Isn’t it just amazing how sometimes a plan comes together?! And how quickly it can happen? Don’t you find yourself saying, No way!? St. Joseph’s Development Office just had one of those moments.
At St. Joseph’s Indian School, we don’t just provide for the education and basic needs of poverty-stricken Native American children – we make dreams come true. However, we couldn’t do it without the generous support of our many friends, our tiyospaye – extended family – of donors who want to make a difference to a Lakota child.
Recently, we reached out to such friends – a foundation in California whose last gift to St. Joseph’s Indian School arrived in October 2009. We were challenged to find a correct phone number for the foundation and ended up leaving a voice message with an attorney, assuming we’d run into a dead end.
However, in a few days we received a phone call from a very excited donor who was anxious to hear how things were going at St. Joseph’s Indian School.
Here’s where the story gets interesting…
As we described our plans to open another home on our campus for our Native American students this fall and supply an additional second grade class, we could hear her excitement. She then inquired about other projects, so we described our plans to completely renovate our playground. At this point, the donor’s enthusiasm bubbled over! She asked that we send her a detailed proposal.
We cautioned her that it was a very large project including new basketball courts, a walking track, a new play structure and a rubber tile surface covering nearly 10,000 square feet – costly, but a safety requirement for the children.
We stressed that the project would only be possible with many gifts of all sizes. Unperturbed, she asked how quickly we could get a proposal together for her.
Eight business days after sending a proposal, we heard back from this spirited donor, indicating a check was on the way that would cover 45% of the project! No way!
When we explained that we were overwhelmed by the size of her gift, that our average gift is around $21, this donor replied, “I know – that’s the size of gift I used to make.”
We aren’t in the fundraising business. We are in the Making Dreams Come True business. Not only for the Lakota (Sioux) students and their families we are privileged to serve, but also the donors with whom we are blessed to work.
Pilamaya – thank you – for being part of our work and making dreams come true!