Show 10 brings you one version of the story unravelling around the dissolution of The Rebecca Foundation this month. Join me today as I chat with former volunteers about their experience and take on the current situation around this cloth diaper charity turned scammy.
The Rebecca Foundation Basics
The Rebecca Foundation has a cloth diaper non-profit (registered 501(c)3 in the United States. It was formed in 2012 by Amanda La Bell and later went on to open Chapters across Canada, the USA, and Mexico. The latest indications suggest over 80 chapters were available.
The Rebecca Foundation had four loan programs which gave families 12-18 cloth diapers for one year as a supplement to help build a stash or to supplement with disposable diapers. Extensions to the programs were available and you could size swap as your child grow. Chapters offered cloth diapering classes and unique 1:1 support. These programs included National Fluffy Bums, Operation Fluffy Bums (military families), Foster Fluff, and Special Needs Fluff.
As of October 2, 2018, the current CEO – Jesse La Bell – shut down the organisation and ceased contact with the organisation. The website and Facebook cease to exist. Jesse La Bell was the husband to Amanda and stepped up into the roll proceeding her departure. This all happened rather quickly and we’ll be walking through this on today’s episode.
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Allison started with the Rebecca Foundation through local need for cloth diaper support and connection. She had an interview with a former board director who talked to her about the job and the responsibilities and expectations sometime Fall 2016?
She had a cloth diaper store in her area that was supporting her in this adventure.
She was involved in the regional program known as Hub. Helped chapters get out things in a timely manner and organise that. Allison held the position for about 9 months and this opened her eyes about the lack of transparency in the Rebecca Foundation.
This letter was shared on October 1, and within 24-48 hours the organisation disappeared from the internet.
Copy of the Letter of Board Resignation.
October 1, 2018
To Whom It May Concern:
We, the undersigned members of the Board of Directors of the Rebecca Foundation, have taken our charge to steer the Foundation seriously. We have dedicated our time and energy to support the growth of the organisation, to enusre that it is fulfilled its mission to serve families struggling with diaper need, that it followed ethical practices, and to work toward the transperency and open leadership that all of our stakeholders, donors, families and volunteers deserve.
Recently, information came to light that led us to feel concern for the future of our organization. When we have sought clairty and openness, we have been met with obstructurion. Ultimately, several board members privately request that the CEO step inot a non-executive role. She declined and instead directed us to announce her resignation.
We have only sought wat was best for the Foundation, but we can no longer assure our stakeholders that the Foundation meets the standards of operational ethics required to be sucessful.
Given this information, we have made the painful decision to separate from the Rebecca Foundation. This letter seves as notice of our resignations, effective immediately. We hope that we will be able to continue to work toward the mission of making cloth diapers accessible for all families who choose them. We invite anyone who wishes to join us in this work to contact us individually at the email address listed below.
Susan Byrnes (board term 1/1/15 – 9/7/18)
clothdiaperadvocacy [at] gmail [dot] com.
They have been asked to release financials and tax. The board was told an audit was going on, but there is never been an additional confirmation of this.
How was the organisation organized?
Amanda La Bell as CEO.
Mean girls environment within the inner circles of the Rebecca Foundation. One thing to your face, and another to your back. I’m going to take a written side note that this is frequently an attitude amongst cloth diaper admin groups.
I’ll be back to finish the show notes, but I figured you wanted to hear it now.
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