Ed. keeps track of who's reading what, and noticed a lot of hits yesterday on "Help Kids Canada - a scam or only half a scam?". Originally posted in April of 2010, this story has had amazingly long "legs" -- as they say in the trade -- with regular reports of teens and even pre-teens hawking chocolate bars outside of liquor stores and supermarkets, and even door-to-door.
As Walt told you over six years ago, their pitch -- that they were raising funds for a registered charity helping kids in trouble -- was doubtful at best. Back then there was a charity called Help Kids Canada, which had a website, www.helpkidscanada.ca. But the waifs who knocked on your door or accosted you in the mall parking lot didn't work for Help Kids Canada. Noooo. They worked for independent contractors who were, errr, selling crappy candy at inflated prices. The money went into the entrepreneurs' pockets, except for any pittance they felt minded to send to HKC.
Questions have been asked about a charity named "Kare for Kids" -- sometimes "Kare for Kids Canada", sometimes "Kare for Kids International" -- which has been reported as using similar methods. Their website, still working, says "KARE FOR KIDS INTERNATIONAL is a Canadian non-profit organization dedicated to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged children suffering from malnutrition, injuries, deformities or birth defects." The address given for its head office is: 7 Bishop Avenue, Suite 2107, Toronto, Ontario, M2M 4J4, CANADA. That part of Toronto is also known as "North York".
On April 9th of this year, "tammy cake" added a comment Walt's post, as follows: "The CRA website kare for kids licence has been revoked. My nephew sells chocolates for Help Kids Canada ....if the charity they were working for is closed where are the proceeds going?? I asked what percentage do they take from his hard work he told me 75 percent!!?!!! Unbelievable...he is out there working his butt off for what?? There needs to be an investigation done. The website that he provided me with www.helpkidscanada.ca does not exist."
Early this morning, I searched "Kare for Kids" on the Canada Revenue Agency list of registered charities and found this:
So, dear readers, if you're approached on the street or at your door by youngsters claiming to be raising funds for a worthy charity, you know what to tell them. And since there's an element of misrepresentation, if not outright fraud here, you might consider notifying Inspector Knacker.
ED. EXPLAINS HOW TO COMMENT: Walt still gets e-mails from folks wanting to know how to open the comments box. It's simple. If you're on the landing page -- as you most certainly will be because we don't ask you to "click to read more" -- just click on the headline of the post you're interested in, and it will open in a separate window, complete with comments box at the bottom. You're welcome.