Inspired by the #GivingTuesday tradition that now inaugurates the annual holiday season of giving we, at Saint Charles, are conducting, this month, a #GivingDecember in hopes that we can close out the year by closing out some financial hardships that have been carried here for many years. Nearly forty percent of all charitable giving takes place in the last two months each year and nearly fifteen percent takes place in the final week of December. If you are in a position to give at the end of this year and have not yet determined a worthy charity, I ask that you please consider us to be that charity. There are two big items for which we are raising funds: 1) new construction and renovations, and 2) sponsorship of student-scholars at Borromeo Academy.
The total cost of construction and necessary maintenance renovations is about $3 million. The renovations encompass the replacement of all school windows over a two-year period, replacement of roofs on the church, Commons building, lower school, and rectory; they involve improvements to security and remodel of the school lobby, including the principal’s office and faculty conference room. They also incorporate re-opening the second floor as an arts center with student chapel, library, youth lounge, music and art rooms. With all of these improvements, combined with the renovations to the rectory donated by those beyond our parish, and the church gathering space addition and new parish office, we raised all but about $350,000. We are following-up with parish households that have not yet contributed to gain their participation. With their help and yours—and a generous challenge gift of $25,000—we hope to close this gap.
As regards the other big-ticket item, we embrace the Catholic mission to educate every child whose family desires it, even if they can’t afford to contribute money. The annual per pupil cost to educate a child here is roughly $6,300. Most of our families’ tithe (proportional contribution based on income) does not come close to this amount. As the parish subsidizes the school as best we can, it is our hope through #GivingDecember to sponsor seventeen students whose families do as much as they can but are not able to offer much. So far, we have been able to sponsor five of these scholars and are anxious to gain sponsors for the other twelve.
There are numerous ways to donate beyond writing a check. Those 70½ years or older can give, tax-free, from their IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) for required distributions. Those who work for companies with a matching-gifts program can double their contribution. And, of course, we accept other possessions from which donors are willing to part: personal property, real property, real estate, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and gifts of grain. Our parish and school also invite memorials and scholarships to be established in honor of loved ones. If you are interested in pursuing any of these means for donating, contact Mike McDaniel at our Saint Charles parish office: 816-436-0880.
For many years, our parish and school have operated at significant deficits. Slowly but steadily over the past two years, we are turning that around and moving toward a state of self-sustainability. The generous spirit of December will be a major step in getting there. If you are willing to assist us with this end-of-year effort, click here; you can also monitor our progress as we advance through December by visiting our website. Thank you.