Magazine article Momentum

A "Work of the Heart" That Wows the Recipients

Magazine article Momentum

A "Work of the Heart" That Wows the Recipients

Article excerpt

Wow! Can you imagine getting a call stating that an anonymous donor wished to give $120,000 during the course of a school year to employees of Catholic schools in a diocese? That is exactly what happened in the Diocese of Dallas, Texas, during the summer of 2005 when the president of The Catholic Foundation, Ed Schaffler, called. He told me that the "Work of Heart" award would honor up to 20 school employees with $500 per person each month and two employees with $5,000 each in May and December.

At a time when Catholic schools are facing budget difficulties and Catholic school employees are experiencing fewer salary increases, an anonymous donor steps up to validate the commitment individuals make to the church by working in a Catholic school environment. A program like this reenergizes all Catholic school employees. A principal in the diocese said, "Recognition by peers, parents, etc. is the best thing that we can get to encourage us to do more and do it even better."

This is an exciting program designed to honor excellence in and commitment to Catholic education by those who accept the invitation of Catholic school employment. "There are many deserving people serving in Catholic schools," said Mr. Schaffler, "and we are so happy to be a part of a generous benefactor's recognition and gifting to these people." The benefactor wants to reward individuals who are true "Work of Heart" people. One school employee said, "Just the mere fact that someone would provide this much money for recognition is recognition of each of us for the work that we do."

How does the program work? Anyone can nominate a Catholic school employee (full or part-time, administrator, teacher, support staff) for the award. The benefactors are looking for the unsung heroes, whether teacher, administrative assistant or maintenance employee, cafeteria worker, teacher aid or administrator.

Recipients will be selected from written nominations based on the following criteria:

* Traditional merit, including tenure and leadership

* Enthusiastic instruction

* Individual and/or unexpected acts of kindness or charity

* Christian example

* Mentoring

* Dedicated service, exceptionally conscientious attention to duties

* Simply going the extra mile for an individual student, family or the community

The benefactors hope the program will encourage stakeholders of Catholic schooling to become watchful for potential recipients and then take a few minutes to make a nomination. …

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