Although sending goods is honorable, experts say the best thing you can do is donate money to a reputable aid group. Aid workers have found that sorting through various boxes and care packages will only delay their direct efforts to the people. If you are uncomfortable with a money donation, find an organization that specifically is asking for various goods. This way, you ensure that it is properly anticipated and received.
Send money. After the Haitian earthquake, when former Presidents G.W. Bush and Bill Clinton joined forces for the relief effort, Bush’s famous bluntness served him well when he stated succinctly, “If you want to help, just send your cash.” Sending goods directly is always a tricky business. For one thing you don’t know who you’re sending them to. For another, even international relief organizations have a tremendous problem getting supplies to the people who need them, and in large-scale disasters it’s often not a shortage of supplies that is the main problem but the logistics of getting those supplies distributed, especially if (like in Haiti) there are a lot of victims in remote places with poor roads. From this standpoint, a relief organization that has 500 tons of grain piled up on a dock somewhere probably needs cash to buy a tank of gas for a helicopter to airlift the grain into a village more than they need another ton of grain sitting on their dock. Like Nadeged said, if you do want to contribute goods, make sure you’re contributing goods to an organization that has specifically asked for them, because if they have, that means they have at least some sort of plan for getting those goods to the people they can help.
In general, it’s best to send money and here’s why: it will cost more to send and sort the items you donate than it would for the transferred money to be spent on the same items at the location of the disaster. Plus, transporting these supplies adds to CO2 pollution. Still, if you don’t have the financial means to cut a check (not many of us do these days!) and you have some useful items laying around that you think could help victims of a disaster, I say send it! Sure, it’s not the most efficient way to help, but it’s help none the less and I’m sure anyone on the receiving end would appreciate it greatly!
As a cautionary note, if you do decide to cut a check, make sure you’re making it out to a reputable organization… you want to make sure that the money you send is getting to the intended receipants! Also, save the receipt for tax time!
Unless there is a drive going on where organizations are asking you to donate various items, you should send money. It’s easy and it would normally be spent on the same items anyway.
It is an interesting and difficult question. I am not sure what else to send because money seems to be the easiest. Than on the other hand, I am also weary of sending money to these organizations. Where does this money go? The CEOs of these large private NGOs and INGOs often make a shit ton of money doing barely anything when people are starving. So my suggestion, is donate, but do your own research on the organization you are planning on donating to.
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