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Anonymous donor gives $1 million to Philadelphia Catholic school

SCHOOL DESK

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Zelda Caldwell - published on 12/25/20 - updated on 12/25/20

The much needed donation will help families in need afford a parochial school education.

A Catholic school in Philadelphia announced that an anonymous donor has contributed $1 million in tuition assistance. The surprise gift will  make it possible for needy families to send their children to the school.

The $1 million donation to the St. Francis de Sales School was made through Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (EITC and OSTC) programs, reported CatholicPhilly.com.

The school’s principal, Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister Mary McNulty, said she was both “very shocked and happy” to receive the gift, according to the report.

“I felt like God’s blessings were just falling on us,” she said. “I knew how many children and families would be so overjoyed at the news.”

St. Francis de Sales School serves 462 children in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Tuition at the school is about $5,000 per student per year, and 93% of the students receive financial assistance.

The anonymous gift comes at a time of great need, said Sister Mary.

“We have children who desperately need this support,” she said. “Their parents do not want them take them out of this school; they want them here.”

Jim Downey, development manager of Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS), presented the check for $1 millionto the school at a socially-distanced ceremony on December 15. BLOCS is a charity that provides tuition assistance to needy students in the Philadelphia area. Businesses who contribute to the charity’s fund can receive tax credits through the EITC program.

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