Open Hand Foundation Scam or Legit? Exposing the Allegations

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  • Post published:November 14, 2023
  • Post category:Reviews

The Open Hand Foundation is a non-profit organization that has recently come under fire over allegations that it has mishandled and misused donations intended for charity.

The Completionist, Jirard Khalil, started the foundation and has hosted annual charity streams to raise money, purportedly to aid Alzheimer’s and dementia research.

However, several popular YouTubers have accused The Completionist and the Open Hand Foundation of keeping the donated funds instead of distributing them as claimed. These allegations have rocked the online gaming community and led many to question the ethics and intent behind the charity.

Background on the Open Hand Foundation

The Open Hand Foundation was established in 2005 by Jirard Khalil in honor of his late mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. On the foundation’s website and during charity streams, Jirard has consistently stated that the purpose of the organization is to raise money to support research into dementia and Alzheimer’s treatment.

The primary fundraising event is an annual charity stream hosted by The Completionist channel, with the first one held in 2013. Over the years, these streams have featured popular internet personalities promoting the cause and encouraging viewers to donate.

The streams are centered around Jirard’s The Completionist brand, with gaming-related challenges and The Completionist episodes tied to fundraising goals.

According to financial disclosures, the Open Hand Foundation has raised over $600,000 in donations through these streams over the past decade. However, new allegations have emerged that call into question where all of this money has actually gone.

The Allegations Against Open Hand Foundation

In November 2023, notable YouTube personalities Karl Jobst and SomeOrdinaryGamers (Mutahar) released videos sharing evidence that the Open Hand Foundation has allegedly not distributed any of the funds it raised to charity as it had claimed.

The key points made in the allegations include:

✅ Financial records show that the foundation has kept nearly all of the $600k+ raised over the past 10 years in its own bank accounts. Almost no funds have been dispersed.

✅ The Open Hand Foundation did not even have non-profit status during the first few years of fundraising. It only officially registered as a 501(c)(3) in 2014.

✅ Supposed quotes and claims about partnerships with research institutions like UCSF appear to be completely fabricated. No record of these partnerships exists.

✅ Jirard continued fundraising in 2023 despite apparently knowing since 2022 that the money was never sent to charities as intended.

✅ Expenses filed on tax returns do not sufficiently explain where all of the raised money has gone. There is a lack of transparency.

These YouTubers argue that the evidence points to deceptive business practices at best and outright charity fraud at worst. Many feel that Jirard and the Open Hand Foundation have betrayed the trust of donors who thought their money was aiding important research.

Responses to the Open Hand Scam Allegations

The allegations quickly went viral online, leading Jirard to deactivate comments on his YouTube videos as backlash mounted. In statements to the media, Jirard claimed that he only learned about the lack of donations last year and believes the money is still earmarked for charity.

However, critics point out this does not explain why he still conducted a charity stream in 2023. Jirard also disabled ratings and comments across The Completionist channel in response to the accusations.

Neither Jirard nor the Open Hand Foundation have provided any substantive rebuttal to the reports that they kept donations for years without contributing to any research organizations as stated. The foundation’s lack of financial transparency and fabricated claims have only further fueled suspicions of wrongdoing.

Many have called for a full outside audit of Open Hand Foundation’s finances and greater accountability moving forward. The credibility of Jirard, The Completionist brand, and the organization itself has taken a major hit even if outright illegal activity is never proven.

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The gaming community feels deeply let down as it grapples with the stark contrast between what donors were promised and the reality of where their money ended up.

The Completionist scam

Reviews and Reactions from the Gaming Community

The alleged charity scam by The Completionist channel and the Open Hand Foundation has been met with intense criticism, debate, and a mix of emotions within the online gaming sphere. Here is a sampling of the reactions and commentary on the situation:

Anger at Betrayed Trust

“I can’t believe I donated to this guy every year thinking I was helping. This is a betrayal of supporters on a whole new level if true.”

“10 years of lies. Absolutely sickening behavior if the allegations hold up. Jirard deserves all the hate he’s getting and more.”

“It makes me furious to think my money just sat there instead of going to research like I was told. The Completionist scammed all of us.”

Disappointment in a Former Idol

“Jirard was one of my favorite YouTubers but I just can’t see him the same anymore after this deception. It’s incredibly disappointing.”

“I used to be a huge The Completionist fan. This whole scam completely destroys his reputation in my eyes, even if he pleads ignorance.”

