Received a thick packet in the mail yesterday for the first time. Don't know how I got on their list. Way too much unwanted merchandise, so wasteful. Made me suspicious, so I checked GuideStar...no information on the organization, but a link took me here. Lots of negative reviews going back some years, and then, suddenly a whole bunch of positive reviews, all dated in May or June of 2017. Makes me even more suspicious. I will not donate to this organization and hope I can get them to take me off their list.
Your concern on this important issue is appreciated. We have tested many different forms of mailings and the response to the gifts we send out has proven beneficial. They are also very supportive, monetarily, to our cause and make direct donations for the education and welfare of the Lakota children at St. Joseph’s Indian School. You can always read more about our organization on the Council of Accreditation's website http://coanet.org. Please call us at 800-341-2235 if you have questions or would like us to remove you from our mailing list.
Review from Guidestar
I have been following and donating to the Saint Joseph Indian School for many years. In an imperfect world, I have come to admire the work they do. A couple of years ago I was able to make the long trip out to the annual Pow Wow and that solidified my belief in Saint Josephs. Seeing the children and their families in a traditional environment was an amazing experience for me, but that is not the important thing. What I found most amazing was the link between the application of what IS today's world, with that of the Lakota history and spirituality. It made my heart feel good to witness it. The downside is that, to me, the Lakota seeme like a People that are both here and gone t the same time. They live in a world that IS because they must physically, but at the same time they are not present, but are in a remote spiritual world that is no more.....And we, collectively must bear the responsibility for that.
As to the campus, it was wonderful, modern and clean. The dormitories are designed as little mini Lakota villages and the children have enough room to do their work and still have some privacy. The school buildings, gym and fields are all excellent too. The best part of the campus though are the lakota structures. There is a medicine Wheel , a ring of giant oak tree, a sweat lodge and a magnificently designed Chapel of Our lady of the Sioux, including all carved wood statues, crucifix etc in a warm welcoming setting. Again, and not to go on and on, but I feel like I got more than I gave in my Saint Josephs experience. I will return again some day and hopefully be ablee to give of my time. The Lakota deserve at least that.
Thank you so much for your kind words. It is always wonderful to hear when supporters are able to make it to campus. By supporting St. Joseph's Indian School, you are helping Native American children in need reestablish pride in the Lakota (Sioux) culture by learning the Lakota language, studying Native American culture and healing the broken family circle from which they come. You are welcome back anytime!
This is a program that works within the community that it respects and serves. I am very confident that my support is used to actually improve the lives of the children and to provide them the opportunity to succeed, grow and become all that they can be. The smiles on the faces and the stories the children share let me know that they are doing well. My mom was a semi orphan raised in an Irish convent school in the early part of the last century. She would have been so happy to have the love and care that this program provides.
Wopila tanka - many thanks - for your support! Appreciation of the children's cultural heritage is infused in our daily routine both at school and in the homes. St. Joseph’s Native American Studies classes focus on Lakota language, culture and traditions. We have cultural experts on staff and also regularly invite Lakota (Sioux) elders and advisors to assist with ceremonies like Inipi, a purification rite, on campus. St. Joseph's also operates outreach programs on three reservations. We have a shelter for battered women, provide counseling services, run soup kitchens, maintain and run thrift stores and other service programs to help the Native American people.
as a person with mixed blood (my mothers people are Iriquois) it is VERY IMPORTANT not to let heritage die. the priests and teachers at the school are for the children and their families. and KEEPING the way of life for all to remember through heritage. i wish we had someone to care about our heritage as eastern indians like the lakota have. keep up the good work. elizabeth
Preserving and sharing the Lakota (Sioux) culture is a core part of our mission at St. Joseph's Indian School. Thank you for your comments and support!
I have not been able to visit St. Joseph's School but donate an amount of my small funds to this mission because of what I view as excellent organization, a well-trained and dedicated staff, and the unfeigned happy, shining, healthy faces of the children in the regular pictures sent to me. when I think of the difficult circumstances of the Native American lives in our country, especially on the arid lands of the reservations where they were forced to live so long ago, I want to do my part, no matter how small, to help this mission move forward. I am grateful to the Director and staff of St. Joseph's who work so lovingly to change the present and future of such beautiful, precious children!
Thank you for your wonderful words and support! You truly do make a difference in the lives of the Lakota Sioux boys and girls. Please visit our website for pictures and updates as well! http://www.stjo.org
The Lakota (Sioux) children are blessed by your friendship. Your gift makes a positive difference in the lives of Native American youth and families because of you, we can provide boys and girls with vital services for future growth and success. Your help ensure we can continue caring for the American Indian children in need.
