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Morning Lineup – September 23

Monday Morning – Can You Spare a Dime?

I had a request from one of our readers the other day, Mike T., wanting to know if I had ever heard of a charity that calls itself Firefighters vs. Autism.  His curiosity (suspicion?) was raised when he looked at their website that they are promoting in a fund-raising campaign.  And after I looked through their webpage and video, I have to say that I'm a bit dubious of the promotion myself.

They may very well be an honest and forthright group who really are trying to do something worthwhile.  But there are a lot of warning signs in the promotion that certainly make me doubt their sincerety.  Here's the website if you want to take a look yourself at what we're talking about before I list my suspicions:  http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/firefighters-vs-autism-calendar

For me, a real problem is when I see somebody asking for money yet there is no real name or address posted telling you who they are or where they are located.  This group is soliciting through one of those internet cover sites that allow individuals or groups like this one to set up fund-raising webpages where donations can be collected through the third party and then passed on to the sponsor.  Some are legit, some are not.  There's no way of telling from our side of the monitor.

The host in the videos keeps referring to "firefighters" as if there are several of them who really are trying to "… train Emergency Responders how to best serve the Autistic community and children with special needs."  Ok, but why?  Are firefighters included in his definition of "emergency responders"?  If so, are we supposed to serve a "community" any differently than any other?

Obviously I am being cynical here, but that is my nature.  Looking through their website it is obvious to me that what they are really doing here is selling calendars (and bracelets) yet there are no photos of any of their premiums that you will supposedly be receiving for your generous donation.

Mike has sent an email through the blind link asking if they are a 501.c3 organization and if they have filed the mandatory exclamation of what percentage of their collected funds are actually applied to the charity after admin. costs are taken out.  So far he hasn't received a response.

In one of their videos it shows a bunch of purported firefighters in blue t-shirts entertaining autistic children at a public wading pool with somebody's antique pumper.  I don't know what that's supposed to really mean, but……

Anyway, as I said earlier, this could very well be a sincere group.  But if they are, please step up and identify yourself.  Public solicitations are dubious when they are deliberately kept in anonymity.  Do any of our readers have any idea of who this group is?  If so, please let us know.  If they're legitimate, I would prefer to be able to point that out.

Now we have a legitimate obligation to get this equipment checked out, so let's get started.  I see the coffee pots need refilling, so I'll tend to that before we meet back in the day room.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • B.Morgan

    I agree with you on this. All too often “charity” groups are questionable and only a very small amount of the money goes to the named cause. I get a lot of charity requests and am very, very careful who I support. Wild land Fire fighters Foundation is one because I know the group well and “administrative” cost are very minimal with money going to where it needs to. I down right refuse road side donations except the fire-fighters with the boots out on that special day. Once I counted four different disabled veteran’s groups out in our town by the roadside, with names I never heard of. Sorry guys not me, and I’m a vet. In ending most firefighters are good about identifying and dealing with disabled/autistic/ mentally challenged people in stressful situations. That’s just the way they are.