Chimes for Charity Chairwoman Charged with Stealing Over $60,000

Chimes for Charity Chairwoman Charged with Stealing Over $60,000

Feb 16

Kim Walker Hill, who was previously serving as Chairwoman of the Board for Chimes for Charity, has been indicted for stealing over $60,000 from the organization. Hill was brought up on charges of theft after an investigation revealed her involvement with missing funds. The police department launched an investigation back in October 2016 after several Chimes for Charity board members filed complaints about financial irregularities. Authorities looked into documents spanning as far back as 2009. According to State Gazette, Hill is being charged with unlawfully and knowingly obtaining control over approximately $63,534.18 with intent to deprive the true owner thereof, and without the owner’s effective consent. If convicted, she could face anywhere from eight to 30 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $25,000. But this isn’t the only reason Chimes for Charity is in hot water. The investigation also revealed that in 2005, the organization failed to file an annual report with the Secretary of State Division of Business Services. Because of this, their 501(c)(3) nonprofit status was revoked. However, the organization continued to operate as a nonprofit for more than a decade. The news comes as a shock to the small community of Dyersburg, Tennessee. For approximately 70 years, the charity has donated toys, food, and clothing to the less fortunate. Chimes for Charity officially closed up shop in October of 2016 as a result of the criminal investigation. Meanwhile, Hill’s arraignment is scheduled for this upcoming Tuesday, February 21. It just goes to show that fraud can happen anytime, anywhere. That’s why donors need to stay vigilant about any organizations they plan on donating to. Those who have suspicions about an organization’s use of funds are encouraged to notify authorities immediately. The longer these types of organizations are operational, the more people are victimized. Charities like these give all nonprofits a bad name, which makes people less likely to...

Partisan Politics and the Undermining of Philanthropy

Partisan Politics and the Undermining of Philanthropy

Feb 09

President Trump has vowed to “destroy” the Johnson Amendment, the part of the nonprofit code that prevents 501(c)(3)s from engaging in electoral politics. Basically, the amendment maintains that, in order to retain 501(c)(3) classification, the charity in question cannot use its money to endorse or oppose a political candidate. It’s been around since the Eisenhower administration. The problem with getting rid of it is two-fold. On the one hand, it allows politicians to start pressuring nonprofits to donate to their campaign or specifically come out in favor of them. The nonprofit field is supposed to be nonpartisan, dealing with issues in communities without the toxic nonsense of politics. Without the Johnson Amendment, nonprofits are going to become Democratic or Republican, whether they like it or not. And while many are already seen through this partisan lens, they aren’t actively involved in politics, which is crucially important. The other problem is that charitable nonprofits will be able to take the tax-free donations of their supporters and throw that money to candidates, whether the donors support them or not. Money intended for missions will go towards consultants or getting somebody elected. The whole issue has been framed as a religious right, as if the Johnson Amendment is preventing pastors from talking about politics. As if anything in history has ever prevented a church from having a political stance. But without the Johnson Amendment, churches and other nonprofit organizations will be able to make tax-free donations to whichever candidate they choose. This is definitely not a good use of resources considering that most people want their money to go towards a humanitarian cause, not into a politician’s pocket. Experts worry that if the Johnson Amendment is repealed, it will result in less donations made overall. That’s why some things are best kept separated, such as church and state and politics and...

Woman Dies After Allegedly Trying to Steal From A Clothing Donation Bin

Woman Dies After Allegedly Trying to Steal From A Clothing Donation Bin

Feb 08

A Pennsylvania woman has died after getting her arm stuck in a clothing donation bin. Police believe that the woman, who has been identified as 56-year-old Judy Permar, was attempting to reach down into the bin to steal items when her arm got caught in the contraption. The incident occurred Sunday, February 6. According to news outlet PennLive, Permar used a stepping stool to reach inside the bin and pull the items out. During her endeavor, the stool collapsed and her arm became lodged in the bin. Officials say Permar arrived at the bin around 2 a.m. Her body wasn’t discovered until about 8:30 a.m. The coroner has ruled that her death was caused by a combination of blunt force trauma and hypothermia. Permar suffered a broken arm and a broken wrist. Interestingly enough, police say that Permar pulled up to the bin in a black Hummer. Her vehicle choice would seem to imply that she was well off. So then why did she attempt to steal from a donation bin? That’s a question that still has authorities puzzled, especially since it likely wasn’t her first time doing it. According to police chief Brian Hollerbush, authorities received a call back in November about a woman in a black Hummer stealing from a donation drop box. But for as strange as it is, the Washington Post reports that this isn’t the first time someone has died while attempting to steal from a donation bin. The news outlet points to a similar incident that took place in October 2015, when a 58-year-old New Jersey man was found dead after he allegedly tried to steal items from the drop box. Other donation bin fatalities have occurred in San Bernardino County and Sydney. While it’s certainly tragic that people have lost their lives this way, there is a karmic element to it. Stealing is never okay. Furthermore, stealing from a charity of any sort is the lowest of the...