It is an honour and privilege - in a very small way - to be a part of St. Joseph's Indian School these past years. Both in my study and on my refrigerator, are some very lovely drawings that I receive and pictures, especially of graduations, which are placed alongside those of my grandchildren. God bless all at St. Joseph's, the cared-for and the caregivers. Peace and Blessings.
Thank you for your kind words and support. We are truly grateful for the blessings you share with the Lakota children. Donors like you are so important to the work we do at St. Joseph's.
The monies donated to St. Joseph's Indian School give the Native American Children an Education, Food, Clothing and Shelter, in a POSITIVE Environment. These young Lakota (Sioux) young people are taught their heritage, language, respect to their Elders and the Teachers, and they graduate to be wonderful citizens within this Country and within the Reservations. What a wonderful experience to meet such wonderful young people and their teachers and the administrative staff. St. Joseph's Indian School do more for the betterment of these young people, than what the politicians and bureaucrats of Washington, D.C. do for this country.
Skennenkowa (Mohawk Language: May You Have Great Peace)
Rev. Dr. Ronald L. "Chief Grey Eagle" Sims
Ordained Minister of the Gospel of Christ Jesus and Holy Man Chief.
My wife and I carefully choose a charity "of the year " to support based on our interests and the way funds are put to use (majority going to those in need ). After careful research we felt St. Joseph's fit the bill perfectly!
Native Americans, especially children, are a largely ignored group and St. Joseph's provides a wide array of services such as food, clothing, housing, schooling,etc. and has been doing so for many years. We will continue to support their work and encourage others to do so as well.
St. Joseph's Indian School is providing much needed services for the children in their care. I have not visited the school (I live in Florida) but believe in its mission. A friend of mine who is 1/2 American Indian pointed me to this charity. I have been a monthly donor since then.
I have many, many years of expertise working with non-profit entities. Sadly, there are so many, with so little money to go round. Still, those who seek help need it, and where else can they go for it? These children are being given a chance, truly, to learn how to succeed and survive in life. Each donation helps keep them on a path of success. They need the help of teachers, counselors, volunteers, whatever it takes to give them the will, to accept the challenge, with support, every step of the way, until total success is achieved. These are children, the future leaders. If they are up for the rigorous challenges that face them, willing to do whatever it takes to achieve the benefits of all the services, how can we not help? Believe me, they will grow up with a sense of pride that they will carry on throughout their adult lives and will pass it on to others. This is a wonderful legacy to each other in life. I give what I can, for it is not the amount that matters, it is the fact that I do so, knowing the powerful outcome it will make.
Give a child a chance to have every opportunity to have a fair chance in life by contributing to this fine school.
I have supported St. Joseph's Indian School for several years. I am impressed with the way they educate and support the whole child. Although I am unable to visit St. Joseph's I feel comfortable with their philosophy and with the way the place has grown over the years.
I love seeing the photos of the children and hearing about their activities.
I contacted the charity in Sept 2016 to have my name removed from their mailing list, stating they spend way too much money on fundraising (25%) leaving only 58% for their programs. I stated I would like to see them spend less on fundraising and more on the children.
The chaplain responded stating he would remove my name. He also challenged my statistics with a lengthy explanation on how I was inaccurate. Funny thing is I pulled the data right off their annual report posted right on their website. So in effect this guy was arguing with his own statistics and statistics don't lie.
I contacted him again in March 2017 to inquire why I was still receiving mailings. I told him I'm sure the children would rather he put the money towards them rather than unwanted mailings and postage. Never heard back from him and the junk mail--dream catchers, notepads, stickers, calendars, postcards--continues to bombard my mailbox. The chaplain obviously didn't like the fact I was educated on reading financial statements. So in affect he's going to punish me with his passive aggressive nature by not honoring my request to have my name removed. In the end, the children are the ones that lose. So sad.
I am sorry that you feel we have ignored your request. If you would give us a call at 800-341-2235 we can certainly get you removed from our mailing list. We receive a lot of mail and things do, at times, get missed. Our cost to raise a dollar for fiscal year 2016 was approximately $.32. Donor development is the process and programs required to find new donors. Because of generous friends, we can reach out to Lakota (Sioux) children and their families since 1927. Admission and all services to Native American children and families has remained free. The average cost is $50,040 per year per child to take care of all individual needs. That breaks down to about $195 per day per child. These costs include the salaries of all the teachers, counselors and support personnel needed to run the school and its programs along with maintenance. We have over 215 students each year, so we need a large staff. Again, please call us if you would like to discuss our finances or want to be removed.
