Nonprofit or not? Questions surround Huntsville charity's legitimacy

Published: May. 4, 2017 at 3:08 PM CDT|Updated: May. 4, 2017 at 4:01 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Nonprofit or not? WAFF 48 News investigated after receiving multiple phone calls about a local nonprofit that many say is helping itself rather than the needy.

The nonprofit agency is Extra Hand America, dedicated, they say, to helping those most in need.

However, without the paperwork required for a charity or a business license, fights over money are taking over the Extra Hand America office located at 3315 Memorial Parkway SW in Huntsville.

As WAFF 48 approached the office door, Jerrica Basden walked out saying, "He's not giving me my money.

When Extra Hand America owner Robert Collier saw WAFF's camera, he darted down the stairs and out the back door, yelling, "I'm calling the police."

Basden and three other women who had appointments with Collier were left in the lobby and had no problem telling WAFF 48 about their experience with Extra Hand America. They said Collier promised his nonprofit, through donations, could help them with a variety of services like finding housing, paying utility bills, providing job training, legal services and even securing donated cars to get them from point A to point B.

However, they first needed to hand over money up front, anywhere from $50 to $200, before Extra Hand could give them a hand.

Basden claims the initial promise from Collier was if she donated her car, Extra Hand America would turn about and secure her a donated car for $250.

"I never got a car and then he sold my car to these people and he put my car on Craigslist," Basden said.

Another woman, Tasha Garner said, "He was supposed to handle a court situation for me and give me a house for $450."

A woman claiming to be an Extra Hand America employee, Raqueal Hamlett, said she had been on the job for two weeks.

"I have yet to be paid, but he told me he wasn't going to pay me because I'm a great asset to the company. This is not a legit company," she said.

Basden said Collier presented Extra Hand America as a Christian-based organization.

"I did the Christian women's job. Of course, me thinking that it might be a blessing to someone else that I could turn around do something better to keep me going through. Then you're taking from children and taking from single mothers with kids, and he knows we're trying to do something," she said.

The Extra Hand America website says it's a nonprofit organization which uses 100 percent of its donations to help any American who needs assistance. It seems to focus on helping veterans and is filled with Bible quotes.

However, the BBB's website has Extra Hand America listed with a F-rating.

"We're concerned about what he is soliciting for, taking donations for, and what he's spending his money on," said Belinda McCormick, vice president of the North Alabama Better Business Bureau.

Click here for Extra Hand America's BBB report.

Between the BBB and WAFF 48, we've confirmed Extra Hand America is not registered as a charity with the Alabama Secretary of State, the state attorney general's office or the IRS, all agencies that would verify the legitimacy of a charity.

"We're not getting documents anywhere from this individual," said McCormick.

The cops did get called and they determined the same thing we did, Extra Hand America had no license to be conducting business.

"I want my money or I want my car. What are you going to do?," said Basden.

"I feel disgusted. It doesn't make sense that you take advantage of people less fortunate seeking help. That's just the work of the devil," said Latoya Livingston, who came to Extra Hand America looking for help locating and securing a spot at a local day care at a discounted rate.

WAFF 48 reached out to Collier again by phone and through his listed email but got no response.

If you feel like you have been a victim of this charity or any other, don't hesitate to contact the attorney general's office and file a consumer complaint.

Copyright 2017 WAFF. All rights reserved.