Help School Kids Reach for the Stars

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:34 pm


Like the U. S. Marine Corps, the Star of Hope Foundation (SOHF) is looking for a few good men and women.

But instead of Marines, we’re looking for businesspeople who want to help Milwaukee area students who don’t have adequate funds for their schooling.

The SOHF, our 5-year-old nonprofit organization, is composed of businesspeople dedicated to education and cognizant of the problems faced by children of low-income families and broken homes. To help those children, we formed our foundation to provide bridge grants to students in grades 1 to 12 who are recommended by their teachers and principals. 

The funds in our treasury enable the kids to attend parochial, private or public schools and participate in school activities without regard to age, gender, grade point average, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation or sexual orientation.

The money goes directly to the school and the school then awards

educational financial assistance for the child in need.

We believe the working poor is a much overlooked segment of our society and deserves educational financial assistance whenever possible. The funds we help raise give the children, their families and their teachers hope and tells them that someone really does care.

Our goal is to bridge a financial gap that can occur when a child is in school. For example, a student’s parochial school tuition might be paid in full, but if that child wanted to play in the school band and is unable to pay for an instrument, the SOHF will provide the finances to purchase that instrument. Likewise, if a public school student needs to purchase books and doesn’t have the money to do so, we will help.

Last year, we awarded $1,000 to an 11-year-old sixth-grader who had lost his father. The money helped pay for the student’s counseling, piano lessons, day care and health insurance.

We also awarded a $500 grant to a ninth-grade student. The family of this adopted child needed financial assistance. The father had lost his job and was trying to start a home-based business. Our grant helped them pay the child’s tuition to a private school.

Another $1,000 award last year went to a seventh-grade student at a local parochial school. The student’s father was a disabled veteran and the family’s monthly income was only $1,200. The award money was devoted to paying school tuition and transportation. The student’s teacher had been paying the $20 per week bus fare out of her own pocket.

Through the voluntary efforts of our members, the SOHF has minimal administrative costs. This allows donations to directly impact the children.

To raise funds, we hold events such as our golf outing held last July. That event raised $7,000. Another fundraiser that we are planning is a wine-tasting party to be held on Oct. 6 at the Villa Filomena on Milwaukee’s East Side.

Over the lifetime of the SOHF, we have awarded grants totaling $85,000 to more than 90 students from working poor families. 

In 2005, we continue to solicit tax-deductible contributions to allow as many children as possible to reach for the stars. We hope you can help.

The SOHF needs a few good men and women. If you’re interested in joining or helping, please contact me at (414) 581-4011or

Ray Schneider is the president of the Star of Hope Foundation.

August 19, 2005, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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