Saturday, August 6, 2011

Threats from "Computers for Hope"

 (actual date 8/7/12, changed to 8/7/11)

Threatened by "Computers for Hope" with legal action, but I hope to see them in court. The public needs to be aware of rip-off "charities" such as this one, as too many good-hearted people are taken advantage of by people who operate under the guise of "doing good" all the while living off the donations of others. Here's what I received today, six months after the fact:

Gmail Catherine S. Todd

accusations of fraud
3 messages

i Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 5:14 PM



I just saw that your post claiming fraud on the part of Computers for Hope is still on your blog.

If your blog alleging fraud is not removed or corrected as mentioned above within fifteen (15) days, I will proceed with legal action both in the US and Guatemala, as well as any and all efforts to correct this libel on the Internet.
Donald L. Livingston
Donald L. Livingston, founder
Computers for Hope

Donald L. Livingston, founder
Computers for Hope

 From: Catherine S. Todd
Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 6:31 PM

I look forward to your so-called lawsuit, as the truth will come out
in a public forum.

Never in my life have I been subjected to the kind of treatment I
recieved at the hands of you and your director, Kirk Lightfield, after
offering to donate funds to your computer program. I am still in shock
as to how you think you can operate this way.

Perhaps because you think that as a "charity" you are not required to
account for funds or treat people with respect? I don't know, but if I
have anything to say about it, it won't happen again to someone else.
It will end now.

I offered to BUY A COMPUTER FOR THE NURSING STUDENTS here in Guatemala.

You wanted to "trade" for a computer for some of our unique, special
made journal covers that we sell in the states to raise money for
medical and educational expenses for the Mayans we work with.

We pay fair trade prices for their work, unlike your employee Kirk,
who felt our prices were "too high" and that he sold journal covers
"cheaper." This, even though you would have received 50% off for
wholesale prices. But still you weren't satisfied. I said fine, I
would pay for the computer. This wasn't good enough either. You wanted
my journal covers.

Kirk was one of the rudest people I have ever dealt with, and I still
can't believe you have someone working for your organization that
treats people this way. I have the emails from him to prove it. He
"reserves the right to refuse service to anyone" is just one of the
signs he sent me. It was just unbelievable.

A charity is not a personal fiefdom, although you and Kirk seem to
think it is. I was a volunteer who was offering to donate money to buy
a computer. No more and no less, and it turned into burning me at the
stake because you didn't get what you wanted. It was beyond
ridiculous; the emails I received from both of you bordered on lunacy.

It was an impossible situation which led to me being attacked over two
full days. I don't know why I wasted my time responding, but I just
coulnd't believe that a "charitable organization" would behave this
way. But you showed your true colors.

I again offered to BUY a computer for the nursing students. I was
personally attacked by you and Kird over a two day period, until I
refused to respond any longer.

I hope you do take "legal action" against me as this will be the
public forum where your negligent and criminal actions will be
exposed. You are not listed with GuideStar as a well-run charity, and
you have not completed your IRS tax forms as a charity as required by

It appears that you and Kirk are using this charity as your own
personal cookie jar, and this needs to be brought to light. I welcome
the court and the judge seeing the facts, along with all your
volunteers and board members.

Out of more than 500 listings on our free online database of charities
and businesses in the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala, you were one
of five that have been operating fraudulently.

I am shocked and saddened to see this, but it will come to an end.

You do not need to wait "15 days" to proceed with "legal action." You
can do it right now and save us both some time.

See you in court. You and Kirk's days of raiding the piggy bank and
hands in the cookie jar are over. Send me the date of your proposed
court hearing in the U.S. and in Guatemala and my attorney and I will
be there.

 I will ask for damages and attorney fees, and all proceedings will be
made public and sent to your board of directors, GuideStar, IRS and
any other watchdog organization that protects the public from
fraudulent organizations and abuive people like you.

Sincerely, Catherine Todd

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Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
View of Lake Atitlan and volcano from my apartment balcony in Panajachel. Taken by Catherine Todd June 2008.