VERY IMPORTANT: March 11 update below since the Angels in Waiting "offer" has been accepted by Nadya
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This is all so SCREWY I cannot believe it!
It was first reported yesterday that Gloria Allred (whom I admire very much for all of her work) had come up with a plan to save the octuplets, and this was going to be done for free, no cost to the taxpayer whatsoever.
The offer from Angels in Waiting would keep the family together without use of taxpayer funds, Allred said. It would require, however, donations from the public.
Next item, yesterday's Pasadena Star News reported:
At the same time, the nonprofit Angels In Waiting -- which cares for medically fragile children in foster care -- offered its services to Suleman for all 14 of her children for at least six months. Normally, that kind of care would cost about $135,000 a month.
Not believing my eyes at this exorbitant amount I put in a call to Angels in Waiting and spoke to the founder's husband, James M. Comforti. I informed him immediately that I thought the Pasadena Star News must have misprinted the amount of money needed. To this he replied, "Well what amount do you think this is going to take?"
I responded, "I have no idea, I'm not a professional in these matters and it is your organization who is stating this"
As our conversation ensued he named the items that would be needed, nursing care for the fragile preemies, therapists, occupational therapists (more than likely cp in the preemies) therapists for the three other disabled children (autistic, ADD, signs of autism), diapers, doctors visits and several other items.
Then came my question, "Does your organization have the budget to cover this massive undertaking"
"No, not at this time, but we are hoping to get donations and volunteers."
1. It is my wife who thinks this needs to be done in order to keep them out of foster care so they can stay with their mother. This is all about the CHILDREN, don't you agree?
Of COURSE I agree.
2. We are a 5013c foundation set up to do this sort of thing.
3. Do you have this funding in place now? "NO, but we are hoping".
4. I'm trying to figure out exactly what it is you are offering to do here. Are you offering to coordinate this effort? Answer: "Don't try to put words in my mouth", Response, "I'm not, but what is it exactly that you are doing?" "Look my wife thinks this is important because this is ONLY for the children and we think they need to be kept out of foster care."
So, I got off the phone scratching my head. This organization Angels in Waiting, a charity according to Gloria Allred, wants to help but it's going to take (per his words) "an undertaking like they've never done before"
I tried to find the press conference (Allred's website puts her press conferences up, but this one isn't up yet) Mr. Comforti told me to watch the news at 4 which I couldn't do. The Pasadena Star News wrote to look for a longer article tomorrow in the Whttier Daily News. HERE it is, and it is IMPORTANT to note the words at the end from the excerpt in BOLD.
ADDITION: Transcript of press conference with Gloria Allred, Linda Conforti and Jackie Peebles
But a potential home purchase would be a moot point if Suleman accepts an offer made Thursday by famed lawyer Gloria Allred and Linda West-Conforti, founder of the nonprofit Angels In Waiting.
Allred held a news conference in her Los Angeles office to announce an offer by AIW for free housing and comprehensive medical and emotional services to the Suleman family for at least six months.
The catch is that Suleman must accept the offer before next Thursday.
"Time is of the essence," Allred said. "The time for action to keep this family together to protect the best interests of these babies is now."
On Feb. 12, Allred said she "quietly" filed a complaint with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and requested an investigation into whether Suleman's children would be in danger if left in her care.
The same day, West-Conforti e-mailed Suleman through the hospital, Suleman's Web site and her previous publicist to make AIW's offer.
West-Conforti founded AIW in 2005 to provide care to thousands of "medically fragile" children, particularly those in the foster-care system. None of AIW's money comes from public sources.
Now remember, James Comforti told me they are a 5013c and they want to take this on, raise the funds needed. Sooooooo, let's take a visit to Angels in Waiting who takes "no money from public resources"
From the side link on their sidebar, click, Nurses Needed because it turns out Angels in Waiting is a licenced FOSTER CARE home which is compensated with PUBLIC FUNDS!!!!
How does this transfer to a paycheck? Linda is compensated by the Family Foster Agency for caring for the child and bills the In-Home Operations Section of Medi-Cal as an Independent Nurse Provider for up to 12 hours a day for her in-home nursing hours.
