Be cautious with your donations, investments

Be wary — very, very wary — when it comes to your charitable contributions or investments.
Jul 23, 2013

This message should come as no surprise to folks who follow the local news.

Recently, a treasurer of a local elementary school’s PTA was accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from the organization’s bank account.

Stories also surfaced that a well-known local philanthropist was convicted of swindling millions from those who trusted him with their finances.

Two more people are facing charges of allegedly collecting funds for the family of Jessica Heeringa, the young Norton Shores woman missing since late April, but keeping the money for themselves.

And elsewhere in Michigan, a woman faked cancer so she could collect money from the caring, giving folks in her community.

Is this truly the world in which we live? And, if so, we have to be asking ourselves: Who can we trust?

The fact is, there are many people out there to whom morals mean nothing, and money means everything. These people will go to just about any lengths to get their hands on your money.

What can we learn from these people? Be careful.

If you’re going to invest, make sure you do plenty of research first. If you’re going to donate, take some time to make sure the cause you’re donating to is legitimate.

With all the scams and schemers out there today, it’s tempting to just button up and say, "Enough is enough." But, the truth is, there are many worthwhile causes that truly need our support.

By all means, support them to the best of your financial ability, but don’t be careless with your money. There are too many people out there who can’t be trusted.

It’s sad, but true.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.




Don't give any organization anything. Remember when United Way paid 1/2 million dollar bonuses to their vice president. I help people on a case by case basis. Don't see many charities helping people in our local area when comes to house fires, sudden deaths in families etc. anyway.

truth wins

I have worked and volunteered for many nonprofit organizations that help thousands of people in our communities every year. All non profit records are public and I can't find any record of a 1/2 million dollar bonus locally. the vast majority of our local nonprofits all well run and valuable. I am sure that you could find poorly run one if you searched, but your comment is unfair and untrue for our local nonprofit org's.


i had many phone calls last couple of weeks claiming its a loan company, so call them back and first thing ask is my social number and account number, i said i dont have any account with you and want my number taken off your list, they said they cant do that until i give them my info, i just hung up and didnt give them nothing, might be a scam

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