GlobalGiving.org awarded Lea Kaydus, founder of Siberian Snow Babies’ Animals for Autism “program”, a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh grant back in July 2011 (must have been a typo on their site) that had 10 families beyond ecstatic. And then the whole “program” began to deteriorate. GlobalGiving.org was contacted numerous times, by multiple families, and yet maintained Lea Kaydus would in fact be able to deliver. The grant period for which GlobalGiving.org was a mere 9 months, with the culmination of the project set for April 2012 when the dogs would be delivered. As of this date (August 26, 2012) not a single “highly-trained”, autism service dog has been delivered.
Come to think of it, not a single trained, autism service dog has been delivered, nor heck, not even a single dog – trained or otherwise. GlobalGiving.org gave Lea Kaydus $50,000 from the Pepsi Refresh Everything Program and let her run, accountable to none. Which well-deserving programs lost out due to the fraud Lea Kaydus perpetrated? GlobalGiving.org’s stance on this has been oddly similar to sticking their head in the sand and hoping that it will all go away. The Attorney General of Illinois, when presented with the same facts as GlobalGiving.org’s leadership, saw it very differently. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit in Sangamon County Court on Thursday, August 24, 2012.
The following is an excerpt from GlobalGiving.org’s GlobalGoodness Blog
Over the last few months we’ve heard the concerns raised regarding a $50,000 grant awarded to an individual, Lea Kaydus, in July 2010. The project is to provide ten trained dogs to families of autistic children free of charge. Activities funded under this grant include the construction of a new canine training facility and costs associated with the training of the dogs.
We do not take any expression of concern lightly, and we are committed to ensuring that grant activities are implemented as they were intended. We have been thoughtfully evaluating the situation specific to this grant, in addition to overseeing many other projects that are still actively pursuing their goals. As with all Pepsi Refresh Grants, GlobalGiving monitors project activities to ensure compliance with the terms of the grant agreement. We have been in regular contact with the grantee throughout the grant period (including a recent site visit), and she is in compliance with the terms of her grant agreement and is scheduled to deliver the dogs to the requesting families starting in Spring 2012.
We understand that for the families involved, the care of their children is their foremost concern. We stand firm in our commitment to do everything we can to support the grantee to help bring this project to fruition. We have also encouraged the grantee to be in more regular communication with the families going forward, to which she has agreed. We ask everyone involved to please refrain from personal attacks and understand that the grantee is doing all she can to accomplish her goals with this project.
GlobalGiving.org now maintains the position that the grant administration period has ended, that Lea Kaydus met the “spirit” of the grant to the best of her ability and they no longer have any responsibility/concern in regards to this grant awardee. They provided the funds for a backyard Siberian Husky/Alaskan Klee Kai breeder to build a new kennel/breeding facility on her brother-in-law’s property to further her own families ability to exploit others. So many lies and half-truths told to the families who were supposed to be recipients of the “service animals” Lea Kaydus was “training” by Lea Kaydus, and the staff at GlobalGiving.org administering this grant. Her autism service dog scam is beyond despicable. When you think that she utilized disabled, autistic children and their parents in the process makes it even that much worse. Imagine if it were your child that was used for this purpose.
I would like to take a moment to highlight two of GlobalGiving.org’s Core Values:
1. Listen. Act. Learn. Repeat.
We continually experiment. We fail quickly and productively. We use data and feedback to guide our course.
2. Committed to WOW
We act promptly, enthusiastically, and professionally so people are WOW-ed by their interactions with us.
I hope that the last year has provided you with lots of usable feedback. I have been WOW-ed by my interaction with you, and NOT in a good way. I am amazed at how quickly you sought to “protect” your own position rather than acknowledge the truth. The dealings with K.C. Ellis, grant administrator for Lea Kaydus’ grant, gave me the impression that I was merely an annoyance that must be dealt with before the next shopping trip to the District could be planned and executed. I hope that others are not treated the same way.
I would love to know if you still are proud to have worked with someone the caliber of Lea Kaydus and her Siberian Snow Babies’ Animals for Autism program.