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Uneasy feeling about quilts donated to Ronald McDonald House

Uneasy feeling about quilts donated to Ronald McDonald House

Old 02-28-2010, 10:49 AM
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I donate quilts regularly and frequently to many charitable organizations and never thought I would be writing this.

I donated five quilts and three quilted storybooks to Ronald McDonald House in my neighborhood about three weeks ago. Prior to doing this, I contacted the director by e-mail to ask if they were interested, and she responded immediately to this e-mail and another e-mail setting up a delivery time. When I delivered the quilts and storybooks, the director was not in and the staffer who received these items bubbled with enthusiasm and gave me a receipt.

A few days later, I received an e-mail from an unknown person who said her daughter had "bought two quilts" from RMH that she thought were "so pretty." She wanted me to make one for her bed and asked me to call her. I wondered if she was a patient's mother, who her daughter was, and if my quilts were being sold rather than going directly to the ailing children.

I e-mailed the director asking for clarification. The director did not reply but forwarded my inquiry to the staffer who handled my donation. This staffer e-mailed me and asked for my home phone number to discuss "this little misunderstanding." Since I choose not to give out my phone number, I wrote back to her asking her to clarify by e-mail. She did not reply.

After a week, I e-mailed the director again with a "cc" to the staffer, asking for clarification and stating that the staffer did not reply to my inquiry. I was ignored again.

What would you think under these circumstances? That RMH makes it a practice to sell quilts for profit unbeknownst to the quilter? That they purposely mislead quilters to think their handiwork goes to the children? Why would they choose not to answer if they have nothing to hide?

Would you let the matter drop or would you contact national headquarters?

I feel hoodwinked and duped. Thanks for your input.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Extreme Quilter
I donate quilts regularly and frequently to many charitable organizations and never thought I would be writing this.

I donated five quilts and three quilted storybooks to Ronald McDonald House in my neighborhood about three weeks ago. Prior to doing this, I contacted the director by e-mail to ask if they were interested, and she responded immediately to this e-mail and another e-mail setting up a delivery time. When I delivered the quilts and storybooks, the director was not in and the staffer who received these items bubbled with enthusiasm and gave me a receipt.

A few days later, I received an e-mail from an unknown person who said her daughter had "bought two quilts" from RMH that she thought were "so pretty." She wanted me to make one for her bed and asked me to call her. I wondered if she was a patient's mother, who her daughter was, and if my quilts were being sold rather than going directly to the ailing children.

I e-mailed the director asking for clarification. The director did not reply but forwarded my inquiry to the staffer who handled my donation. This staffer e-mailed me and asked for my home phone number to discuss "this little misunderstanding." Since I choose not to give out my phone number, I wrote back to her asking her to clarify by e-mail. She did not reply.

After a week, I e-mailed the director again with a "cc" to the staffer, asking for clarification and stating that the staffer did not reply to my inquiry. I was ignored again.

What would you think under these circumstances? That RMH makes it a practice to sell quilts for profit unbeknownst to the quilter? That they purposely mislead quilters to think their handiwork goes to the children? Why would they choose not to answer if they have nothing to hide?

Would you let the matter drop or would you contact national headquarters?

I feel hoodwinked and duped. Thanks for your input.
I'm the type that would have to find out what my donations are being used for.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:54 AM
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Find out what the quilts are used for especially if you make them for the children. Bad business to solicit stuff and then use it for another purpose.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:59 AM
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Since the only thing standing in the way of clarification is your own insistance on not revealing your home phone number, I would either go talk to them in person or call them (from a neutral phone number if you wish) to find out what exactly happened. Until then, you should not presume anything, either in your own imagination or out loud to other people. Just my opinion of course.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:03 AM
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I'm the type who would definitely push until I got an answer. There are many good hearted quilters who donate to charitable organizations and I would hate to think that anyone abuses this generosity.

On another note, my mom was in the hospital last week and the day after she was admitted, I came in to find a lap quilt that had been donated. I was very touched and my mom was very comforted by the quilt.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:04 AM
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Maybe going in person and arrange a meeting with both of them. Bring a copy of the e-mail you got from the person. E-mails and phone calls are OK but to me nothing beats seen the people's reaction in person. The director may not be aware of what the staffer is up to. You may be opening a can of worms, and I say go for it.

I wance donateda quilt to Stop Domestic Violence to be given to a victim, through my guild. Never though about it again. Months later I went there to deliver used phones collected at work and the quilt was hanging on the wall. My son recognized it. I asked about it and they told me they liked it too much to give it away. I didn't liked that because I knew that it was a matter of time before someone went home with it. I spoke to the director and a few weeks later got a message that hte quilt had been donated to a victim.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:10 AM
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I would definately contact the headquarters and email them again making them aware of it! How sad that this happened.

Kyia
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:11 AM
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I would try to get to the bottom of it. There may have been misunderstanding if you thought the quilts were going to directly to children whose famileis use the House and either (1) the director understood this and did not convey this correctly to the staffer; or (2) the director did not understand your wishes and thought it appropriate to use them in fundraising as it wished. There is also the chance that (3) the director chose to ignore your wishes, in which case your kind offer of a donation should have been declined.

It may truly be a misunderstanding, but the director needs to reposnd to you. If sufficient time (at least a few business days -- she may be out of the office) has elapsed and you did not get a follow up from the director, you could write a letter with details of your concerns to corporate office as well as the chairman of the local House board. About 10 years ago I was on the board for our local Ronald McDonald House, which functions as its own nonprofit. Unfortunately, we originally had a director who was disorganized and did not follow through on things. The board should know if the director is not doing her job. Not that this would be grounds for dismissal, but if it is part of an ongoing pattern, the board should know. The director is accountable to that local board. We hired a new director who has been doing a good job for the past 9 years.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:34 AM
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Contact RMH headquaters. ASAP. Someone is not doing something right. RMH headquarters needs to know so they can follow up.
Keep us posted as to what you find out. It's a shame to lose faith in someone. Keep quilting for the good people.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:39 AM
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They don't want the communique in writting is the feeling I'm getting. It sounds like someone was very naughty and you caught them.

My immediate question is how did the buyer get your contact information. I'd be angry about that right off the bat. I don't want anyone handing out my info. That's for me to do and me only.

I don't blame you for not wanting to give them your phone number. Who knows who they would give that to.

I would definitely tell the director that my quilts are for the children in the hospital only and not to be sold.

Most donated items at my church have a permanent tag on them that say "Not for Resale". Maybe you could do something like that?

I'm so sorry you had this experience.
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