We received a dreamcatcher and cards in the mail from them...thought it was junk mail. Few weeks later we received a call thanking us for our donation. Called them back to ask what donation they were talking about and they said someone mailed them $35 cash with our name and number. I said I didn't know who would have done that and asked to be removed from their mailing list. Sounds like a scam!
We apologize that there may have been confusion. We do make thank you calls on a regular basis and sincerely just want to say thank you to those who support our mission. You can certainly give us a call at 1-800-341-2235 if you have concerns or questions. Our school has been open since 1927 and we certainly are not a scam. You may visit our website http://www.stjo.org for further information. St. Joseph’s Indian School is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) regarding our finances and their website is http://coanet.org
This nonprofit sends my 85 year old father endless amounts of worthless items in their efforts to raise money for funds. All of it tacky and cheap. I have been u successful at preventing this nonprofit from its dubious direct marketing efforts. I would love to see the cars that its management and staff director drive.
Received a phone call from someone asking for myself and husband by name. He proceeded to thank us for our donation to the St Joseph Indian School. We have never made this donation(he wanted to argue the fact) and he seemed to be asking for additional money. I hope that others aren't being preyed on and duped by this scam.
We apologize that there was any confusion. We make thank you calls on a regular basis. We are not calling for more money, we sincerely just want to say thank you to those who support our mission. You can certainly give us a call at 1-800-341-2235 and clear up any confusion. If you did not make the donation and we some how have your number, we can update that we do not call again.
Review from Guidestar
I have no problem donating to a charitable need, however when I looked St. Joseph's up I immediately saw that this organization either didn't respond to or outright declined a request from the Better Business Bureau. Why? I'm assuming it's because this charity has something to hide. Perhaps St. Joseph's is proud of the money brought in, but not exactly willing to allow an outside entity to analyze how it's being spent? This is a direct quote from the BBB. "BBB encourages charities to disclose accountability information beyond that typically included in financial statements and government filings in order to demonstrate transparency and strengthen public trust in the charitable sector."
Thank you for your comment. St. Joseph’s Indian School is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) regarding our finances. We believe it is a better use of time and resources to submit to a comprehensive review of our organization, rather than the limited assessment provided by the Better Business Bureau. The evaluation with COA includes visits to the school, interviews with staff and families of the children, and evaluates more than just our finances. More information can be found at www.stjo.org/bbb. You may call us at 1-800-341-2235 and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
I find it very offensive to name the school St. Joseph's Indian School. If you know your history, you would know why they are referred to as Indians not natives or their tribal names- story of Columbus. Also the fact that it's run by a priests? This sounds like exploitation to me. Columbus and other settlers brought what they felt is the only true religion and forced it on the natives, then took their land, and disregarded their culture. That's a slap in the face of the natives. The catholic priest is exploiting these kids and gaining from their heritage. Please help the native children retain their culture and identity and let's stop giving to these opportunistic organizations.
Thank you for your comment. Since 1927, St. Joseph's has served the needs of the Lakota (Sioux) people in South Dakota. The topic of changing the name of our organization has come up in the past. We are grateful to have the input and support of the families and communities we serve in not changing our name at this time. It's also important to know our students are not required to be Catholic to attend. We are blessed to work hand in hand with families who enroll their children at St. Joseph's for a variety of reasons. Additionally, Lakota culture plays a strong role in all aspects of our curriculum with students learning the language, traditions and values of their people from elders and Native American teachers. To learn more about our cultural programs, please visit www.stjo.org/culture.
Like perhaps most of you I'm a generous non-profit supporter who gets St Joseph's Indian School mailings. Check out the CNN report. It tells the complicated story of this school with happy-looking children, generic student pleas for help, and a $30 million fundraising budget. I've chosen not to donate.
Thank you for your comment. In light of the CNN news story about our school, I want you to know that you didn’t make a mistake in supporting our school. Your gifts were used for actual needs and your impact is making a difference! The stories you read in our mailings are true and we are going to keep serving the Lakota (Sioux) children in our care as we have for over 89 years. Please visit www.stjo.org/cnn for clarification about CNN’s visit to our school and key points they didn’t mention. I thank you for your kind understanding as we deal with this poor representation of our school.
I have donated many years to this organization. They keep sending me 'junk' that I don't want/need...stickers, note pads, cards, address labels, dream catchers, etc...a lot of money could be saved if they would stop this practice and instead spend it on the children, etc
Until I see a full financial statement disclosed I am stopping my contributions.
We apologize that you do not wish to receive the gifts we send. It is one way of saying thank you to our donors. Anyone may contact us about their mailing preferences and we will honor their wishes. You can review our financial information at www.stjo.org/report.
Review from Guidestar