Cathy’s Kids is a non-profit organization Lamar Odom set up to honor his late mother who died of stomach cancer. According the Radar Online ,the organization which has raised $2.2 million dollars, has not given any money to cancer-related causes since its inception in 2004.
The investigation, launched by ESPN “Outside The Lines” found that the charity was in fact established to financially support two elite travelling basketball teams, and $1.3 million of the money donated was used for that purpose. The charity also paid only one executive, Jerry DeGregorio, who was Odom’s best man and high school coach. DeGregorio, who is now an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, was paid an annual salary of $72,000 from 2003 to 2011.
To raise money for Cathy’s Kids the couple even set up an eBay account together selling items from their “personal collection.”
The most shocking thing about these allegations is that when approached by “Outside the Lines” for comment Odom said:
It’s my money.
“Outside the Lines” investigated more than 100 charities affiliated with top athletes. It was discovered that 115 of these charities were using raised monies improperly, with more than 74% not in compliance with the standards set forth by the Better Business Bureau and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.
I don’t know how much lower you can get than naming a charity after your mother who died of cancer, with the stated mission of helping to find a cure and aiding those affected by the disease, and then using the funds to support a travelling basketball team. It’s nothing new for those of wealth to create charities just to be able to donate to them for the tax write off, and then use the money for non charitable purposes…most investment firms even offer the service. The question is who will hold these people accountable for what boils down to stealing in the name of charity.