Green Donation Boxes Spark Curiosity

By Melissa Warren | 

You may have seen them around town. They aren't very big, but they've been drawing more and more attention lately.

The sign on the outside of these drop-off boxes says you can donate used items, and they will use the funds from them for projects in the U.S., Africa and India. It seems easy enough, but some have questions about the practices of the organization.

"We've had several requests about this particular charity wanting to know, are they legitimate, and is the money going where they say it's going," said Better Business Bureau Bowling Green Branch Manager Linda Chambers

Chambers says according to the IRS, there are about 850,000 charities in the U.S. and the Better Business Bureau helps determine if a charity is legitimate.

"You don't know if it's going to be tax-deductible. You don't know exactly where their money is going to go," said Chambers.

Management of one local charity fears if the lime green boxes aren't legitimate, they may be taking money away from those who really need help.

"It hurts us because there's so many people in our area that need help, and if it's going somewhere else, it's not helping them," said St. Vincent de Paul Asst. Manager Freda Corl.

Chambers says the first time they requested information from the organization, they refused to provide it, but are now cooperating with the current investigation.

"To be safe, people should wait until we've finished our investigation, and find out what we know before they start giving to a charity," said Chambers.

The Gaia Movement has not been identified as fraudulent at this time, but as with any business of charity, Chambers says it's best to know before you invest.

Chambers says the BBB evaluates a charitable organization based on 20 different qualifications, and they are still investigating the Gaia Movement.

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