A financial contribution to a recognized disaster relief organization is the most effective donation to make. When people support voluntary organizations with financial contributions, it helps ensure the right goods get to the right people at the right time following a disaster.
Although there may be many needs, it is not helpful to collect “everything.” To donate responsibly, here are some tips to consider when collecting and donating in-kind items.
- BEFORE Collecting: Coordinate with an organization working in the affected area to identify WHAT is actually needed, HOW MUCH is needed, and WHEN it is needed.
- BEFORE Collecting: Plan for transportation to move the items from where they are to where they are needed.
- BEFORE Collecting: Identify who will take possession of the items and how they will be used or distributed.
- Used clothing is never needed in a disaster area. Donate used clothing locally to an organization that has a year round mission with used clothing. Or sell used clothing at a yard sale and donate the money raised to a responding organization.
- It is important to remember unsolicited donated goods (e.g. clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs) require voluntary agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors