Misunderstanding or misguidance?
In the last two weeks people have been in the area selling music CDs by “Urban Cowboy” Mikel Knight, telling locals that a portion of the proceeds go to Safe Haven.
“They stood outside the Jump Start in Oswego for six hours selling CDs, telling people some of the proceeds go to Safe Haven. When they asked if they could sell CDs there they told her it was for Safe Haven. The lady there said, ‘OK. I’ve heard of them and that they do great things.’ She gave them $20,” Safe Haven Outreach Mission Inc. director Melissa Brown said. “They told her they have been selling the CDs in Joplin, Galena, Oswego and Parsons.
The same people, driving a van with “Knight” on the side, stopped at Pumpin’ Pete’s on South 16th Street.
“They told them the same thing, that it was for Safe Haven,” Brown said. “They called the police, and the police called me and asked me if I knew anything about it and I told them I had never even heard of him. I guess by the time the police got there, the guy was gone.”
Knight’s website, www.mikelknight.com, does in fact say the “The Urban Cowboy Mikel Knight and the Maverick Dirt Road Street Team proudly donate a portion of all sales from MK music and merchandise to Safe Haven Family Shelter,” but that shelter is located in Nashville, Tenn., not Parsons.
Knight did not return a call from the Sun Tuesday.
However, after posting something about the incidences on Knight’s website, along with her contact information, Brown said she was quickly contacted Tuesday afternoon by Knight’s manager, who said they had done nothing wrong.
Brown explained she believes it was misleading the public to not tell them the location of the Safe Haven shelter in Nashville. The manager insinuated that he thought all Safe Havens were networked together, she said.
Brown explained that Safe Haven Outreach Mission in Parsons is a faith-based, nonprofit organization, not linked to others by the same name in any manner. She said she told the manager she felt it was dishonest to mislead people here to profit an organization outside the area, to which he said, “So you’re saying the people in Nashville don’t matter.”
“That is not what I was saying at all,” Brown said, seeing she was being drawn into a mud slinging contest and the conversation being a moot point.
Knight’s CD, including songs such as “Saddle Up Shawty” and “Whiskey Drinkin’ SOB,” and a promo card for his upcoming CD depicting him wearing a metal shirt and giving the “devil horns” (or “rock on) hand sign, are not things Brown wants associated with the local faith-based organization.
“People need to know this is not for us,” Brown said. “It infuriates me.”
Considering she was receiving no understanding or cooperation from Knight’s manager, Brown said she hopes local residents understand and they are aware.
“People who want to do something to raise money for us always call first and ask if it is OK if they do it,” she said. “So all people have to do is call us and ask us if someone claiming they are raising funds for us is legitimate.”
It is hoped the actions of Knight’s people and those who have been running scams of late using the Safe Haven name do not impact people’s willingness to donate to Safe Have Outreach Mission in Parsons.
Brown can only trust in the kindness and understanding of area residents, and on the scripture “Romans 8:28” nearly hidden in the corner of the promo card Knight’s people are distributing: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”