When I was a kid, one of my favorite television programs was Queen for a Day. It was a precursor of the reality shows so many are hooked on today.
Between radio and television, the show ran for over 20 years, five days a week. At the time, Queen for a Day served as a modern-day rags-to-riches reality show. Broadcasting live from the historic theatre restaurant, Moulin Rouge, in Hollywood, each episode would consist of three to four women competing to become Queen for a Day.
The women revealed their most personal stories to the American public. Audience members then decided which woman's story was most heart-wrenching (by use of the Applause-O-Meter) and the winner was crowned Queen for a Day.
The selected queen was dramatically adorned with a crown, robe, and roses. She received gifts such as appliances, fully paid nights out, and many other prizes.
As I recall, washing machines and refrigerators were some of the most popular prizes. The winners usually cried and sometimes, so did I.
There were no glamor queens, wannabe celebrities, or endurance matches – no quarrels or name-calling. Just everyday wives and mothers reaching out for help because of job losses, illnesses or other life-changing events.
The audience was supportive and non-judgmental. The women were poised, humble and grateful. It was the time of “There but for the grace of God go I”.
Not so simple this time, but still true…
This show came to mind amid all the heartbreaking news stories about the seniors, women and children escaping from Ukraine to border countries, while their men stayed behind to fight for their country. Taking only what they could carry on their backs, they hope to survive until it is safe to go home.
Here in Thurston County, The Red Cross can be contacted to send donations to these heroic fighters and survivors. Sadly, there are always those who seek to profit from the misfortunes of others.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson is warning Washingtonians to be on the lookout for scammers targeting donations to aid Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees amid Russia’s ongoing attacks. Seniors always seem to be high on scammers lists.
Ferguson is asking Washingtonians to report suspicious solicitations to the attorney general’s office.
“During this tragic humanitarian crisis, many of us are looking for ways to help,” Ferguson said. “Unfortunately, scammers may prey on Washingtonians’ good will. My office is on the lookout for charity scams. If you see any suspicious or fraudulent solicitations, file a complaint with my office.”
Here are some tips from the attorney general’s office on how you can protect yourself from scams:
Research the charity before giving. Ensure the charity is registered with the Washington Secretary of State at www.sos.wa.gov/charities. If the charity is registered, you can review a summary of its financial records and tax status. You can also check the charity’s rating on Charity Navigator at www.charitynavigator.org or Guidestar Nonprofit Directory at www.guidestar.org.
Don’t give in to high-pressure tactics. If is someone is demanding immediate payment or sensitive personal information, it’s likely a scam.
Report any suspicious activity to the Attorney General’s Office. If you suspect a charitable solicitation might be a scam, report it to the Attorney General’s Office. To file a complaint about a charity or commercial fundraiser, visit the Attorney General’s website.
If you receive a suspicious robocall asking for a donation, here’s the link to file a robocall complaint.
No applause-o-meters, no sponsors, or crowns. No simple “asks” for something to make life a little easier or safer for the family.
Necessities of life, such as food, clothing and medical supplies, are desperately needed. Just make sure your donation reaches the people who need it the most.
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