Who's behind a fundraiser that has many doubting whether there's any help provided at all
5:55 PM, Sep 3, 2013
9:30 AM, Sep 4, 2013
TULSA - Several viewers turned to the 2NEWS Problem Solvers to investigate the page called Oklahoma Strong .
The Facebook page was created the day after the deadly tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., selling T-shirts and promising to donate all proceeds to the Red Cross.
Debra Daugherty, and many others, say they wanted to support their fellow Oklahomans. She says "(I'm) angry, I mean it's not right. Ordered two shirts. They didn't come. I sent email, no response. Ended up costing me about $100."
For a while, those behind the Oklahoma Strong page posted about delays but promised every order would be fulfilled in early July. The last post on the page: July 2.
"It looked so legitimate because there were so many people ordering," Daugherty said.
Comments from people who have yet to receive their shirts continued on the page through August.
Daugherty says the lack of contact information on the page and any information about who, exactly, is behind Oklahoma Strong should have been a red flag "There's no follow-up phone number, no email response, yeah... I pretty much got taken."
Over a 2 month period we did not receive a single reply to our posts or emails and the one phone number we could find no longer belongs to anyone associated with the group, according to the woman who answered.
On Facebook we found one person who commented that she received her shirts July 29th.
Daugherty says being out the $100 for the shirts is bad but thinking of all of those who need so much in the wake of the horrible storm is worse "We were trying to help, this just devastated these people and they just wanted to make a buck."
There it says all shirts would be delivered in late July and it appears the site is still set to take more orders.
Daugherty says she doesn't believe anyone local is behind this.
"We are proud of Oklahoma. We're proud of Oklahomans. I don't think these were Oklahomans," she said.
Drilling down into the order pages on OK-Strong.com the site shows a connection to an organization called "Hope4MyWorld. Researching through GuideStar.org we found the organization based in Georgia. It had its 501C-3 charity exempt status revoked by the IRS for not filing proper forms for three, consecutive, years.
As far as claims on the Oklahoma Strong Facebook page about donations, including a picture of part of a check made out to the Red Cross a spokesperson confirms one donation was made, on June 21, 2013 in the amount of $2,004.55, from Hope4MyWorld.
When considering a charity donation go to GuideStar.org to see if the organization is truly a non-profit in good standing.
When buying online pay by credit card so if something goes wrong you can dispute the charge and get a refund.