In a crisis: Give money!

Another terrible disaster affecting thousands of people and people want to give something to help.

Three people have this week contacted us to ask where they can send warm clothes. You will probably have seen appeals for clothing to be dropped off somewhere. This is such a waste of time and resources.

We’ve given out tonnes of second clothing that had to be sorted, boxed, loaded, shipped, unloaded, re-sorted, stored, displayed and distributed. In that process I would say less than 5% gets to people and even then it isn’t what they need, when they need it.

A lot of it is dirty or worn out. Much is culturally inappropriate. There is never enough for men. A lot of it ends up burning carbon in the transport, time in the sorting and cash in the storage.

Then it usually arrives too late.

We’ve run four warehouses in Greece full of used clothing and it was depressing to see all that effort and cost going on something that isn’t needed.

This sounds brutal because people think they’re helping but please: don’t give away stuff that you don’t want to people who probably don’t need it.

What matters in a crisis is responding quickly to needs as they arise. That changes daily.

Money is what allows us to give people what they need.

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