“I wanted to believe Jirard had good intentions, so this just makes me sad. But fool me once, fool me twice…”

Defense of Jirard

“I still believe Jirard is a good guy at heart who maybe just got caught up in something he didn’t fully understand.”

“While shady, I’m reserving some judgment until Jirard addresses everything himself. I think he deserves that much before totally condemning him.”

“It seems unlikely Jirard willfully deceived people. Let’s wait until the full truth emerges before destroying him completely.”

Calls for Accountability

“If it is true The Completionist kept donation money, there need to be real consequences. You can’t betray supporters like that.”

“Jirard needs to fully address every allegation and make everything right or his reputation is toast, as it should be.”

“Donors deserve a transparent accounting of where every dollar went. No more shadiness or excuses.”

Loss of Trust in Charity Streams

“After this scam by The Completionist, I don’t think I can trust any gaming personality’s charity streams ever again.”

“The whole concept has been tainted. How can we believe donations really go where streamers claim after a deception like this?”

“It’s a shame a few dishonest people have ruined charity streams for everyone. Now there will always be skepticism.”

The near universal condemnation from gamers makes it clear that this alleged scam by The Completionist has had an immense impact, damaging the trust between content creators and their audience.

While Jirard has his defenders, most seem to agree these deceptive practices, if true, warrant severe repercussions. The gaming community feels exploited emotionally and financially by the broken promises.

Evaluating the Completionist’s Response and Attempted Explanations

Thus far, The Completionist Jirard Khalil has failed to provide a transparent and satisfactory explanation to address the building evidence that he mishandled donations for years. Here are some key failings in Jirard’s attempt to respond to the scam allegations:

No Proof Charity Partnerships Existed

Jirard claimed Open Hand worked with organizations like UCSF to determine where to direct funds. But no proof of such partnerships has emerged, and the supposed UCSF quote is fake. This deception undermines trust.

No Justification for Holding Donations

He has not offered any sensible reason why a charity would hold onto donations for up to a decade without distributing them. Keeping money in limbo this long defies logic.

Continued Fundraising Despite Knowledge

Learning the donations were unused in 2022 but still promoting Open Hand in 2023 before addressing the issue makes Jirard seem complicit. It indicates willful disregard.

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Selectively Disabling Comments/Ratings

Shutting down feedback on his channels but leaving merchandise shops open gives the impression Jirard is focused only on limiting criticism, not solving the problem.

Lack of Transparency Around Finances

If everything was above board, full financial records proving the money’s status would have been provided, not excuses and vagueness. Opaque accounting fuels suspicion.

No Plan Presented to Make Amends

There has been no restitution offered to aggrieved donors, nor a clear plan from Open Hand on how it will reform practices. Just empty apologies.

Based on his inadequate responses so far, Jirard seems to be engaging in damage control rather than truly addressing the core allegations.

Few find his claims of ignorance credible given how long this went on. Until The Completionist provides evidence the money was handled ethically or distributes it properly, most will continue viewing this as an indefensible scam.

Open hand foundation allegation response

Impact on The Completionist Brand and Future of the Channel

The allegations against The Completionist and his Open Hand Foundation charity have sparked fierce backlash and raised serious questions about Jirard Khalil’s brand going forward. Here are some of the major repercussions Jirard may face:

Loss of Fans and Viewership

Many longtime fans of The Completionist say they can no longer support the channel in light of the broken trust around the charity streams. Viewership will likely take a hit.

Declining Merchandise Sales

With the recent fan outrage, fewer gamers will want to purchase The Completionist merch, negatively impacting revenue.

No More Charity Livestreams

After the scam accusations, The Completionist will almost certainly never be able to hold a charity livestream again without facing outrage.

Difficulty Getting Sponsors

The controversies make The Completionist brand seem risky for sponsors. Companies may be reluctant to partner with the channel.

Legal Consequences

If authorities confirm wrongdoing with the donations, Jirard may face fines, civil suits, and even criminal charges.

Permanent Reputation Damage

The Completionist name has been irrevocably tarnished. Jirard’s reputation may never fully recover even if the allegations are disproven.

The future of The Completionist seems bleak given the scope of the backlash. While Jirard maintains a segment of defenders, most agree these perceived unethical practices have changed how the public sees him. It will be an uphill battle to rebuild trust in the brand after a scandal of this magnitude.

The Controversy’s Lasting Impact on Charity Streams

The allegations against The Completionist are likely to have a lasting detrimental impact on livestreamed gaming charity fundraisers overall due to diminished trust. Here are some of the long-term effects we may see:

More Vetting of Charities

Gamers will demand streamers thoroughly prove a charity’s legitimacy with financial documents before donating to avoid repeats of this scandal.

