Single-Mom Shelter Closing Down, Not Waiting for Justin Bieber's Donations
The Salvation Army is preparing to close its Bethesda Centre, which currently becomes a home for unmarried mothers, despite efforts by Justin Bieber and her mom Pattie Mallette to raise funds for it. Pattie, who stayed for nine months in the shelter when she gave birth to the singer in 1994, was devastated by the news as saying, "It's sad. It's upsetting."
"I don't understand why they wouldn't extend it (the fundraising deadline) if there were all these solutions and opportunities," Pattie regretfully stated. Justin planned to donate proceeds from his Mother's Day song "Turn to You", while she wanted to donate proceeds from her memoir, due for release in the United States this coming September.
In addition to those efforts, Pattie pleaded for financial help to keep the shelter open by posting on Twitter a link to make donations. The mother of two later urged her followers to visit a website set up by her own team. "There was a lot of information there that was incorrect," she said. "I just wanted to set the record straight."
Justin's mother claimed she created a new site because the Army refused to show her the impact of her tweets. The organization needed $1.5 million by Thursday, June 28, but it only received $852 attributed to her tweets when the deadline was approaching. "I have no idea where they came up with that $852 figure," she said.
As for Bieber's plan to make donation from his song sales, Lt.-Col Lee Graves, head of the Army's London-based Great Lakes Division, said he couldn't rely on a promise made on a Twitter. "The missing piece for us is Justin never, ever talked to us and, yet, everybody is holding that up and saying, 'Salvation Army, why don't you wait?'," he said.
Pattie, however, argued, "There were conversations and emails, but they said 'Justin's people never talked to us.' I don't think you can get any closer to Justin's people than his mom." She additionally insisted that "the promises were all real," but "it is not possible to donate sales that have not happened yet."
She added, "The only people who have been truly hurt by this situation are the girls there, so I am glad to see there are some things in the works to help the girls." She continued, "It blew us away that there was no obvious Salvation Army efforts to partner with, or no real campaign of any kind, to raise the money from their end, that we were told of."
In response, Major Pat Phinney claimed, "The Salvation Army did ask if he would come to London and do a benefit concert. We did offer to take charge of all the arrangements. His manager said no." Lee quickly added, "We don't want in any way to reflect negatively on them. They are wonderful people."
A spokesperson of the organization, Sarah Brooks, assured that even though the shelter was shut down there would be another facility. "It's just a matter of time," the rep explained. "It's not dependent on Pattie, but if she wants to support it that would be much appreciated."
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