St. Katharine of
Wayne, PA USA
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Friends of St. Martin de Porres School
Both St. Martin de Porres Parish and School face many challenges in carrying out their missions. This group was formed in 2002 with the goal of helping financially with the ever rising costs to educate the children. The school has approximately 420 students, over 90% of whom are not Catholic. The current tuition for one child at St. Martin's is $2,000, which is an overwhelming sum for a parent living in the poorest section of Philadelphia. However, this represents only 50% of the cost of educating the student.
Father Hallinan, the pastor, has been able to make up this deficit through many fundraising eforts, including the generosity of those donating to the annual collection here at St. Katharine's. The other major portion of the deficit has been made up by the Diocese which has contributed over $200,000 annually. The Diocese has indicated that based on the fact that they have almost 50 parishes to support, they are not able to continue supporting St. Martin's at this level.
Through the generosity of a core group of people, the group was initially able to raise $250,000 to fund the hiring of a reading teacher as well as provide for other immediate needs of the school. In addition, through the group's fund-raising efforts, $130,000 was donated in 2004 to help cover the deficit.
Based on financial reporting to the Diocese, it will be necessary to raise approximately $600,00 to support the vision of the school. The intent is to reach out to both the corporate and private communities in this endeavor, with the ultimate goal to create an endownment which would cover the shortfall. In the interim, the group is looking for individuaks who feel they can commit to the school in its initial needs as well as, hopefully, making a pledge to the endownment.
For those of you who own or manage firms that are in Pennsylvania or who do business in Pennsylvania, there is a program called the Pennsylvania Educational Improvements Tax Credits(EITC). This program allows you to direct your state taxes through the several 501 3 (c)'s, to target your aid not to the school but to the parents of the children in the form of scholarships.
There are many of you who are continuously asked to help various causes, all of which are worthy; but we hope that you would agree with us that having a direct effect on a child's life has no equal. The group's task is large, but it is confident that with the help of those who are able, we will be successful. Thank you for considering a pledge.