The Columbus Dispatch
Friend uses charitable gifts to fund extravagant lifestyle
Dear Abby: My friend’s house was severely damaged in a hurricane and she lost a lot of the contents. Mind you, she was one of the lucky ones. Others in her community lost everything. One of her friends started a Gofundme account to help with repair costs, and it is now up to thousands of dollars.
My problem with this is: She’s now on her third trip to Europe this year. She constantly spends money, has thousands of dollars in credit card debt and tells me she’s broke. Granted, two of the trips were partly funded by her partner. Normally, she would post details about her trips on social media, but this time she’s not. Instead, she’s posting pictures of her house construction and implying that she’s there.
I’ve considered outing her on social media, but I decided against doing that. I just can’t get beyond what she’s doing and don’t think I can continue my friendship. Am I justified? – Full Disclosure in Florida
Dear Full Disclosure: Yes, you are justified. What you have described is fraud. Go online to your friend’s Gofundme page (gofundme.com) and you will find a “Report” button. Because you have reason to believe she is misusing the funds that have been contributed for the repair of her house, use that “Report” button to alert the Gofundme team about this potential issue, and they will investigate.
Dear Abby: I am a 14-year-old freshman who had an abortion last year. I don’t want to go through that again. I want to get birth control, but I’m afraid my parents or my older brother will find out. They would kill me. I already have a bad reputation, and I don’t want a worse one by having someone find out I was pregnant (or could be again if I don’t get birth control). What would be the safest way for someone my age to get birth control? I know you’ll probably say “no sex” is the best, but I enjoy it too much now. It’s like a habit. Please help. – Grown-up Girl in Rhode Island
Dear Girl: Your mom may not be thrilled with the news, but she won’t kill you. You need her AND HER GUIDANCE.
If you continue on the path you’re on, having sex with multiple boys, you may have more to worry about than becoming pregnant again. Some of the sexually transmitted diseases around today could cause you to become sterile at a time when you may want a child. An organization called Planned Parenthood (plannedparenthood.org) can provide you with birth control. It can also inform you about STDS and how to avoid them. Because you feel you cannot stop yourself from having sex, contact Planned Parenthood as soon as possible.
Dear Readers: This is my annual reminder for all of you who live where daylight saving time is observed: Don’t forget to turn your clocks FORWARD one hour tonight at bedtime. Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. I look forward to it each year because it signals longer, brighter days and warmer weather. May good things bloom for all of us this spring. – Love, Abby
Contact Abby at www.dearabby.com.