Program helps students who would not otherwise be able to afford a Notre Dame Prep education.
Since 2004, Building Bridges and alum Paul Housey ('88) has partnered with Notre Dame Preparatory School to sponsor dozens of high school students, connecting them with high-quality education and putting them on the path to a college education.
Yesterday, Nov. 30, Building Bridges received a very large boost when the local nonprofit 100 Businesses Who Care donated $36,000 to the program.
According to Housey, who is a member of 100 Businesses Who Care, the group gets together twice a year to choose a charity to receive the largess donated by the businesses and business owners.
"100BWC only started about eight months ago," he said. "The idea is to bring together 100 (or more) businesses who are led by people looking to make a difference or impact in the local community. Each member is committed to donating $500 at each meeting, after which three members who put their name in a hat are chosen to present for five minutes on a charity they would like the group to support."
He said that after those presentations, the group holds a private ballot to vote on one winner. Then all members write a check to that organization.
"In the second-ever meeting of the group, Building Bridges was the winner," he said. "We had 72 members already by the second meeting resulting in $36,000. Someday we will have 100 businesses participating and likely many more. We are looking for new members. In fact, I added one at the check presentation today at Notre Dame – one of my good friends and a BB advocate."
Housey, who also is co-founder of ISTO Advisors, a financial management firm based in Troy, said he started Building Bridges so that kids who haven’t had a fair chance for a good education can have the opportunity to get one. “So we get good and generous people together as donors or advocates to inspire these kids to believe in themselves, and once they believe in themselves, the sky’s the limit.”
The Building Bridges organization’s work has included helping to educate children through its school-based program at Notre Dame, ongoing mentoring activities with children at Christ Child House in Detroit and an annual holiday gifting program that provides hundreds of gifts to children whose families cannot afford even a single gift.
NOTE: Check out the video below for more on Building Bridges.
“Notre Dame Prep and Building Bridges truly have a unique and meaningful partnership,” said Housey, who was named this past summer as one of three national finalists for the Catalyst Award sponsored by Invest in Others. Housey was honored for his work with Building Bridges, which received a $5,000 donation from the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation.
Housey said he is committed to spending every dollar Building Bridges raises on scholarships and related programming; he and his wife personally finance all other organizational overhead expenses. His enthusiasm for education inspires annual fundraising events and encourages the Board members he has assembled over the past decades to also give generously.
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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org