Author: jellspermann

Catholic Schools Week: How Your Donation Today Impacts Catholic Education Tomorrow

“I feel that it is very important that young women receive a good Catholic education. They are our future.”

– Cheryl Oram ’60, Blue Tie

Sponsored by the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), National Catholic Schools Week (CSW) is an annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States.

This year, NCEA created a new theme to celebrate this annual week “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” to include key teachings and values within Catholic schools across the nation. In addition, NCEA recognizes how parents make sacrifices to afford the cost of tuition as an investment in their child’s values, faith and academic development. Many families rely on financial assistance, scholarship opportunities and development support from schools to bridge the gap. As a new initiative to reconnect people with Catholic school communities, NCEA is launching the Many Gifts, One Nation: A Day of Giving to Catholic Schools to support the existing development and advancement efforts from Catholic schools. Scheduled for January 30, 2018, 9 AM EST to January 31, 2018 9 AM EST, this is a time for individuals to give back to local Catholic schools.

Since 1889, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet have ensured the graduates of St. Mary’s Academy were exposed to the core teachings of Catholic education. By educating young women to become lifelong learners and to serve the “dear neighbor”, St. Mary’s Academy is instilling character, compassion, and moral values in each student to fulfill its mission of developing the future women leaders of our communities.

St. Mary’s Academy invites alumnae, friends and local community members who have been impacted by Catholic school education to celebrate this national day of giving back by making a donation today to our school’s Greatest Needs Fund.


Help ensure the financial sustainability of St. Mary’s Academy!

Donors who invest in our school are essential to our future growth and ability to provide a learning environment with advanced technology, Christian service, student leadership and college preparation Continue reading

SMA Belles Class Reunions: Keeping the Sisterhood Alive!

One of the unique aspects about St. Mary’s Academy are the class reunions where our alumnae walk down memory lane to reflect on the wonderful time they had together during high school. Some reunions invite former teachers and staff who were an important part of their high school experience. It is a wonderful time for our alumnae to reminisce about their student days and update each other on what has happened since their last meeting.

SMA is proud of the increase of class reunions happening on our campus where our alumnae will walk the hallways, meet our current students, and learn more about the growth and enhancements happening at our school.

An annual reunion that SMA hosts on campus is the Golden Grads Luncheon where classes of 50, 60 and 70 years are invited back on Graduation day to not only celebrate their own graduation milestone, but to also welcome the graduating class as the newest members of our SMA alumnae family. For the recent graduation of the class of 2017, we were pleased to welcome back the Red Tie Class of 1967 celebrating their 50th anniversary, the Green Tie Class of 1957 celebrating their 60th anniversary, and the Red Tie Class of 1947 celebrating their 70th anniversary. Class years that celebrate their 50th reunion may host a weekend filled with events which includes attending Graduation and the Golden Grads Luncheon. As part of their 50th reunion, the Red Tie Class of 1967 participated in various activities throughout the weekend and through their planning and organizing was generous to include a $5,000 class gift to SMA’s Greatest Needs Fund.

This school year, our Golden Grads Luncheon will be on Saturday, June 9, 2018, and we are pleased to celebrate the graduation of the Gold Tie Class of 2018 and welcome home the Blue Tie Class of 1968, the Gold Tie Class of 1958, and Blue Tie Class of 1948. Invitations and more information will be sent to our Golden Grads in the New Year!

For more information on planning your reunion at St. Mary’s Academy or to invite St. Mary’s Academy staff/students to an off-campus class reunion, please contact Karen Vetter at or 310-674-8470 x322.

Below is a recap of class reunions that occurred during the Fall Semester:

September 16, 2017 – Green Ties of 1989 celebrated their 28th Anniversary at St. Mary’s Academy with a campus tour, tacos and margaritas in our school quad!

Continue reading

Thank You for Your Kind Donations, Love & Support

November is a time where our school receives support from many alumnae and friends who are committed to giving each SMA student access to quality education. Our SMA community – administration, faculty, staff, parents and students – are truly blessed and grateful for the ongoing support to preserving the legacy of our extraordinary school.

While reflecting on their experiences at St. Mary’s Academy, our Belles recognized the many gifts they have received and we wanted to share with you some of their thoughts:

“I am grateful for SMA faculty and staff for their support as we apply for college.”

 – Gold Tie, Class of 2018

“I am grateful for the Career Path Programs so I can explore different careers.”

– Red Tie, Class of 2019

“I am grateful for my Mom who found SMA and made my education possible for me.”

 – Blue Tie, Class of 2020

“I am grateful for caring teachers and guidance to live, love, learn and serve.”

 – Green Tie, Class of 2021

Today, you can give the gift of education by making a donation to our #GivingTuesday campaign. Help us reach our goal of $50,000 in student scholarships by November 28th! Your donation will be matched by a generous donor.

Show your B-E-L-L-E-S Pride by giving back today for our Belles to continue receiving a quality education rooted in spirituality, sisterhood and service!

Your support on #GivingTuesday – and every day – allows us to fulfill our mission.


Employee giving programs: What are they and how do they benefit St. Mary’s Academy?

What are corporate matching gift and employee volunteer grant programs?

Corporate matching gift programs are charitable giving programs created by corporations in which the company matches donations made by employees. You can double the impact of your donation by utilizing the matching gift programs that are in place at thousands of employers. The standard match is dollar for dollar up to a set limit that normally ranges between $2,000- 10,000 per employee each year.

Volunteer grant programs, also known as “Dollars for Doers” programs, are charitable giving programs setup by corporations in which the company provides a monetary donation to eligible nonprofits as a way to recognize employees who volunteer. If you volunteer with and work for a company with a volunteer grant program, you can request a grant for us which normally valued at $10-$15 per hour volunteered.

You can immediately assess your eligibility and gain access to detailed corporate giving information about your employer by searching our database of companies with matching gift programs.

See if your employer will match your donation by clicking on this button:

We provide you with as much of the following as possible:

  • Up-to-date company policies
  • Minimum volunteer hours required
  • Printed forms or links to the online submission process
  • Our nonprofit’s contact information (Tax ID, address, fundraising contact)

What is the history of employee giving programs?

Employee giving programs have been around since 1954, when the GE Foundation created the Corporate Alumni Program, the first employer gift-matching program. Today, the GE Foundation matches over $35 million annually to all 501(c)(3) organizations and accredited educational institutions (including K-12). Since then, thousands of companies have created similar employee giving programs.

How prevalent are corporate giving programs?

More than 65% of Fortune 500 companies and countless smaller employers offer matching gift or volunteer grant programs. Some even match funds raised for fundraising walks and go as far as providing each employee with a yearly unrestricted grant to allocate to a nonprofit of their choice.

For instance:

  • Verizon provides $750 grants for 50 volunteer hours and matches up to $5,000 annually
  • IBM provides $1,000 grants for 40 volunteer hours and matches up to $5,000 annually from current employees or retirees to schools and up to $1,000 annually to all other nonprofits.
  • BP, in addition to similarly generous matching gift and volunteer grant programs, allows every employee to allocate a $300 grant annually to any organization as well as matches funds raised for nonprofit walks, runs, etc.

Thousands of companies, representing more than 15 million people, offer matching gift or volunteer grant programs. We hope you’ll take a few extra minutes to see if your company offers employee giving grants – grants that could equal hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for us.

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