Online Donors Lend Support to Operation Upgrade
They’re celebrating at The Catholic Foundation and for good reason. The group’s #iGiveCatholic campaign — a 24-hour online giving campaign — netted $1,357,271 for 112 of the city’s Catholic organizations, including Jesuit High School. The event started at midnight on Tuesday, Dec. 1 and concluded at midnight on Wednesday, Dec. 2.
The staggering total included almost $4,000 from 48 donors for Jesuit’s Operation Upgrade program, the school’s academic outreach initiative for talented young men from disadvantaged backgrounds. The program serves three purposes: to serve economically disadvantaged, at-risk male youths, to afford Jesuit students the opportunity to learn and share the blessing of their education with others through service, and to identify students who have the potential to thrive at Jesuit High School or other quality schools in the New Orleans area.
Three seniors and seven underclassmen, all current students, participated in Operation Upgrade before enrolling at Jesuit.
“The program was great,” said senior Lee Jackson who went through the program after fifth, sixth, and seventh grades. “I wouldn’t be here without Operation Upgrade. Thank you to everyone who supported the program.”
Operation Upgrade is coordinated by Jesuit theology teacher Mr. James Michalik who offered a special thank you to donors. “These extra dollars will allow us to enhance our summer program and, perhaps, even add new students.”
The Foundation’s goal for the first ever day of Catholic giving was $500,000. “A lot of people put forth plenty of effort to make this possible and successful,” said Catholic Foundation director Charlie Heim, a Jesuit alumnus from the Class of 1959. “Jesuit and others pushed important causes that connected with their constituents and for that we should all feel grateful, especially the beneficiaries of that generosity.”