Mailbox painted with the Texas Flag in a street in Texas, USA

OUTRAGE: Linda Sarsour Raises Funds off Hurricane Harvey for Political Group

Left-wing political activist Linda Sarsour tweeted out a link to “Donate to the #Harvey Hurricane Relief Fund.”  Her link goes to a page titled “Donate to the Hurricane Harvey Community Relief Fund.”  The page notes the devastation that the hurricane has inflicted on Texas.  The text is carefully worded, however, saying at the end:

Together we will organize and advocate for our devastated communities, shining a spotlight on inequalities that emerge in the restoration of lives, livelihoods, and homes, amplifying the needs of hard-hit communities, and providing legal assistance for residents wrongfully denied government support.

It is worded this way because the donations actually go to the “Texas Organizing Project Education Fund,” as noted at the very bottom footer of the page.  The site itself is owned by a company called NGP VAN, Inc, which bills itself as “the leading technology provider to Democratic and progressive campaigns and organizations.”

What is the “Texas Organizing Project,” or “TOP?”  It is headed by Michelle Tremillo, who used to work for ACORN ( ).  TOP is also funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundation and “promotes social and economic equality for low to moderate income Texans through community and electoral organizing.”

The financials are interesting and available through Guidestar (a non-profit reporting clearinghouse).  TOP’s public 2015 IRS form 990 filing reveals the following salient facts:
  • In 2015, they received $1,669,801 in contributions
  • Of that, $963,811 was spent on salaries, $116,545 was spent on employee benefits, $83,471 was spent on payroll taxes, and then few hundred thousand dollars was spent on various other expenses.  So, all in, they spent $1,553,626 on their own organization’s upkeep.
  • Thus, they had net revenue of $116,175 which got recorded as assets.
This explains the wording on the fundraising site for the hurricane “Community Relief Fund.”  TOP is in the business of organizing, advocating, and “providing legal assistance for residents wrongfully denied government support.”
Based on their past IRS filings, what this seems to mean is that they’ll use the donations they receive to pay the salaries of their employees to engage in these activities.

There are better options available if you’d like to donate to help people affected by the hurricane.  The American Red Cross is an excellent option [Note from Erick: In light of this afternoon’s news about The Red Cross, we probably need to steer clear of them], as are various Church-affiliated organizations.

Also consider, Houston Flood ReliefNorth American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Samaritan’s Purse.

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Aaron Simms

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