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South Florida nonprofit accused of going on 'Ellen,' misrepresenting charitable actions

Nest of Love recently appeared on 'Ellen'

MIAMI – A South Florida nonprofit organization is being accused of going on national television and misrepresenting its actions to the nation, and some are demanding the organization set the record straight.

Members of Nest of Love recently went on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and took full credit for a huge back-to-school event that took place at the Old Navy across from Dadeland Mall in August.

Nest of Love is a South Florida women's mentoring and empowerment organization founded by Samantha Gil.

"The truth is, they had very little to do with the event at all," said Shakyiah Cargill, who hit social media to set the record straight. 

"It's wrong and it needs to be made right," she said on Instagram.

According to the transcript of the Sept. 9, 2019, show, DeGeneres asked the young ladies about the "backpack event" specifically.

"Explain the Old Navy thing? The Old Navy thing was great," Ellen asked.

"The Old Navy thing was amazing actually. We closed down Old Navy. They gave 400 foster kids $100 gift cards to go shopping, get all the clothes that they need for school," Daniela Betancourt, a member of Nest of Love, told DeGeneres on the show.

Ten members of Nest of Love were on the set at the time.

"Adidas sponsored us, as well, the event, and gave them free shoes for all the kids. And we also got them school supplies," Betancourt added on the show during the interview. 

As part of their appearance on "Ellen," Kris and Kylie Jenner gave Nest of Love and its members a total of $750,000 for their mentoring efforts. 

"That statement alone, 'We shut down Old Navy,' is not true. They didn't," said Cargill. "They are deceiving a lot of people."

Cargil​​​​​​l ​grew up in the foster system and is an advocate for Voices for Children.

Voices for Children is the foundation that actually got the sponsors and set up the entire event at the Old Navy in Dadeland. 

In fact, it was the ninth year Voices for Children organized the event.

Royal Caribbean, Old Navy and Adidas were sponsors.

"I was very disappointed. I went, wait a minute, I don't disparage anything these girls do as mentors, but what they did was wrong," said Gail Appelrouth, who started the event for Voice for Children in 2000. "They were just there as volunteers. That was it."

Voices for Children raises money to ensure the needs of foster children in Miami-Dade County's guardian ad litem program are taken care of. 

After seeing the show, Cargill called Gil and confronted her about taking credit.

"She said, 'I understand and we will make it right by the end of the week,' and she never did," Cargill told Local 10 News investigative reporter Jeff Weinsier.

Now, two months later, Nest of Love has not set the record straight.

In fact, its website boasts about its appearance without any clarification.

Gil didn't return Weinsier's calls.

Meanwhile, Voices for Children released a statement on the ongoing situation. 

Weinsier confronted the director of marketing for Nest of Love, who was on the show.

"I can't say anything. I have to go," said Valeria Mesa as she left a radio show appearance.

There is no comment from "Ellen."

Local 10 News couldn't get in touch with the Jenners.

In an email to Local 10 News, Cargill said: 

"In the event that those girls received that money because of an event that Voices For Children organized, that's a problem, and yes, Voices (for Children) should have some of that money. Not to be misunderstood, we have no way reason to believe that Nest of Love would intentionally misrepresent its involvement in the Voices' Old Navy event, or that they had any ulterior motive in appearing on the show. The members of that organization appear to be well-meaning and decent people. Perhaps it was a result of the pressure of being put unexpectedly on the set of a nationally televised show, without sufficient time to think or reflect upon on the accurateness of what they were saying. Or perhaps there is another legitimate explanation. In any event, we assume that Nest Of Love provided to the producers of the 'Ellen' show some type of written description of their involvement in the Old Navy event prior to appearing on the show -- one written not in the heat of the moment but which allowed for reflection before it was submitted. We would hope and expect that any such written submission would contain a more accurate description of Nest of Love's participation in the Old Navy event."


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