- Posted August 6, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What Kind Of Charity Runs In This Manner? Pt 1
Original post can be found here: http://theworldofric.tumblr.com/post/55998864059/must-read-attempts-to-silence-the-truth
Being confronted with the truth can sometimes lead individuals to react in harsh and extremely immature ways. This can be seen on Twitter through the way certain individuals are attacked, mocked and ridiculed for speaking the truth. There are numerous cases that one may refer to, but the most prominent I have seen appear to be attacks on those who speak the truth about Islam, the Zionist Entity and Bahrain. Exchanges between the attacker and those being attacked almost never begin with any level of civility if initiated by the attacker and in fact, most times is a full on bombardment of insults.
I have been on the receiving end of these attacks numerous times now, usually with the attacker stopping after they have danced around questions asked of them three or four times. However, twice I have been attacked indirectly through ‘parody’ accounts. The first account was rightly suspended after having been reported for using language that would amount to hate speech. There was a long silence and I continued on my journey of reporting truths of human rights abuses happening around the world, not focusing on any one region in particular.
During this time, I had a legitimate curiosity regarding a Florida registered charity organization, MENA Foundation, Inc. (FEI/EIN 45-5279193). Being registered, I assumed the charity was a legitimate organization and from their website was doing what they could to raise awareness for children in the Middle East displaced by conflict, especially in places like Syria and so on.
Regularly donating to charities such as United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), World Food Programme (WFP), Amnesty International, among other smaller campaigns, I thought perhaps I might donate to this charity regardless of who the ‘founder’ is.
Of course, I research as much information as I can about smaller, more newer organizations because there is always a possibility that they could be fraudulent and I refuse to hand over my hard-earned money to someone who uses others’ misfortune for their own personal gains. So, I began to research MENA Foundation though the only thing that could be found was their registration (which can be seen here: http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/SearchResultDetail/OfficerRegisteredAgentName/domnp-n12000004690-7e561893-957b-49e7-9a0b-5047655fd4e1/Defeo%20Gloria/Page1).
I noticed a few things that were odd, but I gave the benefit of the doubt as it was, and still is, quite new. For example, the registered agent used their home address as the address of the organization. To me and many others, that seemed a bit fishy, so the next thing I decided was to ask for financial records after my search on Guidestar (http://www.guidestar.org/Home.aspx) and Foundation Center (http://foundationcenter.org/findfunders/990finder/) turned up nothing. A month or so passed and I again requested financial information because I wanted to see how the money I would be donating would be used. I of course requested this information both times on Twitter as MENA Foundation’s only contact information was an email address listed on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mena-Foundation/427299863960947?id=427299863960947&sk=info)
and nothing was listed on their website (http://menafoundation.org/) or Twitter account (https://twitter.com/menafoundation). After requesting financial information the second time, I thought perhaps they may send it via direct message on Twitter so I attempted to follow at which time I found that I had been blocked (as can be seen in this screenshot: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BPoGdKpCQAISKRf.jpg:large http://t.co/JBMezAwMF9 as well as this one from the web:
I found it odd that a charity would block someone for simply asking for financial records so this prompted me to do further research (yes, I love doing research because it really opens the mind and broadens one’s outlook on the world). The more I researched, coming up with no information about MENA Foundation at all, the more I became even more suspicious. Why was there nothing about this organization other than a very dodgy website, a registration document and an annual report that requested a name change/correction? So, I turned to the ‘founder’s’ Twitter page (https://twitter.com/gloriahere) and found several mentions of fundraisers (as shown in the following screeenshots:
). So, if they were having fundraisers, surely there must be some information somewhere about the work they are doing, what kind of activities they have for fundraisers, the venue and the times, but still nothing.
I then contacted Florida Attorney General’s office who directed me to a charity watchdog that also had no information on MENA Foundation. During my research, I noticed that the location on MENA Foundation’s Twitter page had been changed to United Kingdom. Why a charity would be registered in Florida but list their location as United Kingdom, I couldn’t understand. I discussed this with a friend who lives in the UK and she gave me some information about who to contact in regards to charities registered in the UK. Surely, there must be some explanation.
Before I contacted those agencies, I tried to do a bit more research and came upon MENA Foundation’s LinkedIn page, and it too was listed as being located in the United Kingdom (http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/mena-foundation-organisation/51/b7/ab7
). My friend in the UK and I both contacted the UK Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB http://www.frsb.org.uk/) and both received the same response that was the equivalent of saying MENA Foundation indeed was not registered in the UK. As is always best, we contacted another source, a charity watchdog in the UK, Charity Commission (http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/), and were again informed that MENA Foundation is not registered in the UK (screenshot of email contents: