Verbum Dei was the fundraising darling of the Cristo Rey Network last year—all 37 schools. We began the year with normal goals that quickly turned lofty and then to very lofty—we went from $3M to $5M and then from $5M to $7M. During a normal year, we raise about $3M.
We did this for five reasons:
- Our students were directly impacted by COVID-19…more so than most other communities because of their parents’ employment positions—mostly service and blue collar—forcing them to break quarantine exposing them to greater risk
- Our students and their families are often directly affected by social injustices. Once, I asked individual students in an assembly to raise their hands if they’ve witnessed a family member or friend being shot by a gun. The number of hands raised was appalling—it was half.
- Our students’ families were directly impacted by the economic downturn because of their employment—many were fired
- We had the sense our Corporate Work Student Program (CWSP) would underperform due to the pandemic
- We knew our donors would stand behind us
Through all of this, it was demonstrated once again that Verbum Dei High School has the most amazing supporters of any organization—they give to us during prosperous times and in times when the economy is not doing well.
Last year, during the pandemic, our donors showed their steadfast support for our mission like never before—they gave upwards of $7M!! And, it couldn’t have been timelier, as CWSP, as predicted, came in well short of their typical year of $1.8M goal—they raised a little over $400K.
So, even with COVID-19, social injustice, economic downturn, and the CWSP shortfall, we were able to cover it all with a bit over to add to our reserves.
However, we are facing another shortfall in CWSP so we will need you all again. And, we are confident you will be here to support us again because we have the most dedicated donors to a most noble mission. Thank you for a very successful fundraising year and for your impending support this year.
Senior Vice President
P.S. Verbum Dei, on Thanksgiving, lost one of its greatest supporters in Vince McGuinness. He was one of the most committed and loyal benefactors to the school. Vince and Joy, his wife, were always looking for ways to further our mission. Whether it was being the cede donors to a new program; sponsoring an entire event; supporting the Adopt-A-Student Program; and, hosting an event in their lovely home in Newport Beach. More than that, Vince took me under his wing and taught me many things. Among them was how to work with people with different political views who yet want the same ultimate goal—a better and more just world. Simply put, Vince McGuinness was a great man, and the entire Verbum Dei community celebrates his life and contributions to this com