Nonprofit Newswire | Charity Disaster

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February 22, 2010; New York Post | A storm is brewing over claims made by a New York-based charity to provide aid—that never materialized—to victims of Hurricane Katrina.The New York Post reports that a charity formed by Congressman Gregory Meeks, a Queens-NY Democrat, and a New York State senator, raised $31,000 in donations. But according to its own filings, it only disbursed $1,392. Federal prosecutors are now looking into the charity, New Yorkers Organized to Assist Hurricane Families (NOAH-F). Established shortly after Katrina hit, NOAH-F’s founders pledged to help 30 families in need. Meeks reportedly told a local newspaper at the time, “Every dime, every dime, will go to these 30 families.” Louis Rainey, a New Orleans resident and former state political director, who was tapped by the charity, to assist with directing donations to victims said, “We didn’t get the funds…we never got a dime.” Rainey said the only donation he is aware of tied to the charity was a “truckload of used clothing.” Meeks and the charity’s co-founder, state Sen. Malcolm Smith, also a Queens Democrat, refused to comment to the New York Post. The paper also reports that none of NOAH-F’s board or staff admit to knowing what happened to the money it raised.—Bruce Trachtenberg