Project: Heal Camden

Inspired by Msgr. Michael Doyle’s monthly bulletin in February of 2007, the Domenica Foundation created “Project: Heal Camden”. Project: Heal Camden is the premier project of the Foundation. Within the city of Camden, five parochial grade schools educate over 800 children. These schools, Holy Name, Sacred Heart, St. Anthony’s, St. Cecilia’s, and St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral, offer Camden’s youth a safe and nurturing education – regardless of a family’s ability to pay. In order to educate their children, these schools seek sponsors for tuition. Without tuition sponsorships, the future of these schools would be in jeopardy.

Project: Heal Camden is our response to Msgr. Doyle’s cry for Camden, “We need new ideas. We need beauty around us. We need hope. We need investment that is more compassionate and less greedy.” Our approach is holistic – we recognize the opportunities our children need to succeed in Camden. They need exposure to the arts, music, and sports. They need a good and quality education in a safe and loving environment. They need beauty, fun, and a hope for the future. Join us on this road to hope… we can heal Camden, one child at a time.

How Does It Work?

Each year, Domenica Foundation launches its “Back to School” campaign for Project: Heal Camden. With each dollar that is raised in the Heal Camden fund, our Foundation matches that amount. All money raised to benefit the Heal Camden schools goes directly to the schools and children. At the start of each new school year, the schools received a $20,000 tuition assistance grant. The tuition assistance grant supports two types of situations. First, each year the schools face situations where students are unable to come back due to financial issues. Secondly, our schools often have to turn away new students because of lack of enough sponsorships. The Heal Camden tuition grant helps to support students in both situations. Over the years, this grant has admitted and supported over 50 new students into each school.Secondly, in the second semester of the school year, the schools apply for a “Wish List” project grant from the Heal Camden funds.

What is a “Wish List” grant?

Each year, the five schools apply for a Wish List Grant for up to an addition $20,000. This grant was inspired by the many needs for improvements and repairs to the school buildings. Each school faces the need for repairs to the infrastructure or interior of the building – many of which are not in the budget. To help with this need, Project: Heal Camden offers the schools a grant. Over the years, these grants have gone to support improvements in security issues, fire code violations and health codes. Most importantly, Wish List grants also allow the schools to update their technology programs. New computers and the use of SMART Boards have become a wonderful asset to our children’s education!

Who is the Catholic School Partnership?

As we began this process of supporting the Heal Camden schools, we realized that schools lacked a good system of communication about opportunities for fundraising or grants. Some schools had up to date computer labs, while others had none. Some schools shared an Art teacher, while some went without any enrichment in the arts. We realized we had an opportunity to work with the principles and community members to raise the schools up, together.

The Catholic School Partnership was established 2008 with the generosity and support of the Healey Philanthropic Group. Lead by its dynamic leader, Sr. Karen Deitrich, the Partnership is making amazing strides at connecting the schools to offer enriching opportunities from many community organizations!

Please visit:

Msgr Doyle’s Heal

Camden Letter

“Twenty-four years ago CBS 60 Minutes came to Sacred Heart and beamed the broken face of Camden to the nation. Among the many images projected, was a sign thirty square feet in size that we had nailed to a boarded up building near the church…”

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Msgr. Robert
McDermott’s “Why Camden?”

“This is a question that frequently divides us and always defines us as a Catholic community. It is a question asked by angry parents and parishioners in letters to local newspapers. I hear the comments from brother priests and colleagues within the diocesan structure. I ask it in my own heartas well.”

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