Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Follow up on Isaac's Church Fundraiser

Remember the church that held a fundraiser for Isaac back in September?  Well, as of today, the program that trained Isaac has not received the money from that fundraiser.

I am frustrated.  Really frustrated.

It was near the end of October when the pastor herself told me the check had been mailed. That was about five weeks after the fundraiser, which seemed like kind of a long time to me, but I was informed by a friend that some churches have volunteer bookkeepers and only cut checks once a month.  So OK.  I can understand that.

Fast forward to now, more than two months after the fundraiser.  The check never arrived.  Last week, yesterday and today, I've been trying to reach the pastor.  I call, the secretary tells me she's not in.  I ask when she will be in.  The secretary says, "After lunch" or "Tomorrow at nine," and I call back then, only to be told she's not in. 

Now, several churches made donations for Isaac out of their Deacons Funds or other funds.  They did not hold fundraisers.  They decided to donate money they had set aside to help people in need.  And one church initially told me they'd donate something and then later decided they didn't have the money available to donate after all.  I was disappointed about that, but I accepted it.  It's not like they owe me money.  It's not like I am entitled to it.  They are giving me a gift, and I deeply appreciate it, but if some churches don't have the money to give, I understand and accept that.

But with this church, it's different.  They held a fundraiser.  Members of the church prepared and served lunch.  Members of the church and members of the community attended and took money out of their pockets and put it in this big bowl that was sitting at the end of the buffet table.  Everyone was told the money was for Isaac.

I put in some work, too.  I designed a flyer about the fundraiser, which a friend printed for me because I do not own a printer, and I hung them up around town.  I contacted the local newspaper and arranged for a notice about the fundraiser to be printed in the paper.  I spoke about service dogs to the entire congregation that day.

And other people put in some work, too.  Someone at the newspaper office did whatever had to be done to get that notice in the paper.  My friend printed flyers, free of charge, and mailed them to me.

They didn't promise me any specific amount of money.  If no one had attended the fundraiser, then I wouldn't have gotten any money and I would have been disappointed but I would have understood and accepted that.  But they promised whatever amount was raised, and they did raise money, and I still don't have it.

It's hard to have to ask for money.  It's really hard to have to call and ask over and over again.  I have anxiety and depression.  Dealing with this is causing me a fair amount of anxiety and it might be contributing to some depression, too.

It's ridiculous.  There is no reason for them to not send the money.

Today a friend of mine, bless her heart, called the church for me.  She is an accountant by trade, which she told them, and she also told them she handles my taxes.  (Do you think she might want to do my taxes for me this year?)  She said she was calling on my behalf and the church secretary informed her I'd been calling a lot.  Well, you know, if someone would call me back, or if they'd just sent the check when they said they did, I wouldn't be calling so much, now would I?  It's not like I am calling because I enjoy talking to the secretary!

So my friend said she needed to find out what happened to the check and the secretary either said or implied that it had been sent, and my friend said they could clear it all up by faxing her a copy of the cancelled check.  Which of course they couldn't do because there was no cancelled check because they never sent the check in the first place.  So my friend said something about the IRS and misappropriation of funds. 

Apparently those were the magic words, because she quickly had the bookkeeper on the phone, who told her the check was mailed yesterday.  The bookkeeper said they'd been unable to mail it sooner because they only just got the address.  Which isn't true, I gave them the address back in September. 

I suspect the check did not get mailed yesterday but was going to be mailed today, after this phone call took place.  If it doesn't arrive by the middle of next week, my friend is going to call them back.  I'm guessing it will be arriving, though.

But good grief!  Why is it necessary to go through all this, just to get the money that people donated for this purpose?

1 comment:

  1. Wow that is so awful for several reasons. It is bad for any organization not to deliver funds that they promised but for a church to do it, it's really bad. They are supposed to help others and minister to those in need. It would be bad if a corporation didn't do their job and acted like this but for a church it is really wrong. I'm sorry this is happening. They should have sent the check right away without needing you or your accountant friend to call and threaten them essentially. I hope they do send the check and you don't have any further cause for concern.

    This brings up a concern about my employee giving campaign. It starts in January and the funds are distributed quarterly so the first distribution to K9s in Special Service should be in March or April. I will know more about the timing in spring but will make a note to myself to ensure the funds are promptly and correctly distributed so you don't have to go through the hassle and stress all over again.

    The people in the church should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves. Wow.