Leave it to Boing Boing to point out something I should have spotted ages ago.
On Monday, they directed people to this post by Claire Durham of the British Red Cross Blog.
In her author bio, it mentions that Claire works for the international logistics team, responsible for getting life-saving items to where they are needed in a big disaster.
So I imagine Claire knows exactly what she’s talking about when she takes to her soapbox and explains why donating cash is better than donating “stuff.”
I highly recommend reading the whole article, but I’ll get things started with one quote and one “favour”:
QUOTE: “Unwanted donations create chaos, waste and confusion for an already stricken country. The risks are spiralling costs or actual threats to its people, environment and industry. For example, local shop owners, who may have lost family members and their home and then find their business crumbling as food or clothing aid is imported.”
FAVOR: “Could you please get just another person you know to read this blog. The more people who can understand the down side of unsolicited goods, the less chance there is of this stuff cluttering up the aid effort.”
Thanks for sharing, Claire. We hope everyone hears your message!