KOLD INVESTIGATES: Fundraising group to stop collecting donations in Tucson

KOLD INVESTIGATES: Fundraising group to stop collecting donations in Tucson

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The man behind fundraising efforts that claim to support foster children in southern Arizona said Tuesday, Aug. 21, that he has suspended operations of any donation tables in Tucson.

Bruce Landau said he came to the conclusion after meeting with several individuals who have been critical of his practices with the organization Southern AZ Foster Kids.

Landau, who declined an on-camera interview for a second time, said he has stopped the donation tables until he can register as a qualifying charitable organization with the Arizona Department of Revenue.

He said he wants to do this right.

Lin Leclair, who previously warned about the red flags surrounding Southern AZ Foster Kids, was one of the people to meet with Landau. She said everyone in the room made it clear to him that they would not collaborate with his organization until he could convince them of his understanding of the community and the bookkeeping required of a nonprofit.

"He has a very clear picture of his standing in our foster care community," she said. "We were very clear with him today that until he changes his business practices, he has no standing."

Leclair said she questioned Landau's passion and interest in the foster care community when he suggested switching his fundraising focus to pets or individuals with special needs. In a previous phone interview, Landau had mentioned the possibility of "going back to" supporting people with special needs.

"Do not donate to this individual," Leclair said. "No matter what ... whether it's pets, whether it's special needs, whether he continues for foster kids, do not donate to this individual."

Landau provided a picture of a signed bill from Funtasticks. In a previous interview, he stated the tab from May would be settled by Monday. The bill does not have a date for the payment, but it has "paid in full" in pen with a signature on it.

Ted Watson of Funtasticks confirmed on Wednesday, Aug. 22, that the group did settle up with Funtasticks.

The California Attorney General's Office confirmed that the parent organization of Southern AZ Foster Kids, which is California Helping Hands, is not in good standing. Landau said that's not the case and that as long as he answers a letter from the office within 60 days, he's not delinquent. The record available from the Attorney General's Office says otherwise.

A representative for the office stated the organization is not allowed to collect donations in the state of California because of its current status.

To find out more on the parent organization click HERE and search for California Helping Hands, the larger organization.

The Foster and Adoptive Council of Tucson expressed concern that hearing news about Southern AZ Foster Kids and their donation tables might turn otherwise charitable people away from supporting established agencies in Arizona.

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