuses. There is no tuition charged for any student to attend. The combined enrollment of all three campuses totals over 700 children.

Children who live more than 40 miles from our school stay in dormitories during the week. More than 1,000 meals are prepared each day including breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We combine education, spirituality and Native American culture to educate the whole child.

Target demographics: Native American children

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 700 students

Geographic areas served: central and southeastern Montana

Programs: k-12 education, healthy meals, and many other things in the local community

Community Stories

37 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

Every time a write a simple check I feel I am donating to a very good and proper non profit
organization .
It all lies in the values they teach and uphold, specifically with their student s and the school itself. I never ask for anything in return but its a good feeling when I
receive pictures, stories and thank you notes form the students/children that truly come from the heart with sincerity. In addition I love the picture of the blanket many receive as a thank you for their continued support . I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO RECEIVING MINE!

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK ALL !

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

My father in law recently passed away, and his mail was forwarded to our home. We started receiving solicitations addressed to him from the St. Labre School almost immediately. They were always accompanied by gifts such as wrapping paper, dream catchers, address labels, greeting cards and the like. I had a "form letter" typed up to inform anybody of his death, and I began to return their solicitations (in their postage paid envelope) letting them know not to expect anything. The solicitations kept coming. I called the 800 number twice and had his name removed from their mailing lists. Both times I was told that they printed up their mailings in advance, and in about 6 weeks the letters would stop. They keep coming. I have to wonder how serious they are about helping the poor Indian kids when they spend a lot of cash mailing gifts to dead people. All of the other charities I contacted thanked me and the letters stopped. Not the Labre School. . .

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

This organization is highly suspect. Any organization that does not clearly explain their mission does not deserve donations. Their solicitation letter makes no mention that they are a Catholic school. That's immoral. I will gladly help Indians, but not to any organization that doesn't clearly state in their literature that they indoctrinate others, especially children, using religion. This organization needs to be honest if they want my money.

Review from Guidestar

10

Donor

Rating: 3

I am not here or there on St Labre. I have donated and yes I get lotsa mailings. But if you read the reviews you will find one or two people are as dishonest as they say the school is. They have posted a similar post SEVERAL times. Who would give their parent with dementia or Alzheimer’s charity mail? Anyway the money goes to the school AND admin costs plus other Bishop sponsored projects. Nobody is getting rich from this and there is a school out there helping. I also wish they could reduce admin costs but would they collect as much? Probably not. As for being sued, I just ask where the Indian casinos send most of their money. Not enough to education I think.

18

Donor

Rating: 5

A few years ago I was invited to a breakfast on Chicago"s Navy Pier. I was a guest of the school as well as 400 other donors. I met with school administrators, teachers, students and other donors. I came away feeling very happy . Knowing that I met people who really care about the children at St. Labre. Some folks feel that the school spends too much money on fund raising. What they do seems to work. So I say don't fix something that is not broken. If you know how to raise money for a lower cost...TELL the school about your knowledge in fund raising. Don't just complain fix it. The tribe that has filed a suit against the school for using it's name...REALLY! And would like a share of the money the school raised.. I say to the elders of the tribe. The school is not for profit. The school provides food and schooling and a place to sleep for many. So do you want to start omitting some food or will it be clothing that that the kids need. So that the tribes treasure can grow. Shame on you all. Taking in a child who has only a shirt , pants and shoes is what the school is all about. I wish all of us could do what the school is doing. I cannot do it so I send what dollars I can to st. Labre so they can do what I cannot do alone. Thank OUR LORD for ST. LABRE INDIAN SCHOOL.

Review from Guidestar

17 Jim M.1

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been giving to St Labre for many years. I feel and always have that they're helping the terrible situation that is running rampant through the Indian nation. Time for the greedy chiefs to help their people instead of lining their own pockets. If I can help just one child become a better person then I'm all in!

