But for Jim and Marianne of Mesquite, Texas, working a part-time job is how they prioritize their passion to support St. Joseph’s Indian School.
“We both work a part time job so that we are able to share more with St. Joe’s,” commented Marianne. “Some of our friends think we’re crazy, but they are wrong.”
This commitment to St. Joseph’s Indian School was rewarded when the two were presented the Philanthropist of the Year award by the Coalition for Residential Education (CORE). The honor acknowledges outstanding supporters who show tireless dedication and steadfast contributions to an organization.
“The children are so hopeful,” said Jim. “St. Joseph’s Indian School makes a real difference to these young people it gives them an opportunity to be the best that they can be... It's very hard to explain why we have a passion for St. Joseph's, but if we had to say why, it's because we believe these children deserve a chance in life.”
Why St. Joseph’s Indian School?
“Many years ago we helped a family on Pine Ridge. Their children grew up and they didn't need assistance any longer, and we saw an article about the needs of St. Joseph’s Indian School.
Our first contact, Jackie, was so encouraging and patient with us. We started by collecting ‘gently’ worn clothing from our neighborhood… We'd receive a thank you letter from St. Joe's and it would encourage us to continue. In 1990, we made our first visit to St. Joseph’s; we could just feel the warmth and love on campus. It was summertime, and though there were only a few children around, everyone was so welcoming. It reinforced our commitment to keep giving! Inner city agencies seem to get a lot of attention and money from corporations and ‘big’ people. St. Joseph's serves the Native American community in a much more sparsely populated area...there are no big baseball or football teams with players who will donate to the school. Instead, it's just every day people who make do with a little less for themselves, so the children can have a chance. Really, that is all we are doing, and we are thankful that we have been given this opportunity. It's a true honor to be part of the St. Joseph's Indian School community.”
Jim & Marianne on Giving
“We believe we are on this Earth to make it a better place. We’ve never believed that giving is limited to wealthy people. All people can give if it's not money, or subsistence, it can be giving of a talent. "Giving" to us doesn't mean you have millions of dollars to donate, it means just doing the best we can to help. Whether it's a bag of M&Ms or a computer any donation helps to form the future of the children at St. Joseph's. The funny thing about giving to St. Joe's is that we have always gotten so much more back... The smiles on the faces of the children are priceless!”
Pilamaya - thank you - Jim and Marianne, for your tireless dedication to the Lakota students at St. Joseph’s Indian School! We are pleased to congratulate you as Philanthropists of the Year!
Awarded by the Coalition for Residential Education (CORE) Jim and Marianne accepted their award at the 2011 CORE National Conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania.