YMCA warns of scammers posing as their organization


HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn (WDEF) – Ever since our area was hit by the tornadoes on Easter Sunday.

Many companies have stepped up to help those in need – but not all are legit.

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Recently, the Hamilton branch YMCA has been notified about a scam using their name.

The Chief Marketing Officer for the YMCA says the scam involves two women going door to door in neighborhoods asking for cash donations on behalf of the YMCA’s tornado relief efforts.

“All of our relief efforts have been organized and all of our donation efforts, throughout the year, go through our dedicated staff and through our website. Anybody who is going door to door , who feels suspicious probably is. These are not people who are representative of our organization,” says Cara Standifer, Chief Marketing Officer for YMCA. 

Standifer says the YMCA would never ask for monetary donations in this way.

If you are wanting to donate to the Y, the safest way to do that is to do it on their website, ymcachattanooga.org.

This way you can be sure you are donating to the correct organization

The YMCA has done a lot to help  tornado victims and essential workers.

YMCA officials say it’s disappointing to see someone using their name like this.

“Difficult times bring out the best and the worst in people. We hate to hear of this effort. We don’t endorse it. We just want community members and residents to be smart and usually these types of things feel wrong when you get a knock on the door. If it feels wrong and disingenuous of the Y, then it is,” says Standifer. 

The Ymca is still helping those affected by the storms.

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Joeli Poole joined the WDEF News 12 Team in April 2019 as a Reporter and Producer. You can find her reporting during the week and when not on camera; she's producing the 6 and 11 shows. Joeli grew up with a love for reporting, starting in middle school. She has been the anchor for her middle and high school TV stations, along with the Sports Anchor for her College TV Station. Joeli grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and moved to Tennessee when she 10 years old. She went to Cleveland Middle school and Walker Valley High School. She graduated in May of 2019 from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a bachelor's degree in Communications. Being from the area, Joeli loves being able to help tell the stories of her community. In her spare time, Joeli enjoys watching her LSU Tigers, hiking, and playing with her dog. Feel free to email any story ideas at jpoole@wdef.com.