Calls for Transparency

There will be increased pressure for donation amounts, charity partnerships, and finances to be made public to show money goes where promised.

Wariness of gaming personalities

Viewers will be more skeptical of streamers’ stated motivations, assuming influencers could be motivated by greed over altruism.

Organizations Distancing Themselves

Research institutions and non-profits will be reluctant to associate themselves with streamers due to the risks of potential mismanagement.

Stricter Guidelines

Platforms like YouTube and Twitch may implement new rules around charity streams and how donations must be handled to prevent fraud.

Gamers are less likely to simply take streamers promoting charity at face value after The Completionist scandal. Demand for accountability will reach new heights. The entire model has become tainted by skepticism rooted in these betrayals of donor trust. Rebuilding faith in gaming fundraising will prove challenging.

Key Takeaways from the Open Hand Scam Allegations

The allegations against Jirard Khalil’s Open Hand Foundation mark a cautionary tale for both charitable organizations and internet personalities. Here are the key lessons:

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✅ Non-profits must uphold ethics and transparency even more diligently when involved online personalities endorse them. Betraying donor trust at this level damages entire movements.

✅ Streamers and content creators have a responsibility to thoroughly vet any charities they raise funds for to ensure legitimacy and prevent misuse. Blind promotion brings risk.

✅ Organizations like Open Hand that withhold information and make dubious claims about donations and partnerships invite increased scrutiny and skepticism from supporters. Dishonesty and evasiveness destroy credibility.

✅ Once money is raised for a specific charitable cause, it is unacceptable to withhold it from that cause for years with little explanation. This constitutes breach of trust at best.

✅ When controversies arise around fundraising campaigns, addressing issues openly and providing evidence is better than hiding from critics. Otherwise doubt festers.

✅ Damaged trust between content creators and supporters can be lasting, and channels like The Completionist may never fully recover from perceived large-scale betrayals.

This situation offers a sobering glimpse of how easily online charity and fundraising can go wrong when transparency and ethics fade away. It underscores how vital integrity is in both nonprofit work and community-building through platforms like YouTube.

The Path to Redemption for Jirard Khalil

With The Completionist brand reputation severely damaged from the Open Hand Foundation scandal, many wonder if Jirard Khalil can ever redeem himself and regain supporters’ trust. While challenging, some ways forward could include:

✔️ Issuing a sincere, detailed public apology taking full responsibility, omitting excuses and addressing every allegation

✔️ Publicly resigning from Open Hand leadership to remove the conflict of interest

✔️ Fully refunding certain donors who request it

✔️ Volunteering time and donating to established dementia research organizations to make partial amends

✔️ Submitting to an outside audit of Open Hand Foundation finances for total transparency

✔️ Demonstrating concrete changed behavior over an extended period of time

✔️ Making charitable works and integrity pillars of his content moving forward

✔️ Continuing to produce videos while avoiding scandals or controversies

Jirard betrayed his supporters’ faith and needs to reflect sincerely on his failures, then back up apologies with deeds that prove trustworthiness. It will require starting over from scratch and a commitment to transparency.

But for fans who still believe in Jirard’s essential decency, redemption remains possible if he rebuilds his career on the foundation of openness and charity he should have exhibited from the beginning.

Conclusion

The allegations of a charity scam by Jirard “The Completionist” Khalil have sent shockwaves through the gaming community.

Multiple respected voices have presented troubling evidence suggesting Jirard’s Open Hand Foundation misled donors and misappropriated funds intended for dementia research. While the full truth has yet to emerge, Jirard’s reputation seems irreparably damaged as anger mounts over these perceived betrayals.

Despite his pleas of ignorance, most feel Jirard violated supporter trust through either willful or unforgivable negligent actions over a span of years. Credible explanations remain lacking. This controversy also casts a pall over charity livestreaming while underscoring the importance of accountability.

Until and unless Jirard acknowledges his failures and implements reforms signaling genuine changed priorities, it appears his credibility as The Completionist is destroyed. While redemption is not impossible, it will require an uphill struggle to demonstrate true remorse and a commitment to transparency.

For now, the future of Jirard’s career has been thrown into uncertainty by distrust sown through his own organization’s questionable practices. The lesson for all charities and content creators is that betraying donor faith ultimately causes far more damage than any funds can ever repair.

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