Joe, Jill Biden Launch Equal Rights Nonprofit

Joe, Jill Biden Launch Equal Rights Nonprofit

Feb 02

Former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill have created a nonprofit organization centered on equal rights. The organization, called The Biden Foundation, will focus on securing the rights of women, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and other minorities. Although Joe Biden hasn’t said anything about whether the charity has anything to do with his opposition to President Trump, the timing couldn’t be more pertinent. Several civil rights activists have expressed concern that the new president will try to revoke certain provisions pertaining to equality, such as Roe v. Wade and religious freedom laws. But equality advocates have nothing to fear now that Joe and Jill Biden have renewed their commitment to fighting for civil liberties. It’s quite admirable, considering that no one would blame the couple if they decided to go into retirement. But the duo just couldn’t do that in a time when so many people feel like their rights are being threatened. “Now more than ever, we must work hard to preserve everyone’s shot at the American Dream,” Biden wrote in a Twitter post. “We cannot yield an inch on all the progress we have made on civil rights and human rights.” Joe and Jill also released a video in which they introduced their new foundation. In that video, the two reassured the public that they will not abandon them in a time of need. “Jill and I have been very lucky these past decades. We look forward to this new chapter where we will continue our work to ensure that everyone—no matter their income level, race, gender, age or sexuality—is treated with dignity and gets a fair shot at achieving the American Dream.” The new foundation has been met with widespread acclaim by social justice advocates. There is no word yet on how other politicians have reacted to the...

Women’s Charity Not Happy About Floyd Mayweather Tour

Women’s Charity Not Happy About Floyd Mayweather Tour

Feb 01

Retired boxing champion Floyd Mayweather will be coming to the UK this March for his “Undefeated Tour.” Fans will have the opportunity to do a meet-and-greet with the superstar for £1000, or about $1,268 US dollars. The three-date tour will take place in Leicester, Liverpool, and London. But while there’s plenty of hype around the upcoming tour, not everyone is looking forward to it. Take Polly Neate, for example. Polly Neate is the CEO of Women’s Aid, a registered charity organization in England that provides recovery resources to battered women. Neate believes that Mayweather’s visit will condone domestic violence. That’s because Mayweather has several domestic violence charges on his record. Back in 2002, he pled guilty to two counts of domestic violence. In 2004, he received a suspended sentence after assaulting two women in a Las Vegas nightclub. But his most famous incident was in 2011, when the boxer attacked his then-girlfriend Josie Harris in front of their two children. Mayweather was given a three-month sentence for the crime. According to Neate, Mayweather has shown “no remorse” for his actions. That’s why she’s concerned about his upcoming tour. “This is not acceptable. He is still considered a hero, and his UK tour will undoubtedly be very lucrative,” said Neate. “What message does this send out about violence against women? If we do not hold perpetrators to account—especially high-profiles ones like Mayweather—we will never drive the culture change we need to keep women and girls safe.” Shane Whitfield, who is promoting the tour, quickly tried to ease public concerns regarding Mayweather’s troubled past. He claims that the boxer has “acknowledged the seriousness of previous events” and is “openly willing to learn from his mistakes and look to his future.” But Polly Neate simply isn’t buying it. She will continue to adhere to her charity’s values by protesting the upcoming...

YouTuber Raises $120,000 for Charity in 3 Days

YouTuber Raises $120,000 for Charity in 3 Days

Jan 26

We all know by now that celebrities can help raise money for charity. But did you know that YouTubers can, too?  A recent example of this is Markiplier, a YouTuber who is best known for gaming videos. Markiplier set out to raise $100,000 for the Human Rights Campaign via the crowdfunding site GoFundMe. Within 3 days, 6,175 people had raised $128,888 dollars, which works out to about $20 per person. That’s a pretty successful campaign, and since it isn’t over yet, it’s possible that it could raise even more. This is not Markiplier’s first run at raising money for charity; in the past, he’s raised $70,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and $275,000 for Depression and Bipolar Support. But the speed and success with which he raised the money should give charities a reason to pause, as there are a few lessons to be learned here. First, of course, is the power of social media and crowdfunding to not only get the message out, but also to raise money in a way that Internet savvy donors seem increasingly comfortable. Doing a fundraiser on a site like GoFundMe, supported with smart use of social media, can be a lot cheaper than more traditional methods like cold calling or mailers. It is not easy to do, however. The other lesson though, is that YouTube celebrities are perhaps the best place to look if you want to add star power to a campaign. While they might not resonate with older consumers, the most popular YouTubers have built dedicated fan bases that are loyal and willing to offer support. While it’s a safe bet that Markiplier, judging by the success of his campaign, has a lot of LGBTQ+ followers (he has over 16 million subscribers on YouTube) there’s a good chance that some of the people who donated aren’t part of that community. That’s a strong pull for a good...