The organization’s IRS filings list another Virginia address that is actually a drug rehab center where the foundation does not appear ever to have been based.
The Barack H. Obama Foundation is run by Abon’go “Roy” Malik Obama, the half-brother of Barack Obama.
The charity was even given retroactive tax-exempt status despite never having bothered to apply for it. And its history of soliciting donations before receiving tax-exempt status was apparently overlooked.
The address listed on the site barackhobamafoundation.org is 107 S. West St. #401, Alexandria, Va., which houses a UPS store on a street that includes a tailor, a Catholic Charities thrift shop and a Gold Works jewelry store.
“They probably just rent a mailbox here or receive mail here,” said a UPS employee when asked if the store was the address for the Barack H. Obama Foundation. She did not know if Malik Obama, who his website says divides his time between Kenya and Virginia, had been in to the store.
A visit to the UPS store revealed that there is a mailbox numbered 401.
The address listed in the group’s IRS filings — 4201 Wilson Blvd. Ste 110-152, Arlington, Va. 22030 — is even more suspicious, as it is a marketing center for A Better Today Recovery Services — a drug-and-alcohol treatment organization.
A receptionist who answered the phone at A Better Today said neither she nor anybody in the office had heard of the Barack H. Obama Foundation. She said A Better Today had been located at the Arlington address for “a couple years.” The IRS filings that list the Arlington address as the foundation’s headquarters were dated May 2011.
“I don’t know if it’s listed wrong or what’s going on, but we have never heard of that,” the receptionist said, adding that A Better Today had never received calls or correspondence related to the Barack H. Foundation.
Although the future president’s 1995 book “Dreams From My Father” depicted the foundation’s namesake, Barack H. Obama, Sr., as a heavy drinker who lost both legs in a car accident, the foundation does not appear to take any interest in addiction treatment.
The foundation’s mission statement is “to provide people everywhere with resources to uplift their welfare and living standards in memory of Barack H. Obama: in the region of his birth, Kenya, and beyond.”
Its guiding principle is “the inherent belief that no one can truly enjoy the riches he has reaped if his neighbor suffers. … We seek to elevate the human condition so that everyone can live in dignity and truly enjoy having one another as neighbors.”
Alton Ray Baysden, a former Department of State employee and registered Republican who helped to start the foundation, declined to comment before seeing copies of this reporter’s passport and government ID, along with a description of the article’s “motivation” and “slant.”
Repeated phone calls to the Barack H. Foundation went to the organization’s voicemail and were not returned.