Charity scammers exploit students on TU campus
“One day last year I was approached by a Filipino man. He asked if I could donate to this organization to help clothe and feed children, and he stuck a pamphlet in my hand. He showed me where other people had signed and the money they had supposedly given. I donated $2. Right after this, I decided to Google “Children’s Joy Foundation,” and I found out it was a scam.”
A student who wishes to remain anonymous explained his experience with Children’s Joy Foundation.
“A few weeks later, a Filipino lady approached me and stuck the pamphlet in my hand. I am not sure if she could not speak English or just refused to speak English, but she did not say anything. When I saw a student about to give $100+ to the lady, I told him it was a scam, and he pulled his money back. A friend of mine called campus police, and that was the last time I personally have seen them on campus.”
We verified this story with Campus Security, and made an attempt to reach out to the charity. Campus Security Director Joe Timmons gave a statement, “officials are aware of three instances of women soliciting money on campus for an organization they call Children’s Joy Foundation USA. The dates are Sept. 19, 2014; Nov. 21, 2014; and Dec. 5, 2014. During each encounter, Campus Security has explained to the women that the university is private property and they are not allowed to ask for donations without permission.”
According to their website, “The Children’s Joy Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization born out of the vision of Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy, the Executive Pastor of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, to reach out to the destitute Filipino children whose miserable plight he could not ignore as he toured around the Philippines as an evangelist. He promised himself that should the Almighty Father bless his ministry, he would help feed, clothe, and send to school three million children in the country.”
Additionally their website displays an accreditation from Global Giving, the largest global crowdfunding community in the world, for being a top-ranked organization. We attempted to contact Global Giving to get a statement about the legitimacy of Children’s Joy Foundation, but did not receive a response.
A controversy still exists over the legitimacy of this organization. Several people posting in an online forum about non-profit organizations have made statements like, “Approached at Wal-Mart at 10:00 at night. The girl couldn’t answer any questions about the ‘programs’ this organization is trying to fund. The website is one of the fakest I’ve seen out of a charity and almost all search results are noting it’s a scam.”
“What kind of reputable charity walks around bugging people, flashing a sketchy ID around, and begs for your credit card info??? You don’t need to be a genius to figure out that this is a TOTAL SCAM.”
However, other contributors offered alternative insights which could explain the confusion. One contributor wrote, “I think it is someone impersonating this organization.” He wrote that he went to the url cjfusa.org and all that was on the page was a donate button. Yet the url of the organization with accreditation by Global Giving is childrensjoyfoundation.org. Another contributor wrote that he was in the Philippines recently and actually witnessed with his own eyes the work this organization has done.
It is important to note that forum contributors are relatively anonymous and so none of the claims made by any of them can be considered accurate. However, it is possible that the people soliciting money from TU students were not just exploiting students, but also defaming a nonprofit organization trying to do good things in the world.
Despite the lack of answers currently available, Campus Security would like to remind students and employees that if they are approached by individuals asking for money, they should call 918-631-5555 and report the incident to security officers who can make contact and verify whether the solicitation is permitted.