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Suspicious men say they’re soliciting for charities

Several people have written to us about suspicious men canvassing the neighborhood, supposedly in support of charities.

I live near Greenwood and 57th and a young guy came to my door this evening asking for money for the “Greenwood Mission”. He had photos of the “mission” in a book and said it was his job to canvas the neighborhood for donations. Since my roommate answered the door I didn’t get to talk to him or I would have asked him for ID. When I came downstairs to see who it was he had already left and was making notes in a book at the bottom of my steps. She also said he smelled like alcohol. Since I had never heard of the Greenwood Mission it all seemed a little suspicious, so I called the Police. They said they were going to check in to it but they haven’t got back to me yet. Anyone know if this is legit?

In doing a little searching, I found a “U.S. Mission” with a Greenwood address (actually the postal address is at the Greenwood Sip & Ship, which rents mailboxes). The U.S. Mission’s website says it has locations in Seattle, Portland, California, Phoenix and Kansas City, and that they receive no funding from social service agencies or governments, instead relying on community donations. I’ve got a message in to the U.S. Mission to find out more about its legitimacy.
Update: We received this response from the U.S. Mission:

Please be advised that there is no connection whatsoever between the named individual purportedly representing the so-called “Greenwood Mission” and the United States Mission which operates facilities in Greenwood.

While Emissaries from the United States Mission do engage in door-to-door, religious solicitation, they do not sell magazines or any product or service. Our Emissaries are all properly credentialed with photo ID, copies of our 501(c)3 determination letter, Washington Certificate of Authority, and other documents, photos, and literature explaining our Mission program as well as providing contact information for the United States Mission, 8560 Greenwood Ave, N, #17, Seattle, WA 98103 (mailing), located at 8720 Third Ave. NW and 128 NW 81st Street, Seattle, WA 98117.

Such persons as you reported are a scourge to our Mission, causing confusion and generating mistrust in the community. They need to be stopped. We shall be happy to do whatever we can to assist you in exposing these frauds.

And here’s another:

A man came to my door last night, I answered and he gave me a highly suspect spiel about being from a charity that helps people get back on their feet…When I asked him to get to his point, he showed me a certificate that he carried in a leather bi-fold for an alleged “Strategic Inc”, claiming he would earn points if I bought a magazine subscription from him. He had a bogus printout of Magazine descriptions, and a pad of paper where he appeared to be taking notes on the doors he knocked on. He left when I asked.
Across the street I could see another man knocking on my neighbors doors, doing the same thing. The man on my porch identified the other man as his partner.
Tonight, the other man knocked on our door, apparently with the same scenario. I made a 911 report about 10 minutes ago, they said they would send a patrol to check the area. We live in the 300 block of NW 81st.

The only Strategic Inc. I could find is a fundraising company located in Minnesota, but their website says nothing about door-to-door soliciting, only telemarketing. I’ve got a message into Strategic Fundraising Inc. to see if this person is connected to the company.
Update 10:50 a.m. A vice president at Strategic Fundraising just contacted me. “This person is not associated with our company. We do mostly telefundraising for major non-profit organizations.”