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Family using cancer donations on self commit travesty

Though we shouldn’t be surprised at just how deceitful people can be, a recent example was truly shocking.

According to the New York Times, the FTC has charged four cancer charities with deceiving donors and misusing nearly $200 million in donations, including putting money toward personal expenses like carwashes and college tuition, from 2008 to 2012.

The four charities — Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services, Children’s Cancer Fund of America and the Breast Cancer Society — are connected to one family, who used them like their own bank accounts.  Taking money intended for cancer patients and using it to finance a lavish lifestyle surely must be among the sleaziest of crimes.

“In soliciting donations, the charities said they spent 100 percent of proceeds on services like hospice care, transporting patients to and from chemotherapy sessions and buying pain medication for children,” the Times reported. “’These were lies,’ the FTC’s complaint said, noting that the charities spent less than three percent of donations on cancer patients.”

“Some charities use donations to send children with cancer to Disney World,” said Mark Hammond, secretary of state for South Carolina, whose office joined the investigation of the groups. “In this case, the Children’s Cancer Fund of America used donations to send themselves to Disney World.”

The case highlights the need for all of us to be careful when donating money to any cause. There are always wolves hiding among the sheep, ready to take advantage of the goodwill of others.

Hopefully, justice will be swift in this case. But the money is gone and likely won’t be replaced, meaning thousands of donations intended for cancer patients are lost. Those patients’ lives likely would have been made better if the donations had reached them as intended.

Dumpster days
a success 

Lincoln County residents dropped off a whopping 250 tons of trash during the county’s annual cleanup effort.  The cleanup took place over five weeks beginning in April. Dumpsters were set up in each of the five county districts.

That’s a lot of trash that might have otherwise been tossed behind houses, in rural areas or some other inappropriate place. We thank the residents who participated and the county officials who made the effort possible. It’s good to know that keeping Lincoln County clean is still a priority.