Entries in Charity (18)


Jerry Sandusky's Charity Now Refusing Contributions

Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General(HARRISBURG, Pa.) -- Since former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged earlier this month with 40 counts of molesting at least eight boys over a 15-year period, the charity he co-founded has come under heavy scrutiny, especially since reports have said the former assistant football coach met many of his victims through it.

With hopes of staying a viable charity on the ropes, The Second Mile is asking that contributions now be made to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.

That doesn't mean at-risk children will be totally abandoned -- The Second Mile will continue its programs through the end of the month while its board decides whether to restructure the charity or just end operations.

Meanwhile, attorneys for the alleged victims are trying to keep The Second Mile from unloading its assets in the event they come after the charity with expected lawsuits seeking damages.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ouch! Boy Won't Get $50,000 Prize for Lucky Hockey Shot

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- The 11-year-old boy who wowed hockey fans by hitting a puck through a tiny slot in a board 89 feet away has lost the $50,000 jackpot attached to the miracle shot.

The company that insured the charity event, Odds on Promotions, said that 11-year-old Nate Smith isn’t eligible to take home the $50,000 because the raffle ticket that allowed him to take the hockey shot was in his twin brother’s name.

The honesty of the twin boys’ father is what led the event organizers to realize that Nate had posed as his twin brother Nick when he made the shot.

“I called into the organizers. We told them that Nate made the shot. We did the right thing,” Pat Smith told ABC News on Aug. 15. “I just think that honesty is more important than any prize or money you could get.”

The twins had hoped to use the money for their college savings and to donate funds to their local hockey association, Smith said.

Nate made the lucky shot at a celebrity fundraiser hockey game in Faribult, Minn., on Aug. 11. He took aim from the center ice and fired the puck 89 feet straight in a goal which measured a mere three and a half inches. The puck is three inches wide.

The promoters say they will donate some money to charity instead of forking over the check.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Twin Boy's $50K Hockey Shot in Jeopardy

Twins Nate and Nick Smith of Owatonna, Minn. (Pat Smith)(FARIBAULT, Minn.) -- Nate Smith made all the sports highlight reels and won $50,000 for making an impossible hockey shot in a charity fundraiser. But the 11-year-old hockey fan now stands to lose the bonanza because of his father's honesty.

Nate was posing as his twin brother Nick when he made the shot.

"I just felt I had to do the right thing," dad Pat Smith told ABC News on Monday. "I just think that honesty is more important than any prize or money you could get."

Nate made his shot at a celebrity fundraiser hockey game in Faribault, Minn., last Thursday. He took aim from the center ice and fired the puck 89 feet straight into a goal that measured a mere three and a half inches. The puck is three inches wide.

It happened during the annual "Shattuck vs. the World" game attracts Shattuck-St. Mary's alumni who play in the NHL and raises money for the Faribault Youth Hockey Association.

Pat Smith, the twins' father, purchased three raffle tickets at the Shattuck – St. Mary's school hockey game for a chance for one of his kids to make an unforgettable shot across the ice and win $50,000.

"We thought we'd go to the fundraiser and support those guys, nothing else. So I went over to purchase a few tickets with Nate, who was with me," Pat Smith said.

When asked by his dad if he should put Nate's name on the tickets, Nate declined, saying with a cast on his arm recently removed, Nick had a better chance of scoring a winning goal.

The family didn't expect that Nick's ticket would be drawn, so Nick headed outside shortly before halftime. Nevertheless, he told Nate to take the money shot if his raffle ticket was drawn.

Nate took to the ice in his twin brother's place and in a play which had the entire arena on its feet, effortlessly swung his hockey stick to hit the goal in the $50,000 shot. "I was shocked . . . I couldn't believe it," said Nate.

However, the boys may never see the check.

"After he made the shot, we had to sign some documents and stuff, and I thought oh boy, we don't want to mess that up," Pat Smith said. "I didn't have time to really think it through and I said yeah, it was Nick's shot."

"The next day we felt so badly, I called into the organizers, we told them that Nate made the shot. We did the right thing," the dad said.

The insurance carrier for the event, Odds on Promotions, has not indicated whether it will accept Nate making a shot in Nick's name. The company did not return calls to ABC News on Monday.

