[Nfbmo] More on Heritage for the Blind

James Moynihan jamesmmoynihan at gmail.com
Wed Oct 30 13:38:00 UTC 2013

Gary et al

As I see it the main problem with Heritage for the Blind is that the average 
listener can not sort through the confusion.  The public could donate cars 
to our vehicle donation program which is legitimate.  I think we should make 
an effort to have the atgen scrutinize Heritage for the Blind.


Jim Moynihan

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Gary Wunder" <gwunder at earthlink.net>
To: "'NFB of Missouri Mailing List'" <nfbmo at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 5:18 PM
Subject: Re: [Nfbmo] More on Heritage for the Blind

> Hello, Dan. Thank you for sending this to the list. I read the information
> you sent, and if this is in fact Heritage for the Blind, perhaps we have
> more of a case than we thought. We have looked at this before and have
> concluded that, while it is highly unethical, it may not be illegal.
> Certainly ABC news does not claim to verify the accuracy of all of its
> commercials. Heritage for the Blind runs commercials here at least six 
> times
> a day. Gene Coulter has verified that the number called can lead to 
> several
> different numbers.
> As far as I can tell the only thing they do is operate a website which, in
> turn, makes referrals to other websites and uses the publications of other
> organizations. I think that what Jim's friend says is quite correct about
> the fact that you can enjoy tax-exempt status based on the proclaimed
> purpose of your organization and not on any in-depth study about how your
> organization's funds are spent. Of course, I should observe here that a
> number of people would complain if the Internal Revenue Service focused 
> more
> on the objectives of the organization. Some of you will remember that they
> are currently in trouble for showing bias against very liberal and very
> conservative organizations, the thought seeming to be that the mission
> statement should be the only thing used to determine whether or not an
> organization should be tax exempt.
> I don't really know where to take this now. The best information I get is
> that what they are doing is not against the law. If we could cause the
> Missouri Atty. Gen. to have a different view, this probably would be a 
> good
> thing for blind people and for those wanting to donate to us. The
> unfortunate consequence of this kind of activity, however, is that it
> subjects all of us to extra scrutiny and this scrutiny translates into 
> extra
> time we have to spend making sure that we document the good that we do. 
> You
> may remember that a disgruntled woman who was once one of our members
> reported to the Atty. Gen. that we raised money only to give gifts to
> ourselves. It turns out that her allegation revolved around the fact that,
> instead of giving flowers to those in the hospital, we were taking the 
> money
> we would have spent on them and giving it as a gift card. We had to
> demonstrate to the Atty. Gen. that these expenditures represented a small
> percentage of our program services and that we were not raising money for
> the purpose of giving it to ourselves.
> I welcome your ideas.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Nfbmo [mailto:nfbmo-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of 
> DanFlasar at aol.com
> Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 9:19 PM
> To: nfbmo at nfbnet.org
> Subject: [Nfbmo] More on Heritage for the Blind
> Hi all,
>     I've been following through on the "Heritage for  the Blind" issue and
> found that it is only one instance of a large group of  similarly unknown
> 'charities' all related to a New Jersey religious sect called  the Oorah 
> in
> New Jersey.  I'm sending a link that refers to a St. Louis  Post-Dispatch
> story from last year which details a lot about Oorah based ona  deceptive
> charity called "Kars4Kids".  The New York Attorney General  identified
> "Heritage
> for the Blind" as being another front for the Oorah  sect.  As the article
> below notes, donations to these websites  have little if any relation to
> services for the blind.
>   Note that all these false charities seem to all have IRS  certification
> for their non-profit status, but there are numerous stories from  the 
> Better
> Business Bureau noting that they received little or no requested
> information from these 'charities'.  The question is, what do we do  about
> it?  I
> don't think we need to spend any money, get any lawyers  or anything like
> that,
> but a note to the Attorney General might make a  difference.   And to the
> point, since this is a national problem, is  it something the national NFB
> should get involved in?  Should the NFB call  out "Heritage for the Blind"
> as
> a fraud, and if so, how?
>    Here's the link - it's a pretty disheartening  story.
> http://kars4kids-scam.blogspot.com/
> Dan
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