Northern Health Warns of Children's Book Scam

Brittany Webster

Northern Health is advising businesses to look carefully into the origin of solicitations before giving a donation as the Healing Hands Busy Book scam seems to have made its way back to Northern BC.

"We've had reports over the years and we've issued advisories as far back as 2005," said Eryn Collins, a spokesperson for Northern Health. "We've had reports over the years of this company or organization soliciting donations in Quesnel, in Prince George, in this case the most recent reports have come from the Smithers area."

Healing Hands Busy Book works under a variety of names, including Number One Books and DSP Activity Publishing, and Collins says they call small businesses requesting donations to provide activity booklets to children in hospital. Collins says there have been cases in the past in which the books never arrived.

DSP Activity Publishing was shut down by the United States Federal Trade Commission in 2003, but the company is still active in Canada and lists an Edmonton address on their Number One Books website. The company is also listed as a for-profit organization through the Better Business Bureau, but is not accredited. 

Collins says Northern Health has not been contacted by the company and are not affiliated with the solicitations.

"We encourage people to check very carefully about organizations that are appearing to raise money for health care before they donate. Legitimate charities and campaigns should be really easy to contact and research, and we encourage anyone who is interested in making a donation to support their local health care services to do that through one of our hospital foundations, hospital auxiliaries, or other charitable organizations that we work closely with. And information on all of those can be found on our website."

At this time CFTK News has not been able to reach Number One Books for comment on the matter.

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