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

This group sends relentless emails and now is calling my 90 yo father with Alzheimer's. I have called them many times, returned their solicitations with "NO" and "remove from mailing list" to no avail. Today I filed a complaint with the FTC. I urge you to do the same. They are a dishonest group.

14

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Since 2010, I have donated to several Native American organizations, ones I believe are worthy of, and good stewards of, my financial assistance. But I am sure that some of those organizations have sold my name and address to other groups, such as St. Labre Indian School. While some of those groups may solicit donations once in awhile, St. Labre is relentless in constantly sending me requests, bordering on harassment. Many times I have sent back the request, asking to be removed from their list. But that does not work - I still get the requests. Since March 2016, when I started keeping track, I have received St. Labre mailings on 3/7/16, 6/1/16, 6/21/16, 7/5/16, 10/15/16, 11/15/16, 12/13/16, 2/25/17, 3/15/17, 4/5/17, 5/4/17 and today (5/17/17). I wonder why they waste their donors' money, sending out these constant requests. I have let the school know I have no intention of ever sending them a donation. Maybe they do good work, but all these mailings leave a very bad taste in my mouth. I gave one star, but really, they deserve no stars.

18

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

My wife initially was moved by what appeared to be "thank you" letters on elementary ruled paper and crayola crayon art. We realized these letters are manufactured and the surprise they weren't hand done made me suspicious. I started doing some research, and Give.org by the BBB says this charity has refused it's attempts to verify it's legitimacy. I was puzzled by the obvious amount and quality of the school's advertising dollars and wanted to know we are giving to a cause, not a for profit organization. I feel they should comply with Give.org to validate themselves, before we continue donations. There are MANY charities in need, so I feel due diligence is not unreasonable.

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

My father had dementia and they were one of many that sent multiple solicitations and he responded with multiple checks. He moved to a memory care facility and they insisted I send a copy of my POA to verify. They were not protecting donors, only their opportunity to solicit the vulnerable elderly with dementia. Every other charity I contacted offered sympathy for my father's dementia and gladly removed him from their list, but not this one. Now I stuff their mailings back in their business reply envelopes with the request to remove him. Let them pay twice for the mailings if they don't want to honor a simple request. Two years have passed, I still get the mailings and now my father is deceased. I made one last attempt to get him off the list so I don't get these reminders in the mail. I fully expect them to ask for a copy of the death certificate now.

25

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I have been living here in Ashland for 16 years and I am an immigrant from Philippines. I have seen, how St. Labre cater to the needs of the Cheyenne and Crow kids wonderfully. St. Labre provides good education and provides healthy meals breakfast and lunch and snacks for the students. Besides that, St. Labre provides jobs to the Native Americans. They built a beautiful dormitory for the kids that live so far away from school. They assure that the environment is drug and alcohol free! They have great teachers and staff.

It's not fair to rate or judge this school according to the news you are reading or hearing from someone's sayings/stories. If you like, you need to come here and see it for yourself as the other donors did. I met some donors that came here and my husband and I thanked them for helping St. Labre. Lots of teachers and staff are came from out-of-state. Some said, that they would like to stay or work for the school for just a year or two, but lots of them end up staying for years and bought house close by to continue their mission as teachers/staff for the Native American kids.. The proof to it is my husband, taught here for 17 years and now he is the campus ministry coordinator. He loves teaching/working at St. Labre. In fact, he can go to the big universities/colleges and enjoy big salaries but we chose to live here. We love it here at St. Labre and our kids loving this school. I don't work at St. Labre but this mission school is doing a good job of not wasting your money that you donate for the Native American kids. Thank you so much for your donations. Every dollar that you donate will go towards for shaping the future of the Native American kids. Also, preserving the Cheyenne and Crow heritage/culture/customs/traditions.

18

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

30 Vanessa38

Donor

Rating: 1

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!

19

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

34 Michael407

Donor

Rating: 1

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.

54

Donor

Rating: 4

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.

59

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

40

Donor

Rating: 1

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.

25 Claudia32

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

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.

83

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

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