Close Window

From: Scott Shakespeare [scott@shakespearecigars.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2005 2:14 PM
To: 'oreilly@foxnews.com'
Subject: I QUESTION CHARITABLE GIVING NOW, MORE THEN EVER!

Dear Mr. OíRielly,

Where do I turn now? Please allow me to explain, below are 2 e-mail letters declining our offers of donation. Iíve been trying to get to 2 different non-profit firms since we decided to become pro-active as a company for the benefit of the hurricane victims. This morning I finally succeeded to reach them, but only after we built a new web environment http://www.gulfcoastrebuilding.org for the benefit of charities through all kinds of online product sales, not just from our stores. I released a nationwide press release http://www.shakespearecigars.com/pr-gulf-coast-rebuilding09-21-2005.html to introduce the site and new directory, presenting a challenge to all online stores to create similar charitable donations through product sales for the benefit of the Hurricane Victims of Katrina, and now here comes RITA. 

I never asked to become one of either of the charities partner or affiliate; we just wanted to give them the money. They donít want it!

After more then 10 days of work by my staff and myself, I finally receive the following letters:

----------------------------------------------------------------------
First, was Habitat for Humanityís response:

Scott,

Thank you for your offer of support. I am sorry that you did not get an quicker response form Habitat as you planned your website.

Habitat for Humanity is not engaging in corporate cause marketing efforts as a result of Katrina. While we appreciate your offer of support, Habitat for Humanity International is encouraging those who wish to support our efforts to go to www.habitat.org and make a direct donation to Habitat online.

Habitat for Humanity will only support cause marketing efforts for companies that are currently formal partners of Habitat for Humanity International. We have logistical mechanisms in place with these companies that make it easier for us to put programs into action immediately to raise funds to support Habitat's efforts.

As a Christian organization, Habitat for Humanity does not partner with nor accept funding from tobacco manufacturers, distributors or sellers. The program you have created does not support the integrity of this portion of our mission. Habitat for Humanity will not be able to facilitate this program with you.

I understand and appreciate that you have a sincere desire to help our neighbors in the Gulf Coast. Habitat shares that same desire. But Habitat must maintain and work within the same principles that we have had for the past 30 years.

With the utmost respect for your efforts, I must ask that you not continue to promote and support Habitat for Humanity in this manner.

Should you have another business or fundraiser idea to support Habitat's efforts, please share that with me as I would like to find a way to help you help Habitat for Humanity.

Thank you in advance for your understanding of Habitat for Humanity's position in this matter.

Thank you for being part of the solution to the devastating situation in the Gulf Coast.

Respectfully,

Scott Umstattd 
Corporate Services Coordinator 
Habitat for Humanity International 
322 West Lamar Street 
Americus, Georgia 31709 
(229) 924-6935 ext. 2315 (Phone) 
(229) 928- 2697 (Fax) 
sumstattd@habitat.org
 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

And then I received this letter, as well as a short phone conversation prior to the e-mail.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello Scott,

Once again, I would like to thank you for your interest in supporting America's Second Harvest's Hurricane relief and recovery efforts. As I stated in our conversation, America's Second Harvest currently has partnerships with other tobacco companies, as well as some liquor companies; however we have also turned down many partnerships with the same types of companies. When consumer action is needed to generate a gift to our organization, that action can not be something that is potentially dangerous. Accordingly, smoking tobacco and drinking liquor would both fall into that category. 

As a member of the non-profit community, we greatly appreciate your want to support our efforts; however, we are not the correct organization for your company to partner with in this promotion. There may be other organizations who do not have policies such as ours, but this is something we strongly abide by. 

Thank you again for your wish to support us. Please let me know if you have any further questions. 

Best,
Heather Overdorf
Corporate and Foundation Relations Associate
P: 312.263.2303 x.218
F: 312.263.5626
hoverdorf@secondharvest.org
Help end hunger! www.secondharvest.org

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I donít understand 

We are talking about ONLINE STORES and percentage of sales, WALMART sells tobacco, as well as a huge list of other corporations, stores, ect. located at http://www.secondharvest.org/site_content.asp?s=17 . They give to AMERICANíS SECOND HARVEST, why canít we have our two little stores sell ďproductsĒ for the benefit of hurricane victims through these 2 organizations?? These used to be my favorite charities, for the sake of the people affected and their need for food, and the rebuilding of their lives. The money from product sales are donated everyday. Have I missed something as Iíve aged? How far to the right has this country gone?

Iíve attached the two e-mails they sent me today. 

Please let me know your thoughts, I watch your show, and appreciate your views and opinions

Thank you for your time, Best Regards

Scott Shakespeare
President/CEO
Shakespeare's Cigar Co.
www.ShakespeareCigars.com - Corporate Site
www.BuyShakespeares.com   - Online Store

Close Window