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Door-to-door solicitors 'Mr. Mom' raise skepticism

Original post made on May 19, 2011

When a woman showed up at Lissa Anderson's door in Danville soliciting money to help troubled young people who'd gotten too old for the foster care system, Anderson had some reservations, but she made a $100 donation anyway. "My very first meeting with her was when she came to my door and rang the doorbell and it was late — it was after 9 o'clock," Anderson said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 19, 2011, 4:27 PM

Comments (20)

Posted by Terry
a resident of San Ramon
on May 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm

I'm a social worker at a nonprofit organization myself, and I don't contribute to anyone who solicits door to door. I do take information and look them up on Charity Navigator - primarily I want to know that they are legitimate, and I want to know how much of their money goes to serve the population vs. overhead (for example, soliciting funds). If I'm comfortable with what I see, I can mail in a check.

Honestly, I don't think very highly of an organization that would encourage volunteers to solicit donations after dark, therefore potentially jeopardizing their safety. Also, to resort to emotional blackmail ("there were times she told me that if they didn't meet their daily quota, they'd have to kick a kid out.") is reprehensible.

Those in the story above are incredibly kind, and I hope their donations have indeed gone for what they intended.

Posted by T. Pardee
a resident of another community
on May 19, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Social work in the afternoon, not 11pm. Nobody in their right mind would give 1000 dollars to some lady who rings their doorbell that late. Common courtesy, not sob stories! That's how things are in Manteca and the rest of San Joaquin County.

Posted by Tami
a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2011 at 7:48 am

Happened to me twice....Gave a check to a boy from Antioch school district. He wore a student ID card. I had a funny feeling, so I called the school to confirm. No such fund raising with school sports department with Contra Costa Times. Stop payment on that check. They had made fake ID tags. Second time years later....Church came by to help troubled teens, I took the info., looked up the street address. It was an empty lot, no such church. People will do anything. Done. No thanks is what they get now.

Posted by SALLY
a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2011 at 8:29 am

people, come on, just look at all the red flags ! Think first and do not double donate !!

Posted by Duffy
a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2011 at 9:23 am

Don't open the door! "Just leave your material on the doormat and I'll retrieve and look at it tomorrow." They never leave anything which should be your first clue as top the legitimacy of the "charity."

Posted by Jim Sakasian
a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

I love the blank expression when I say "Obama took all my money...." works every time-----lol!!

Posted by Nancy
a resident of Blackhawk
on May 20, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Sign on my front door

"We can't afford to save any more money"

Posted by Nick
a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm

To "We can't afford to save any more money" please add "we have been living beyond our means for a long, long time"

Posted by Sherry
a resident of San Ramon
on May 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm

If kind-hearted people would STOP giving to these door-to-door solicitors, perhaps they would stop coming. Instead give to organizations that you know is doing a good job, there are tons out there (e.g. your church, temple, school, SPCA, United Way, Boys & Girls Clubs, CASA, etc., etc., etc.).

Posted by Claudette
a resident of another community
on May 20, 2011 at 4:17 pm

I'd rather give to someone who says they are hungry, than to give to solicitors because it's very hard to tell who is legit. Sometimes I see vans dropping off people to solicit... I always ask to see their city license and most don't have one. That's when I say "Sorry no license,no money."

Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on May 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I can't believe what I just read...I know you folks in Danville are great giving people...but please folks, wake up and know when you are being screwed with. You all make me laugh...give and give and give as long as it's for the children. Wake up folks. I can understand the lady of the house giving...but the husband. WOW...

Give me your address, I wild like to feed some small birds that land on my deck every morning...they are morning doves...oh yes I feed them but maybe you would like to give me $100.00 to help feed them.

I can't believe all this BS

Julia from Alamo

Posted by Tim
a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Hey Julia,

Why do you understand the lady of the house giving but not the man?

Sounds pretty sexist coming from a woman

Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Here's my simple secret folks: Tell the solicitor that you are on the phone with a client. In my case, it happens to be true maybe 25% of the time, but no matter - it gets rid of them. If the doorbell rings later that same day, use the peep hole.

Posted by Pedal Power
a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Peep holes...a good tip for those with kids old enough to open the door but not tall enough to see through the main peep hole is to add a second peep hole lower down. Then make it very clear that they are never to open the door for the sort of people mentioned in this excellent article.

Posted by Rose
a resident of Danville
on May 20, 2011 at 10:45 pm

I can't imagine opening the door to any stranger after dark! Handing over $100.00 not once but twice???? Good Lord, no wonder the words out!! Easy mark Danville!!

Posted by Terry
a resident of San Ramon
on May 21, 2011 at 7:43 am

The donors in the article who so generously contributed to what they thought was (and what might in fact be) a worthy cause don't deserve ridicule. Who knows whether this charity it legitimate or not? Some legitimate charities who do great things don't have the most savvy people running them. It is really sad, as they will go to great lengths to secure donations, which tarnishes the act of giving for the next legitimate charity.

That said, if this organization has been around for 3 years, that is ample time to recruit a board of directors to assist with identifying a strategic plan, raising funds, getting positive media exposure, etc. Absent a working Board, donations might be better if offered to a similar organization that has a better chance of surviving and building a lasting non-profit.

Posted by sponge_bob_roundpants
a resident of Danville
on May 23, 2011 at 10:11 am

Are you serious? Mr. Mom??? Good lord, you people are gullible.
Crummy movie at that.
Incredibly kind? I think you meant incredibly blind.
And Julia, you astonish me. You've become very bitter in your old age. Wow, those rose-colored glasses sure have changed.

Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on May 24, 2011 at 10:29 am are so correct bob. I have become very bitter and I don't think I ever had rose colored glasses. I can't stand all the bleeding hearts, and all the gullible folks. I also agree with you about the incredibly blind comment.

Thanks bob for your input, Julia

Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on May 24, 2011 at 12:44 pm

@ Sponge Bob
Julia was never overly kind, being the wallet-clutching, environment-hating Hannity worshiper that she is, but I do believe she may be entering into that unfortunate time of life when one starts getting hot flashes and things just aren't looking uphill anymore.
I can be snarky too and there are definitely a few deserving people on these boards I enjoy messing with, but hopefully people understand it's all in jest. Unless I'm talking about someone like Joseph Cefalou, or this kiddy-diddling cop who was just handed a slap on the wrist. Then I'm just plain mean too!

Posted by scott cranner
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 30, 2011 at 7:43 pm

what these mr mom people are doing is called canvassing. canvassers go door to door because they cant afford to advertise and they usually dont have the money to open a bunch of retail stores. ive been a canvasser off an on for the last few years so my guess is that this organization probably doesnt make alot of money doing fund raising so they go door to door to make extra money, because trust me nobody goes door to door unless they are desperate. its one of the hardest jobs you do because you have to work early in the morning till late at night everyday, no matter how hot or how much its raining. if you dont work you dont get paid, and most people just slam the door in your face because they get mad that you are at there house uninvited. so if these people are not selling nothing and they are just trying to raise donations for kids i think thats cool. at least they believe in there cause enough to go canvassing and get donations because door to door is really hard work. im sitting here writing this because im bored and jobless because the last outside sales job i had, had to shut down because we couldnt sell the products door to door. [portion removed due to a violation of terms of use]

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