The twins are hoping to get another stroke of good luck and said if they receive the prize, they will save the money for college and donate funds to their local hockey association.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Accomplice to Help Authorities Track Suspected Navy Vets Scammer

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- State and federal authorities have a new ally in their hunt for a fugitive who allegedly created a fake charity aimed at cashing in on the public's support for military veterans, and then vanished with millions of dollars in donations.

The mustachioed man who authorities say assumed the stolen identity Bobby Thompson remains at large but Ohio officials secured a guilty plea last week from his female partner, 39-year-old Blanca Contreras. And in exchange for a promise not to prosecute her daughters, state officials told ABC News, Contreras promised to cooperate with their efforts to track him down.

"The goal is still to bring the gentleman known as Bobby Thompson to justice," said Dan Tierney, a spokesman for the Ohio Attorney General's office.

Authorities say that using his fake name, Thompson set up a charity called the U.S. Navy Veterans Association and reported raising more than $100 million on its tax forms. To help enhance the charity's credibility, Thompson allegedly used some of the money to make large campaign contributions to prominent politicians, most of them Republicans including President George W. Bush, Sen. John McCain, and House Speaker John Boehner. He attended events with the political figures, and posed for now infamous photos with them.

In 2009, the St. Petersburg Times newspaper began raising questions about the veterans charity – finding that none of the members of its board could be located, and its addresses seemed only to lead to post office boxes. Most of the money the charity had purported to raise was unaccounted for, and as authorities began following up on the reports, Thompson disappeared.

Last fall, Florida lawmaker Darryl Rouson told ABC News he had initially helped the man he thought was Bobby Thompson. "He seemed to be a knowledgeable man about politics and community affairs," Rouson said. "He was engaging, jovial. I had no reason to suspect he was anything other than who he said he was."

According to Ohio authorities, "Thompson" was last seen in a New York City hotel. They said he had stolen the identity of a real man named Bobby Thompson from Washington state. He also had an identity card from the state of Indiana issued under the name of a man from New Mexico named Ronnie Brittain, they added. The real Ronnie Brittain is the head of a veterans group in New Mexico.

Tierney told ABC News that Contreras is scheduled to be sentenced on August 3, and faces up to 25 years in prison for her conviction on charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, theft, money laundering, and tampering with records.

While investigators at the Ohio Attorney General's Office are pleased with the conviction, they told the St. Petersburg Times they are not ready to celebrate.

"Am I high-fiving people right now? No," Special Agent Arvin Clar told the newspaper after Contreras appeared in an Ohio courtroom and pleaded guilty. "I want to find Bobby Thompson."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Memphis Flooding: How to Help Flood Victims

Scott Olson/Getty Images(MEMPHIS) -- Thousands of people from Arkansas to Tennessee are fleeing their homes ahead of recording-breaking flooding. The Mississippi River's record crest was 48.7 feet in 1937 and the Army Corps of Engineers expects the river to rise to 48 feet by early Tuesday morning. More than 1,300 homes are under an evacuation order and another 240 have been warned that they might need to leave. Nearly 400 people are staying in shelters. The damage has been extensive in places like Memphis where entire neighborhoods have been swallowed by the water and vehicles completely submerged.

Find out below how to help and donate to the flood relief effort:

American Red Cross: The Red Cross is providing shelter and supplies to those who have been hardest hit. They have more than 400 volunteers on the ground. To make a donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief, visit its online donation page. You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

United Way: The United Way is collecting donations to support local nonprofit programs that are working to provide immediate and long-term recovery in the Memphis and Mid-South area. To donate to the United Way, visit its online donation page.

The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services is responding to the floods and has opened three response stations in the Memphis area. The response stations provide hot food, snacks, drinks, hygiene, and baby supplies as well as emotional and spiritual support. To donate to the Salvation Army's flood relief efforts, visit, click on their donation page and designate "May Floods." You can call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and donors can text "GIVE" to 80888 to make a $10 donation. Checks can be made out to the Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 100339, Atlanta, Ga., 30384-0339.

