I tried to get overhead expenditures from Suzanne Christensen, the Director of Administration, so I sould decide if it was appropriate for me to make a gift to this charity after being told about it at church.
She claimed that such information was confidential and refused to give it out and then slammed down the phone.
Rudeness and keeping public information private is no way to treat anyone let alone possible donors. Needless to say I will never give to them.
Review from Guidestar
If the dysfunctional Director of Development who got the boot over the objections of the Executive Director was a man, then he needed to GO. He was verbally and socially inappropriate to staff - even made fun of the disabled. Staff complained for 5 years but the Board did NOTHING. He was always on the phone with his family or other personal calls. He came in late and left early all the time. Cathy did support him at every turn and we never understood why, although it was suspected that he "had something" on a member of the Board. What else could it be? Many of the successful grants were written by the Grant Writer, NOT the Director of Development. He said, from the first day, that it was his job to establish relationships with others and not to write grants. He did, however take credit with the Board for many donations and grants he had nothing to do with.
I WISH I COULD GIVE A ZERO STAR RATING , THEY DON'T DESERVE EVEN ONE STAR!
I have received a few appeals for donations recently from PADS Lake County, an organization I have only heard a little about in the past -- a few friends give yearly.
So, I called to learn more and was directed to a woman Christen something or another. When I asked her some questions about the organization she directed me to their website. When I said that would be fine but, I had a few specific questions such as overhead costs and cost per client served she got very defensive and put me on hold. When she came back she said that she was "not allowed to share that information," said goodbye and hung up the phone.
Needless to say I did not and will not give to this organization.
P.S. What are they hiding?
I use to give regularly to this PADS. However, the last time I received proper acknowledgment for my donation(s) was in mid-February of 2012. I would always get a nice letter with a handwritten note for my gift(s) regardless of the amount.
Since then I have given several times and I mostly get no letter, not for thanks or even IRS purposes. I have been hearing, mostly from my church, that PADS is struggling and more desperate than ever for money. Then, the other day I received their newsletter in the mail, the first I have received in a long time. In the past the information was insightful and made a case for why one should give. While there was some of that most of the newsletter was fluff that promoted the egos of the Executive Director and new Director of Development.
But, most glaring of all was that in the old newsletters, where such a good case was made for making a donation, the whole thing was done on regular paper in black-and-white -- I always viewed this as a cost saving measure and it made me feel more secure that the portion of my donation that needed to go for overhead was not wasted. Now, about two years later, I get their self-promotiong "newsletter" and it's on high gloss heavy paper and in four color. That is not how I want my funds spent and I will never give again.
Review from Guidestar
As a former Board Member I can tell you that very little is disclosed to the Board and the real stakeholders of the organization. For many years PADS was fiscally solvent, now it is struggling for any and all donations.
I was given a list of possible reasons why this has happened, none of them pass the "smell test". Everyone points the finger at someone else then, I was given the "excuse" that it is a matter of the "economy". If you look at their 990's, not their propaganda, during the most recent Recession donations were up and jept pace with spending. Now, as the recession is winding down, spending continues to increase and donations are on the decline.
I simply just don't trust them anymore.
I PERSONALLY HAVE BEEN KICKED OUT FOR GETTING A RESTRAINING ORDER ON SOMEONE , AT PADS, IN NORTH CHICAGO. IT WAS SO NEEDED THEY WOULD NOT HELP ME AT ALL WITH THIS ISSUE, AND PLENTY MORE , OTHER OFFENCES TOWARDS ME AND OTHERS.. THEY WOULD RATHER PROTECT A VIOLENT PERSON AND OR PERSONS, THAN ME... IF THEY WOULD OF,.. I NEVER WOULD HAVE GOTTEN HURT.. I AM SO DISAPOINTED . NEED TO LET OTHERS NOW, NO MATTER WHAT STICK UP FOR YOURSELF..AS OF WEDNESDAY , AND NOW THIS IS THURSDAY, I AM ON A MISSION TO CHANGE THIS AND SOME WAYS IF I CAN..I PRAY THIS NEVER HAPPENS TO ANYONE ELSE.. I AM NOW BARRED FROM OTHER HELP DUE TO BEING ASKED TO LEAVE AND TOLD I CAN NEVER GO BACK TO THERE BUILDING. WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO A SAFE PLACE TO LIE YOUR HEAD DOWN ? BEING TREATED WITH DIGNITY, AND RESPECT , THAT'S THEIR MOTTO ! FORTHE LAST MONTH I HAVE KEPT NOTES, AND I AM WRITING A BOOK ON THIS MATTER,ONE GIRL WAS GROUNDED TO PADS WELL THE COURTS HAD AN ORDER OF THIS FOR HER TO BE THERE.. INSTEAD OF MAKING A REPORT ON HERE MESSING UP AT PADS THEY LET ME SUFFER AND OTHERS AT THIS PADS, UNFORGIVABLE...
Prior to becoming a volunteer, I had personal experience with many homeless peole to whom a relative gave shelter at various times. Once a person becomes homeless, it is extremely difficult to break the cycle; particularly since they no longer have a mailing address to receive SSI or any other support for which they may be eligible. They also do not generally have phones or transportation, which makes applying for benefits even more difficult. I have been greatly impressed with the work that PADS does with the homeless population of Lake County. During the winter, clients are bussed from a few different locations to the churches providing shelter that night. At the church, they receive a full dinner, dessert, and a snack. In the morning, they receive a breakfast, which is often a hot meal, and a bag lunch to take with them. Everyone in the PADS administration has a true compassion for the homeless. Besides providing temporary shelter, their goal is to reintegrate the homeless into the community. To do that, there are several advocates who are adept at referring clients to other agencies for help with educational, legal, medical, dental, and multiple other needs. There are also showers, washers & dryers at the Center for the clients' daytime use. Imagine trying to find a job when you have no place to clean yourself & your clothes! I urge everyone to support this great organization in whatever way is possible.
I have worked as a volunteer at PADS' overnight shelter in Grayslake for more than three years. In my 40 years of volunteering for various organizations I have never had such a fulfilling experience. Also, I recently gave my first donation, $250, and received a personal thank you note in less than a week. I always feel immense gratitude from the clients as well as the staff.
PADS is a great organization that provides Emergency Shelter and other services to more than 1,700 people in Lake County, Illinois. I gave a contribution, a meager $50, and received a personal thank you note from someone at PADS. I was concerned that I would then get inundated with mail from them. My fears were unfounded, I only receive a quarterly newsletter and a Christmas appeal.