by Nick Vendikos
Director of Development
As my friends and colleagues know, I am obsessed with motivational quotes.
So for this year-end New Developments column, who better than to find inspiration from than our Holy Father, Pope Francis? While explaining charity, the Pope said, “True charity requires courage: let us overcome the fear of getting our hands dirty so as to help those in need.”
At Futures, our courage is from you and the many like-minded individuals like you who give of themselves in order to provide opportunities for the children in our Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queens. As I type this column, we are all preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas. But in all the hustle and bustle of year-end events, parties, shopping — the list is never ending — we sometimes forget about each other.
My partner and close friend, John Notaro, who is the Director of Operations and Programs at Futures, is always in tune with our statistics and offering guidance on how we can maximize our efforts. While we raise about $8 million annually to provide financially disadvantaged students the opportunity to obtain an excellent Catholic education, that number just scratches the surface of what the families entrusted to our care truly require, with a staggering $11 million in scholarship need going unfulfilled annually.
On this website, you will read about the overwhelming success of our recent Annual Scholarship Fund Dinner which raised a record $2.2 million and included an Angels auction which raised over $225,000 in under 10 minutes. Those are breathtaking totals! However, we need to do more.
Our students and their families need us. These are adults like you and me, who only want to provide the very best opportunity (again and again that word), for their children. And they turn to our Catholic academies and schools in Brooklyn and Queens. They realize that Catholic education trumps poverty.
How do we close the gap?
Together, we must spread the word about Futures not only to worthy recipients but to potential donors. Because of your generous support, nearly 6,000 Catholic school students received scholarships this year. In 2015, we need more. So besides your generous contributions, we need you to be an advocate of Futures and Catholic education. Spread the word. Don’t be shy. Tell your friends and family about Futures and how Catholic schools are outperforming their public and charter school counterparts.
It is time that Futures is no longer the best kept secret in our Diocese and city. It is time for us to be proud of what is accomplished inside our classrooms. All that kids need are opportunities. So to provide a chance during the year-end rush, I ask you to consider any and all of the following:
Click here to make a gift. If you already have done so this year, thank you! I hope you will consider making another gift. But this time in honor or memory of a favorite teacher who made an impact on your life;
Send an email to your contacts with our information and ask them to help as well. If need be, we can draft it for you. Just let us know;
Consider hosting a reception for friends and colleagues and invite us to attend. We can assist in spreading the word and reaching out to new people;
Call me at 718-965-7308 ext. 1624 regarding a planned gift, whether it be a will or life insurance policy. We promise there are vehicles available to you where a legacy gift is affordable and convenient.
Finally, roll up your sleeves and get involved. As our Holy Father stated, we all need to get our hands dirty. Futures needs you. More importantly, the youngsters in our Catholic schools are looking for you to help.
Please don’t let them down.