Hope Presbyterian Church: Hope Presbyterian Church will serve as a donation and distribution hub, collecting donations to supply the shelters. Donations are accepted daily 7 a.m.-10 p.m. If you have any questions, please call (901) 755-7721. To make a donation to Hope Presbyterian Church, visit its online donation section located at the bottom of this page. All donated items must be new and in original packaging. At the request of the shelters, please only bring items from the list below:

Towels and washcloths BIG NEED FOR WASHCLOTHS
Batteries - sizes: C,D, AA, AAA BIG NEED
Ear Plugs BIG NEED
Socks for kids and adults BIG NEED
Flip Flops (for the showers) BIG NEED
Shaving cream/gel BIG NEED
Wal-Mart or Target gift cards BIG NEED
Deodorant Men's/Women's BIG NEED
Shampoo/conditioner (unopened hotel bottles work great) BIG NEED
Hair Brushes
Combs (Wide & Regular Tooth)
Pony tail holders/Hair clips
Body lotion
Hand Sanitizer
Toothbrushes (individually packaged)
Training/Toddler Toothpaste BIG NEED
Children's toothbrushes BIG NEED
General first-aid (band-aids, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, TUMS, rubbing alcohol) BIG NEED FOR RUBBING ALCOHOL & PEROXIDE
Diapers & Pull-Ups (all sizes) 0-3, 6, 2t, 3t, 4t, 5t
Baby/Child Medicine BIG NEED
Teething Medicine BIG NEED
Diaper Rash Cream BIG NEED
Travel size baby lotion & wash BIG NEED
Baby blankets
Baby food
Baby spoons
Baby bottles
Baby pacifiers
Baby Shampoo/Lotion/Wash
Baby bottle brushes
Baby formula (No generics please: Carnation or Gerber "Good Start Gentle Plus")
Vaseline (generic welcome) BIG NEED
Sanitary Pads/Tampons
Depends (NOT Adult Diapers) BIG NEED

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Singer Nelly Furtado to Donate Gadhafi's $1 Million Payday

Photo Courtesy - Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for LARAS(NEW YORK) -- Singer Nelly Furtado plans to donate the $1 million she was paid to perform for the "Gadhafi clan," Furtado announced on Twitter Monday, while other celebrities have stayed silent on the hefty paychecks they reportedly received from the family of the Libyan strongman.

Furtado told fans the million-dollar performance took place at a hotel in Italy for members of the Gadhafi family and guests in 2007. Furtado's announcement came after news surfaced that celebrity A-listers Mariah Carey, Usher, and Beyonce had each taken the stage for one of Gadhafi's sons.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


North Carolina Third-Grader Buys $15,000 in Gifts for Sick Kids

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A precocious nine-year-old's determination to make sure sick children had gifts during the holidays paid off with stunning results.

Katie Greene, a North Carolina third-grader, went into this holiday season with dollar signs in her eyes -- not for her own gifts, but for those she would help deliver to several area hospitals using money she planned to raise from her school, family, friends and various community groups.

She ended up collecting a whopping $15,708.

"I'm really hard to turn down," Katie told ABC News of her marketing strategy.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Katie launched her own version of a speech circuit, meeting with youth and church groups and her classmates to ask for donations. She also set up shop at craft shows and sold raffle tickets.

It's a project she has undertaken for the last three years -- since she was six -- but this year topped her previous efforts by far.

"I had this idea," she said. "It's just gone off. I think I'm doing a really good job."

That first year, Katie raised $162. Three years later, she set a goal of $15,000 and raised more than $700 on top of it.

Though Katie wasn't allowed to deliver her gifts in person due to concerns over infection and privacy, she said she knew of one little boy -- named Kevin -- who liked to watch movies. So she bought him gift cards to Best Buy and Amazon so he could have his purchases shipped to him.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Obamas Give Back for Thanksgiving

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(WASHINGTON) – President Obama and family took time to give back this Thanksgiving by helping out underprivileged families in the D.C. area.

The First Family, along with 29 family members, distributed Thanksgiving food baskets Wednesday to Martha’s Table, a charity organization that provides struggling families with much needed help.

"On behalf of our families in our education programs, staff and volunteers, we are honored that the First Family has chosen to spend their Thanksgiving with Martha's Table again this year," Said Lindsey Buss, President and CEO of Martha's Table.  "Their example of service and the spotlight they bring to the challenge of hunger and nutrition, especially for children, is a tremendous asset for all of us working to find solutions to poverty."

The Obamas volunteered their time by filling bags with fresh produce, turkeys and pies as well as spending time to help with daycare and after-school programs.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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