06/01/18

An Angel In Our Midst

By IMS Staff

St. Malachy Donor, Bob Morris, Receives 2018 IMS Angel of the Catholic School Award

The children of St. Malachy School most assuredly have an angel in Bob Morris. Bob’s quiet, behind-the-scenes support has made a tremendous impact over his 10-plus years of involvement with the school. He is an angel to our students in every way. There is no one more committed or generous than Bob Morris.

It is often said that faith must be put into action for it to come alive. Bob Morris is a spiritual man and a devout Catholic and at St. Malachy, we believe there is no better example of faith in action than Bob Morris’s work to benefit our students and no one more worthy recipient of this year’s Angel of the Catholic School Award.

In 2006, Bob was instrumental in launching the Sponsor-a-Student program (formerly called Adopt-a-Student), aimed at bridging the gap between the tuition our parents were able to pay and the actual cost of providing each child with a quality, values-based Catholic education. Over the course of a dozen years, Sponsor-a-Student has become a cornerstone of the school’s fundraising efforts, generating an astounding $1 million plus for the school. Bob has been there, every step of the way, to cultivate new donors and ensure that donors feel connected to the students and the mission of St. Malachy.

This powerful connection is forged by the picture of a child and personalized responses from each child delivered into the hands of a donor. Bob recruits and leads a group of dedicated volunteers who spend hours creating and mailing these photo cards each year. The bond is also strengthened by Sponsors’ Day, an annual event, first held in May 2007, where Bob welcomes donors to the school to meet, mingle and munch on lunch with students.

Over the course of the 2017 fiscal year, Sponsor-a-Student raised more than $175,000 for St. Malachy School and it is on track to match or surpass that figure by the close of the current fiscal year. In fact, the program is so successful that it has recently been adapted and rolled out to other schools in the network.

Bob’s work with Sponsor-a-Student is an invaluable gift to St. Malachy, but it is only one aspect of his commitment to the school and its students. He is a generous donor in his own right and a member of the school’s advisory board. Moreover, it is not unusual for Bob to arrive at school in the middle of the day with a carload of office supplies donated by colleagues or boxes of books collected by friends for the school library . “From the first day I met Bob,” recalls St. Malachy administrative assistant Mary Holmes, “he took an interest in everyone in our Malachy community. He always enters our building with a smile and with his hands full of donated goods for our students.”

Bob also hosts a monthly luncheon that features a guest speaker and brings donors together with our middle school student ambassadors from the 5th through 8th Grades . The adults share their high school, college and career experiences and encourage the students to talk about their own career aspirations and their plans for high school and college. These luncheons provide a vital opportunity for students to develop self-confidence as they interact with adults in a social setting while learning about a broad range of academic and career options.

Our 8th Grade student ambassadors are grateful for the opportunity and they have come to know Bob well thanks to this series of luncheons:

  • “Mr. Morris is always happy and loves to talk to us. Whenever I see him, he has a smile on his face.” – Janay
  • “He is a wonderful person who works his hardest for our school. We all appreciate him.” – Imari
  • “Mr. Morris is an outgoing person who asks us questions that get us out of our comfort zones.” – David
  • “He is a very caring person.” – Melanie
  • “Mr. Morris is the most loving person because of all the support he gives us.” – Joshmyr

Thank you, Mr. Morris, for being an angel to our St. Malachy students!