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Old 12-02-2009, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Default Charities say they don't intend to discriminate

Charities say they don't intend to discriminate
By Jeannie Kever
The Houston Chronicle, December 1, 2009

Two Houston charities that require proof of citizenship or legal residency before registering families for holiday toy drives said Tuesday their intentions have been misunderstood.

Executive Assistant Fire Chief Rick Flanagan said people won't be turned away from a Dec. 23 giveaway even if they can't provide proof of their immigration status.

'They ask,' Flanagan said of the Outreach Program Inc., which distributes toys collected by the Houston Fire Department. 'If (people) don't have identification, they still get in. I wouldn't have the program if they didn't.'

And the Salvation Army, which asks for a Social Security number when registering children for its gift program, said it does so only to deter fraud.

Flanagan and Salvation Army spokesman Juan Alanis spoke up Tuesday after a story in the Chronicle noted that both groups require birth certificates, Social Security numbers or other documents indicating immigration status. They said it's not their intent to discriminate.

Alanis acknowledged that families cannot register for the Angel Tree program, which allows children to request specific gifts, unless one member of the family can present a Social Security number.

'It is not because we seek to discriminate. The Salvation Army is not in the business of verifying legal status,' he said. 'We have to be good stewards. If we let people register without checking, that could be abused.'

Alanis said the agency uses Social Security numbers, rather than some other type of identifier, because 'that's just the way we've found to verify it at this point. If other agencies do something different, we'd be interested in finding that out.'

Families also are asked to provide proof of income; they must be at or below the poverty level to participate. About 30,000 children are registered for the program this year, up 20 percent from last year.

A fire department spokeswoman said Monday it is up to each charity the fire department also works with Catholic Charities and the Hispanic Firefighters Caucus, neither of which checks immigration status to set its own toy distribution policies.

Fliers in English, Spanish

Outreach Program founder Lorugene Young said she wants to ensure the parents are citizens, legal immigrants or working to become legal residents, although she makes an exception if families can show the children are enrolled in school.

But Flanagan said even that was too strong a description for the way Young really operates, saying her main interest is in verifying names of recipients so she can provide that information to the fire department. Young on Tuesday noted that a flier announcing the Dec. 23 toy giveaway at 1305 Benson, the site of a now-closed Houston Independent School District elementary school, is printed in both English and Spanish.

The HFD toy drive begins today and continues through Dec. 18. Donors are asked to drop off new, unwrapped toys at any fire station.
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:05 PM
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Jeanfromfillmore Jeanfromfillmore is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,287

These invaders come here and don't give a rats a$$ about our culture, flag or country. We live with the barrios/gangs and damage they've caused 365 days a year. Yet we're suppose to care if their Christmas isn't so great and doesn't allow them to suck more out of our citizens. And I don't care if they are 'discriminated' against. They've discriminated against our culture and kicked it to the curb, burned our flag and marched in our streets with a foreign flag. Now they're seeing there are consequences to their actions. And NO we are not responsible for their over breeding. If you can't keep your legs crossed it's your own fault. Give your anchors and illegal kids the Christmas present of going back to your home country.
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