Sponsor a Child & Keep the Dream Alive
A FEW WORDS FROM
FATHER MICHAEL DOYLE
Some years ago, Sacred Heart School did a survey of its students, asking this question: “What do you like best about your school?” Eighty-five percent declared: “I feel safe here.” On the one hand, that was good to hear; on the other, it was very sad, because it indicated that our dear children did not feel safe in their own neighborhoods.
Children have only one chance to grow up and Camden is not an easy place to do it.
I grew up in a very safe place in Ireland, but I was burdened with a school experience that was mostly miserable because of the severity of physical punishment. I loved learning and hated school. Consequently, it is a great joy to me to see the happy faces of children in Sacred Heart School where they are treated with care and support in an atmosphere of warmth and appreciation.
Sacred Heart School is not only a center of education and development, but a place of prayer, where God is honored, where people are respected and God’s gifts of creation are not taken for granted.
Because all the students in our school are children of God, one can never do enough to educate them to their fullest potential now, and set them on the road to further development. The task this year of raising over 1 million dollars, beyond the tuition the parents pay, is daunting. It is one huge task in a little place in South Camden, NJ, where we, the people of Sacred Heart Church, with many friends and the help of God, struggle to achieve an “impossible task.” But the sweet faces of the children at our red door, trusting in us to keep the school open for them, is a great incentive.
We pray every day for the children that they will be safe, that Sacred Heart School will educate them in spite of the lure and the violence of gangs and drugs in this city.
This is surely one worthy cause in this world. Thanks be to God for our Camden children, for their parents, their teachers, their principal and the entire staff that serves them. God forever bless each one.
Pastor Emeritus of Sacred Heart Church and School
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
To become a Sponsor click the donate button below and write “School Sponsorship” in the Special Instructions box on the PayPal website.
To make a General Donation to the school click the donate button below and write “School” in the Special Instructions box on the PayPal website.
To make a make a donation to the Montessori Preschool click the donate button below and write “Montessori” in the Special Instructions box on the PayPal website.
If you would like to write a check instead you can send it, along with your address, to:
Sacred Heart Church
4th and Jasper Streets
Camden, NJ 08104
Please write in the memo line either “School Sponsorship“,”School“, or “Montessori” based on the type of donation you would like to be making.