Charity Receives Flood of Donations After Rejecting Proud Boys Contribution

A charity based in Connecticut has received donations from across the world after it rejected a contribution from the Proud Boys group.

Hands On Hartford said it has received "dozens and dozens" of donations from the local community and from other countries after turning down hundreds of pounds worth of food from the far-right group.

The attempted donation from the Proud Boys, listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and whose members were part of the extremist attack on the Capitol on January 6, was first reported by The Journal Inquirer on January 29.

The Inquirer said it received an email from a group claiming to be the Connecticut chapter of the Proud Boys. The mail claimed the group had donated more than 500 pounds of food to Hands On Hartford on January 25.

Hands On Hartford Executive Director Barbara Shaw confirmed that two people—one of whom called himself as a Proud Boy while filling out an identify form arrived at the Hartford facility with around 675 pounds of food and other items, giving the donation to a temporary worker.

"My office became aware of it in the normal course of processing, and we did contact them and let them know that we would not be able to accept the donation," Shaw told The Inquirer, adding that "we do not accept donations or gifts from groups whose values are so far misaligned with our agency's values."

The non-profit was founded in 1969 to serve Hartford's "most economically challenged residents" in the areas of food, housing, and health.

A spokesperson for the Proud Boys of Connecticut, who identified himself only as "Sawyer," said the group received an email from Hands On Hartford saying their contribution went against the charity's gift acceptance policies, adding being turned away "was very disappointing."

In a statement on Tuesday, Hands On Hartford said: "In the last three days, dozens and dozens of people in the Hartford community and in fact, from across the world, have made donations to support Hands On Hartford's work in response to and in solidarity with our decision to reject a recent food donation

"Through the publication of a story in Connecticut's Journal Inquirer and the subsequent sharing of that story on social media, word has spread about the rejection of this donation and people have shown their support for the decision by making donations to the agency."

In an additional statement to Newsweek, a spokesperson for the charity said: "We are still receiving a number of donations which are deeply appreciated.

"Of special meaning are the encouraging messages that have come along with so many of them, both supporting our decision and standing in solidarity with the diverse community we partner with and serve."

This article has been updated with comment from Hands on Hartford.

proud boys
Members of the Proud Boys march towards Freedom Plaza during a protest on December 12, 2020 in Washington, D.C. A charity based in Connecticut has said they have seen donations from across the world after they rejected a contribution from the far-right group. Stephanie Keith/Getty