Seeing the benefit for the children and for the alternative nursing lifestyle, Linda and her husband Mac have created a foundation called Angels in Waiting. One of their missions is to move medically fragile foster care babies and young children into private residences under the care of Registered Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses as their foster parents.
Wait a minute, I thought Angels in Waiting, Linda Comforti wanted to keep them out of foster care? I thought Angles in Waiting is a "charity"? Well this "charity" "transfers in to a paycheck"and that paycheck comes straight out of the taxpayer's wallet. Let me make this straight. I ADMIRE foster care parents, but I have NEVER heard of one calling themselves a "charity". Seems they did set up a 5013c to accept donations. Are these to offset what Medical doesn't pay? No, I do NOT wish to take away Medi-Cal payments from a licensed foster care facility, but I DO have problems with it calling itself a "charity" and Gloria Allred portraying it as such. The funds that Angels in Waiting say are needed for monthly care have NOT materialized (this according to Allred's secretary, Ashley, who I spoke to also)
This morning the Early Show hosted Gloria Allred and Linda Comforti on their show. This is interesting:
Allred pointed out that, "They would all be together in a home if the Angels in Waiting offer is accepted. If not, then they may be taken by the Department of Children Services, placed in foster care, all children put in different homes, and they won't get the care from public agencies because of budget restrictions that they would get from angels in waiting." Also, Nadya cold stay in the home with them if she takes Angels in Waiting up on its offer.
So let me get this straight, public agencies have "budget restrictions" that Angels in Waiting don't. But Angels in Waiting DOESN'T HAVE THE FUNDS IN PLACE AT THIS MOMENT, they are HOPING the donations and volunteers will come in.
Is this not the SCREWIEST solution to the Octuplet debacle you have seen yet? And Gloria, when I spoke to your secretary I told her, I am CONCERNED about your good name getting caught up in this and I MEANT it. Yes you are in the media ALL the time, YES people call you a "media whore" but there has never been a smarter attorney than YOU. So how the HELL did you get caught up in this?
Go BACK to your complaint and please FORGET about people who are trying to get in the media themselves over this situation such as this organization who may WANT to help, but it has NOT happened yet. I do not begrudge Linda Comforti her payments for her foster care facility, but she IS getting paid, in fact according to her own website her care "transfers in to a paycheck" All these donations would be going to her and however she wants to dish it out. Considering she thinks of herself as a "charity" when she clearly is NOT (except for the 5013c in ADDITION to Medical payments to her), I think the best answer is to distance yourself from this one.
And going on air to say Nadya has one week to accept this offer (an offer that has YET to materialize) is just BOGUS unless you know of all the people and donations for SURE that are going to cover ANGEL'S IN WAITING'S estimated cost per month of $135,000.
Addition: This post is titled "How did Gloria Allred Get Involved with the Octuplets" She FIRST became involved when she filed a complaint with CPS (GOOD) She became involved with Angels in Waiting in this case when Linda Comforti contacted her:
Angels in Waiting founder Linda West Conforti, a registered nurse herself, told Chen all 14 "kids would come in. We have a property that's set up. And that's why I contacted Gloria, because time is of the essence here. We have to -- you know, we have the property, but we have to make a home. It will take two days just to put 14 beds together, eight of them being cribs. And I was really concerned when I watched (a TV) special. I saw how small these preemies were. And I'm set up for it. I have occupational therapists. I have physical therapists. I have behavioral feedback doctors. It's all on board to help these kids.
But do you have the FUNDS on board Mrs. Comforti, or are you "hoping" as your husband stated? And it's a BIT strange to say you want to keep these kids out of foster care when you ARE a licensed foster care provider. Yes I know, these funds would come in through your 5013c but WHO administers it and what OVERSIGHT would there be if it is being done out of your "charity arm" as opposed to your LICENSED arm? I am not making any accusations, I am only asking PERTINENT questions about your offer.
