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State revokes charity license from Share Our Shoes

Posted March 6, 2012

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— The North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State revoked the license of a Raleigh-based charity Tuesday based upon allegations that the founder misused donations.

Jennifer Pierce founded Share Our Shoes, formerly called Shoes-4-Souls Inc., in September 2009, to collect shoes and donate them to the needy. She ran a high-profile collection drive in January 2010 immediately after the earthquake in Haiti.

Hope Community Church donated shoes and $5,000 to be sent to Haiti, but the state contends that neither the shoes nor the money ever made it there.

Instead, according to documents released by the state last month, Pierce sold the shoes to a buyer in New York.

The state's Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division sent two records requests to the organization for everything from bank statements and tax forms to receipts for shipments of shoes. 

Those requests turned up more than $47,000 in questionable checks, some of which were made out to Pierce; more than $10,000 in ATM and bank withdrawals, including at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa, Fla; $5,300 in retail spending; $2,500 in gas; more than $1,000 at bars and restaurants; and nearly $400 for cosmetic hair, nail and teeth services.

Pierce said she did sometimes use the charity's credit card for personal expenses, but that she always reimbursed the organization.

"I have always done the right thing 100 percent with funds that have come in," she said. "I know my heart. I know the purpose of Share Our Shoes, the purpose of the donations. I just need to get the details to the Secretary of State."

She added that she hasn't done anything illegal; she simply didn't know how to operate a nonprofit.

16 Comments

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  • superman Mar 8, 2012

    Well she is not alone. Even the "governor" doesnt know how to keep records of her campaign. Maybe they can share a prison cell and exchange information.

  • macy Mar 8, 2012

    I hope she goes to jail

  • Qwerty27807 Mar 7, 2012

    She should just call herself a "church", and all is well. With every abandoned gas station and storefront being a "church" around here, it will make the conversion of funds to her personal use much, much easier.

  • scot30 Mar 7, 2012

    Why would anyone operate a nonprofit if they don't know how to operate a nonprofit? Maybe she'll soon be learning how the prison system operates.

  • Raleigh Boys Mar 7, 2012

    I will miss her low prices for shoes on Ebay.

  • not my real name Mar 7, 2012

    that's so slack.

  • bobby6 Mar 7, 2012

    I remember when we had a Charity Night at the nOg Run Club and Jennifer Pierce walked away with hundreds of high dollar running shoes that were donated. I received one of her t-shirts that night which was three sizes too small. I'll have to find that shirt to wipe the bird droppings off my truck.

  • Sherlock Mar 6, 2012

    What part of do not spend teh money on yourself did she not understand?

  • samr Mar 6, 2012

    She also hired her brother who is accused of selling donated materials for profit. She explained this by saying she allowed him to keep some $ in exchange for the work that he had done. She said that he is also in recovery but from the looks of it, both of them still have issues.

  • piene2 Mar 6, 2012

    I give only to the Salvation Army because they are the only ones I trust.

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