This year we need to raise over 1 million dollars. We need 3350 Sponsors.
It is not easy to grow up in Camden, one of the poorest cities in our nation. Since the closing of the New York Shipyard in 1967 and the flight of thousands of city residents to the suburbs, Camden has been battered, abused and largely forgotten, even by its very close neighboring communities.
Yet, while thousands left, many stayed, determined to make their lives in this city that was their home and, in many cases, home to their parents and grandparents as well. But for many, it was terribly difficult. Businesses closed, jobs became scarce and families were fractured under the weight of the hardship. Parents struggled to provide for and protect their children.
The parents of Camden’s children have the same dreams as parents everywhere –that their children will be healthy, happy and safe; that they will have the opportunity to get an education in a nurturing environment, and that a bright future awaits them. And the children dream, too – of friends and fun, school, college, a career, a family. Just like children everywhere around the country.
At Sacred Heart School we work hard to keep our children safe. We encourage and foster our students’ dreams. Thirty years ago when Catholic schools in Camden were closing one by one, Father Michael was determined to keep Sacred Heart School open for the neighborhood children of Camden, regardless of race, color or religion. Most of Sacred Heart’s children are not Catholic.
And so, our Sponsorship Program was born. Father Michael started writing his monthly letters where he told people about our school and our children; about Camden and its desperate problems. He asked people to help by sponsoring a child for $300 a year. At first the letters went to a few hundred people. Now each month over 3,000 people receive the letters, and from these a huge number become Sponsors. For these thirty years Sacred Heart Church has kept the Sponsorship Program alive through Father Michael’s letters and an enormous amount of volunteer time by Sacred Heart parishioners who embrace the mission to keep our school open.
The cost for sponsoring a child has never increased in thirty years. We continue trying to involve more and more people. All our families pay tuition. The Sponsorship Program allows us to keep our tuition low and affordable for our families. Without the Sponsorship Program the red doors of our school could not open each September. This year we need to raise over 1 million dollars beyond what our parents pay in tuition to keep our school open for the children of Camden.. We need 3350 Sponsors. Thirty years ago Father Michael knew in his heart that if he reached out and asked people to help, they would. He was right.
We ask you to become a Sponsor. Widen the circle. Keep our school open. The importance of your gift is beyond measure. How can one determine the value of a child’s dream?
BECOME A SPONSOR
You can become a Sponsor for less than 82 cents a day, just $300 a year.
As a Sponsor you will be sent a card with a photo and a short biography of the student you are sponsoring. Your refrigerator door will become a billboard in America for our dear children. You will be invited to visit us during Sponsor’s Week in May, when you will have the opportunity to have lunch with your student and attend a musical celebration performed as a “thank you” for the generosity of our Sponsors.
You can become a Sponsor with:
A single contribution of $300
Or three contributions of $100
Or six contributions of $50
Or twelve $25 contributions
Your sponsorship is the only way Sacred Heart School can continue to educate the children of Camden. Send your check along with your address to:
Sacred Heart Church
Attn: Gail Gooney
1739 Ferry Avenue
Camden, New Jersey, 08104
Please mark your check memo: School Sponsorship