UPDATE: Friday February 27, CBS Early Morning had Gloria Allred on this morning announcing that Angels in Waiting's and her "offer" had been turned down, the date was past due for the offer to be accepted. Yesterday, Denis Beaudoin, would-be "Octopappy" gave Allred "permission" to release the following statement "Denis Beaudoin is in support of any measure, resources dedicated to the care and support of Ms. Suleman and her children including Angels in Waiting" Now, there is going to be a news conference held at 2:00 pm, just 20 minutes from now with Allred and Angels in Waiting. Yes, and I'm waiting too because no reporter that I have seen has done their due diligence to scope this "house" out that was being offered by Angels in Waiting. No I'm not saying it doesn't exist, I'm saying SHOW ME THE MONEY.
Further>> Gloria Allred appeared on CBS' "Early Show" today and said that she will be revealing what she calls, "disturbing conversations" with Nadya Suleman at a 2 pm press conference.
NOTE the date: January 14, 2009.
I'm a NICU Nurse by trade. I saw a need to help infants and children in our own county America. The epidemic of drug use by pregnant women have resulted in an influx of very premature infants( Foster Care Preemies) with medical needs this issue is occurring in our NICU Units across America and inspired me to establish Angels In Waiting.
So I Started a Nonprofit 501c3 ...Because I'm a NURSE, I am not trained in marketing, widgets and E bogs? UGH : (
I need your comments related to My GG Site. Please give me your feedback ,thoughts and knowledge on how to increase traffic to the site or better yet if you feel the cause is noble enough help me get it out . (e-mail me any changes or input you think I may need).
Linda Conforti RN
Now for Global Giving:
This is interesting, this Global Giving post for Angels in Waiting was updated December 18, 2008 and in part reads:
Date Added to GlobalGiving
This project was added to the GlobalGiving project catalog on October 28, 2008.Activities
Our main goal is to advertise on commercials and in magazines for quality foster/adopt parents, by placing a sweeter face on foster children. It's is equally as imperative to provide the public information on the plight of America's Foster Children.
Funding InformationTotal Funding Received to Date: $2,155
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $997,845
Total Funding Goal: $1,000,000
EDIT MARCH 11: Yesterday I linked to the above page and found that the $1,000,000 had been EDITED to read thus: (There is no way to find out when this edit was done however the above was cut and pasted from the link on February 27)
Funding InformationTotal Funding Received to Date: $2,155
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $97,845
Total Funding Goal: $100,000
NOW THIS Global Giving post for Angels in Waiting was last updated on February 18, 2009 and reads quite differently:
The mission is to move medically fragile foster care babies and young children into private residences under the care of Registered and Licensed Vocational Nurses as their foster parents.
Funding InformationTotal Funding Received to Date: $8,993
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $41,007
Total Funding Goal: $50,000
Added note on Global Giving: According to Wikipedia GlobalGiving is a partnership between a nonprofit organization, the GlobalGiving Foundation, and a for profit company, Many Futures, Inc. Both founders of the nonprofit receive compensation from the for profit company.
From the "about us" page of Global Giving:
All donations go through the GlobalGiving Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 organization, which receives a nominal 10% fee. This helps cover the cost of operating the marketplace - finding and researching projects, attracting donors, and building our website.
This means that 10% of all the monies raised by Angels in Waiting via their Global Giving account automatically goes to Global Giving which then in turn uses these funds for programming to drive people to their site which includes several hundred charities listed. Just a note on this added charity layer.
So, let me get this straight, in December Angels in Waiting was trying to raise 1 million dollars for advertising of foster children, but by February, just in the nick of time for her "offer" to Nadya, Angels in Waiting's goals were much more modest, to raise $50,000 to move "medically fragile foster care babies" into the care of registered nurses, or at least that is the change made on her Global Giving account.
