Working with an online charity that directly links the needy with benefactors is a way to fulfill a family legacy of giving back, Andrew “Bo” Young, the son of Martin Luther King confidante and former U.N. ambassador Andrew Young, tells Newsmax.TV.
Atlanta businessman Young is the CEO of the online group GiveLocally.net
, the brainchild of its founder and chairman, California technology lawyer Brad Newman. The organization prescreens those in need and posts their stories online. They also list traditional non-profits such as food banks and shelters and non-traditional groups such as one trying to save a school sports’ program in danger of being cut due to budget shortfalls.
“What we wanted to do was to create transparency in gift giving,” Young said. “We wanted to make it a fun and easy process that people can feel good about making gifts. So what we’ve done is set up GiveLocally.net to be fully transparent so you know what individual or family you are giving to specifically, what need you are giving to and also be able to track your gift to see when it was actually distributed to that family or individual.
“All of our individuals are prescreened and go through our vetting process before we put them online so our givers can donate with confidence.”
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The money does not go to the person in need but instead is delivered to the need, such as a landlord for a person who has fallen behind in rent or a drug store for prescriptions. Neither Young nor Newman draws a salary.
“For me this amazing opportunity,” Young said. “I have a chance to be able to fulfill my entrepreneurial dreams while following in my family legacy of giving back. One of the things we have to remember is when Dr. King was killed he was in Memphis trying to get equal rights for garbage workers.
“They had just started the Poor People's Campaign and they were very concerned about poor people in Mississippi who didn’t have food to eat, farm workers in California. What we want to do ... is give hardworking Americans the opportunity to help one another via the internet. And so we’ve created this social giving platform because we think it benefits the donors and are givers as much as it does are prescreened recipient. Everyone is fulfilled in this process.”
In these tough economic times, the need is surely there.
“Poverty unfortunately is very much alive in America,” Newman said. “We are getting inundated with requests for assistance from all over the country with needs that range the gamut from tuition assistance, medical bills, rent, basic necessities, diapers, auto payments you name it. There are people all over this country, local communities that need help."
The stories on the website are heartbreaking, families in fear of losing their homes after falling on hard times due to illness, pleas for back to school clothes and money for medical bills. Young recounted the story of a woman who was graduating from high school and did well enough to secure a full college scholarship. However, her family could not come up with her graduation fees for a cap and gown, class pictures and invitations.
“Those are the kind of unique stories and ways we are able to help people,” he said.
For more information, go to Givelocally.net
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