School Warns Of Soliciting Phone Calls In Community - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/17/05-Yantis

School Warns Of Soliciting Phone Calls In Community

Sandra Livingston of Yantis says she simply wanted to help when the Texas Children's Workshop solicited her over the phone for a donation.

"They told me specifically it was to take the children to the Dallas Zoo and that they were working with the Yantis School District at that time to take them to the zoo," says Livingston. So Sandra wrote the Texas Children's Workshop a check for $15. But when she asked where to send the money, she says their answer raised a red flag.

"They wouldn't give me their address and said they would sent somebody to come pick it up. I thought that was strange."

What's even more disturbing, Yantis ISD doesn't have a field trip scheduled or even in the works. And they've never even heard of or worked with the Texas Children's Workshop.

"The problem with this is we're not affiliated with this organization," says Yantis Elementary School Principal Stephen Scott. "We don't have a contract with them, they're not a state agency, so they couldn't have any information on our students."

We went to the Texas Children's Workshop in Longview to get their side of the story. We asked to speak with the manager and they said that person was not available. We decided to wait around and made another attempt to see if the manager was there, but the door was locked and the our phone calls were met with their answering machine.

According to the Better Business Bureau of Central East Texas, The Texas Children's Workshop has an "unsatisfactory record" with 13 complaints since 1997. Details of official complaints include unwanted phone solicitations, some have asked them to stop calling, some say they've even felt harassed at times. Sandra's lucky, her donation could have dug a deeper hole in her pocket. But, she says, it will not stop her from extending a helping hand again.

The principal of Yam elementary says they have passed this information along to the Wood County Sheriff's Department.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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