UPDATE: Dr. Phil hosted Larry King Live last night. On the program he had Victor Munoz, Nadya's representative. There seem to be disagreements about Angels in Waiting. Nadya did speak to Linda Conforti who tells of the "disturbing conversation" she had with Nadya that Allred referred to. If we are to believe Conforti, Nadya wanted to turn the "house", the one that no reporter has seen but that Conforti claims to have, in to a reality show. If we are to believe Conforti it was she who turned down Nadya when Nadya didn't meet HER requirements as the care taker and she let her wonderful offer run past it's final date for acceptance. Victor Munoz stated that he has been busy making arrangements with Kaiser to release the children and to lease a house for Nadya's family. Dr. Phil pressured Victor to speak to the "good egg" Gloria Allred whereas Victor stated he felt pressured by Allred and wanted to speak to Conforti herself who had not answered his calls. This needs to be clarified ASAP by Victor because now Conforti whose organization will depend on DONATIONS whereas she normally operates by being paid by Medical through becoming an In-Home Operations provider has so far been able to convince everyone her offer has merit WITHOUT proof of a "house", the donations in place (since none of these "volunteers" have ever worked for free before!) or a LIST of the actual providers she "has in place". Remember, it was Conforti who contacted Allred. When I spoke to Mr. Conforti on the phone I asked him just how he was going to do this, he stated, "Well now we have Gloria Allred helping us". So has Gloria Allred offered to raise the donations needed to pay all these people Linda Conforti says she has in place? Not that I have heard. Remember, it is Angels in Waiting that put the $135,000/mo price tag on this, NO ONE ELSE. Gloria Allred makes it seem as if Angels in Waiting is the "only organization" doing this. No, Angels in Waiting is the only 501c which has been set up to recruit other nurses to do this ALTHOUGH the only two children on her website are her own, Sammy, and a little girl, Lexi who were both adopted by their nurse providers. My question is this, the Suleman children reside in LA County which would NOT transfer their wards (should CPS step in) to another county. If Conforti's organization is so well established, why is she trying to bring these children to HER as opposed to finding an In-Home nurse provider in Los Angeles County to do this? She may say that what she is doing is taking these children off the potential tax-payer dole, but per her OWN estimation this would depend on massive donations that HER organization would then pay out.
No oversight from child protective services whatsoever. This "offer" would require Nadya to uproot her entire family to go live under the control of Angels in Waiting who is NOT the only In-Home Operations provider available. So basic question I ask all readers here, is this even a legitimate offer to begin with? No house verified by reporters, no donations verified, no list of providers verified. If not, then what is Conforti's motive in stepping in to this in the first place?
UPDATE 3/6/09: Much has been written about Angel's in Waiting's "free offer" to Nadya Suleman.
THIS article "Not so Nuts" also states the funding for this offer was always in the realm of the hypothetical.
Now, let's go to the claim that the non-profit Angels in Waiting was founded in 2005:
"Eager to spread the word, she founded a nonprofit organization in Lake Arrowhead, California, in 2005 called Angels in Waiting to connect medically fragile babies with nurses who wanted to take them into their homes".
Not so fast here folks, Angels in Waiting the CORPORATION was founded in 2005
|ANGELS IN WAITING|
|Number: C2757203||Date Filed: 7/12/2005||Status: active|
|PO BOX 1221|
|BLUE JAY, CA 92317|
|Agent for Service of Process|
|27689 MATTERHORN DR|
|LAKE ARROWHEAD, CA 92352|
March 11 UPDATE: Well it's official now, since Dr. Phil had his program air yesterday and still another one to come today, Nadya has accepted the "offer" from Angels in Waiting. Please note, all of the media have written that she is receiving "free care". This care is NOT free.
Furthermore, the pdf of the March 26th news conference of Allred, Conforti and Peebles where they aired their public disgust at Nadya turning down the offer (the deadline had run out the day before) has been REMOVED off of Gloria Allred's website. Someone out there in the media has copies of this. In that news conference Conforti, who was the only one to have spoken to Nadya directly (then), not Allred, said that she had told Nadya she expected her to give financially towards the children's care. Again, the pdf of this news conference has gone POOF, NO financial disclosure has been made public other than the fact that Angels in Waiting is depending on DONATIONS to pay for the care.
