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Project reaches into your pocket
Beware of an organization called Project Reach! They are from the Seattle area and bring “volunteers” to Whidbey Island claiming to raise money for domestic violence victims. However, none of the money stays in our community and there is question as to the legitimacy of the organization. Their method is simple: They come to Whidbey Island, take your money and return to the Seattle metro area and who knows where your money ends up?
This past weekend members of the group set up tables outside the Oak Harbor Walmart. They were collecting funds and donations alleging they were for domestic violence victims. I watched in horror as I witnessed so many people, including children, hand them money. Then I felt helpless when I talked with the assistant manager at Walmart and requested she ask them to leave because they could show no proof of being a real charity and she told me she couldn’t do anything about it. Does this mean anyone can raise money at our local businesses? Is there no accountability?
In these difficult economic times, we rely on the community to support our agency through donations. I am deeply saddened that this organization has been deceitful to our community members and has taken much needed money from us in our efforts to help victims and children. The Secretary of State’s office has confirmed that Project Reach is not currently a registered charity.
The families we serve have benefited from strong community support and we are truly grateful. We rely upon this support, as well as donations, to assist with our client services and operations. In 2010, we served over 800 victims and children in Island County, as well as providing over 1,800 bed nights at our emergency shelter.
I would like to encourage everyone to question any person who is soliciting money or donations for any cause. Ask about their budget, how they help clients and distribute funds and about their operations. And, more importantly, will your hard earned dollars stay in our community? If you would like more information about this group, or would like to learn more about how to help or to get involved with CADA, feel free to contact me at 675-7057.
CADA (Citizens Against
Domestic & Sexual Abuse)