...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

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I am woman hear me roar.

I love victories. I love big ones by my favorite teams. I love that the Seattle Storm won the WNBA championships last year, that Lance took number 7 and that Andre made it to the US Open finals. And I love the little ones, when you get back the 20 cents you were overcharged because the store staff was lazy or because the corporate guys didn’t change the prices on the shelves.

Several days ago, after getting home from Bouchercon and catching up on the horrific news about Katrina, I posted about ways to donate. Not that anyone needed it – we all know how to find the Red Cross, but I sort of like creative donations and I know lots of us are into things like food or pets or books, so I was trying to find cool not-so-obvious fundraisers that folks might not find. And I found a site doing bracelets. And got all excited. Because, as you know if you read this blog, or have seen me, I wear several of those bracelets. But I wasn't sure if that was what I wanted to spend money on; still, I blogged about it with a bunch of other things I'd heard about.

Later when I looked again, I thought – hmph, they don’t give a lot of information. How can I be sure it’s legit and that my money (lots of it give the bracelet) would end up with the Red Cross/Sally Army as claimed. So I found the email address on the website. And I wrote an apologetic “you know how it is, gosh, sorry to doubt you” letter asking for some form of proof. If they were legit, they'd understand. If not, well....

After 48 hours without a response, I pulled the url from my post and got busy trying to track things. I know little about how to find someone on the net, so I ended up doing what I’d hoped to avoid, which was to write the Red Cross and burden their already overburdened staff. But I wrote and said “hi know you’re busy, sorry to bother you, but you might wanna know that here’s this website that claims they’re raising money for you” and all

The Red Cross website of course said “hi, we’re overwhelmed right now with offers for help, we’ve gotten 20,000 emails so you might not hear for a while”. Hell, of course not. But I hoped that maybe they had the expertise to track down what now appeared like a scammer.

Imagine my amazement when I got a reply in something under a half hour. Clearly someone was monitoring emails, but still. And the email said “thanks for the heads up, we’re turning this over to an investigator in our legal department. (whoo-ha, they have investigators in their legal department! Well, stands to reason – the scammers are always with us, huh?)

A couple of hours ago, I went back to look for the website, to see if anything hand changed. I could, I hoped, have found a legit fundraiser who’d simply forgotten to …oh forget it, I didn’t expect any such thing.

The website no longer exists.

Of course I don’t know if what I told the American Red Cross did it. Maybe something else happened. Maybe um the manufacturer couldn't get the bracelets made. Yeah, right. Or, no maybes.

But oh, I like to think I shut down one wretched little scam artist who was taking money from well-meaning, good hearted people. Maybe even someone who will be prosecuted. I dunno. I did a google search and didn’t find the same product under a new name. It's gone.

So I’m going to believe I did it. What the heck. Wouldn’t you, if you could, claim credit for being Big Strong Fixit Woman? GRRRRRR….

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