Dr. Phil has set up a special page dedicated to the octuplets. He has the link there to Angels in Waiting. Please now LINK to Dr. Phil, then link to AIW from there. PLEASE check out all the ways in which you can donate to AIW other than direct cash donations. These include options that would go well beyond the 6 month agreement between AIW and Nadya (to be reassessed after six months) The one I particularly am horrified with, that while legal is QUESTIONABLE is THIS one:
Note: For gifts of assets from a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k), a donor’s spouse must sign a waiver consenting to the gift to the charity. This is not the case for gifts of assets from an IRA.
Again, while this is legally true, I find it horrifying to suggest to donors that they need not get their spouse's signature to donate the assets from their IRA to AIW. Be sure to check out the other ways to donate also and NOTE, as of this time, 10:46 PST Nadya Suleman's octuplets are not mentioned on that donor page.
NOW, here is what is even more interesting. If you were watching Dr. Phil yesterday, you saw that Nadya signed a "Declaration of Principles" along with Allred, Dr. Phil and Conforti. HERE is the pdf of that agreement. Please, link to the HERE.
NOTE: This agreement is very subjective in that it definitely weighs in Angel's in Waiting's favor and #7 is the REAL kicker!
In the event that Nadya and Angels in Waiting are no longer working together all donations that have not been utilized shall be used for the support of other high risk infants who Angels in Waiting deem are in need of such care.
This is what is important for EVERYONE to know, Angels in Waiting (the non-profit which received it's 501c advanced ruling status in Oct. 2007) per Gloria Allred herself has the goal of RECRUITING nurses to become nurse care providers for foster children.
THIS reporter was in email correspondence with Allred directly. He was questioning why AIW had not filed it's required 990's. According to him, Allred responded:
“Angels in Waiting is exempt [from the Form-990 tax return] because their income was less than $25,000 in each and every one of their fiscal years,” Allred wrote. “Their mission was to recruit nurses as foster parents for medically fragile infants and children. Fiscal resources above $25,000 were not necessary for that purpose.”
Have the financial details of this arrangement been made public other than to say they are depending on donations? NO!
Furthermore, I have felt from the beginning of this, that NO ONE should be profitting off of Nadya and her children. That INCLUDES Angels in Waiting who has been able to get Nadya to sign a waiver that should their agreement be terminated, AIW gets to RETAIN any funds solicited on behalf of the octuplets!!!!!
As Dr. Phil somes to Nadya's aid as her stern white knight, his ratings have SOARED. Now we have an agreement made with an organization who gets to keep any monies made off the deal should the agreement be severed by EITHER party (at least I am assuming either party since this "Declaration of Principles" doesn't specify this)
If this is ALL about the children as Mr. Conforti told me on the phone, please explain to me why they wouldn't be returning any funds to a trust fund set up for the children's care/
Explain to me this one folks, and I will cease to question this arrangement, or at least this part of it.
FURTHER Update: It seems now that we're down to a pledge from Angels in Waiting to provide for VOLUNTEER nurses should the donations not come in. Allred and Conforti say it will take about three months to get the preemies off to a good start.This may very well be true but what about the care for the other children that was announced they'd be providing as well? What about them? What about all the FANFARE over Dr. Phil, Angels in Waiting and Gloria Allred rescuing the octuplets and whipping Nadya in to shape?
Also stated, "the numbers haven't been crunched yet on a monthly cost" Wait a minute here, Angels in Waiting and Gloria Allred have REPEATEDLY stated this care would normally cost $135,000 per month over and over again. Are we economizing now? What happened to the FREE care AIW was going to be providing that is being reported everywhere that really is NOT free unless it is volunteers? Seems it just might turn out to be free after all if there aren't donations to cover it and the volunteers MATERIALIZE.
One good note from this report, it seems that AIW can only keep any donations coming in if NADYA breaks the Declaration of Principles. What the article does not state is if there are clauses allowable under which Nadya CAN sever the relationship. I'd be interested in those outs for Nadya if they exist.
It is also good news to read that retired Honorable Judge Daniel Weinstein will be overseeing the donations that come in.
NOTE: Tuesday March 17, Haloscan isn't letting anyone post comments here anymore because it has a limit which has reached 89. Please go to NEW POST to comment.