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Katrina Donations Must Be New

I received an email asking 4 donations 4 Katrina victims. I don't understand why every place that is accepting donations (including my church) asks all items be new?I understand some items MUST be new (formula, etc.), but why can't I donate gently used baby clothes, bottles, diaper bags, etc.?

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 ---Anna on 9/9/05
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Almost two years now. I suppose they still need these things if they ever come back from Houston and around.
---Emily on 4/21/07

Probably because of the fear of disease spreading. The rescue workers don't have time to clean and sterilize everything. To hand out used things that have not been cleaned and sterilized could lead to the spread of disease.
---Madison on 3/20/07

HW, where on earth do you get your information? This was covered in another blog where you said the same thing. NOWHERE I have heard or read has said anything about giving each $250,000, that would be rediculous. The plan has been a debit card for $2000. for clothes and necessities only. Further, it is NOT coming from your tax dollars, but from the contributions.
---NVBarbara on 9/14/05

If someone asked me for money for something if I have it I give it. Once it leaves my hands, it is their money to do as they wish. So your saying that people on welfare don't derserve a second chance to help them get back on their feet? If we help with an giving heart, God sees that, and honors that. If they do whatever with that money, gamble, drugs, God sees that as well and he doesn't honor it. So really who would be to blame, the givers or the takers? The takers if they don't use the money wisely.
---Rebecca_D on 9/12/05

Rebecca....THINK. If this report is true and I BET it is.....when will this HUGE giveaway end? It will bankrupt the country. The writing is on the wall.. Then do you know what to expect? All you say sounds very righteous and tolerant...but it's not wise and we are to be wise in all you do. Think this through a decade...or less!!! Help yes..but give them the farm???? The sluggards won't have it a week!! Money will go to gambling and drugs!! They had nothing to begin with. Most on welfare already, FACT
---HW on 9/12/05

who cares what FEMA gives each family. They lost everything. It is hard to start all over again. What happened to opening up your bounds of compassion? I help others regardless how much money they have. I give from the bottom of my heart. I don't care how much they make or what others give them, I give because God put that giving spirit in me. Seems like you just want to pick and chose on who to help and how much to give them. Until you have been through it you have no idea how they feel.
---Rebecca_D on 9/12/05

I think you need to wait to give to hurricane relief. I heard everyone in the area will be receiving $250,000.00 from FEMA regardless of the home they had. Check that out before you give anymore of your hard earned money.The government is anxious to give away our hard earned tax dollars. Most of these people will be better off than you are by the time it's all said and done.
---HW on 9/12/05

Coming from a country that is always being hit by typhoons and other natural calamities, we are always the recipient of donations of used clothing. Now, that a calamity hits Louisiana, we are at a loss on what to donate. Our prayers, yes. We can help through prayers. But I am hoping that the Philippine government would do something like sending medical doctors and nurses to Louisiana because we can't send the used clothing that donors sent us before. Nor could afford new things for the victims of Katrina.
---bebet3754 on 9/11/05

One neat thing my community is doing, and this is my last 2 cents on the subject. A local chamber of commerce is buying a new outfit for each child starting school in our town. The chamber director said it's hard enough to start at a new school without having to start in clothing that may be worn, mismatched and doesn't fit. More groups should do likewise for kids affected by this tragedy.
---Annie on 9/11/05

One other thing to consider is storage space. At my church's shelter, there just isn't the space for garbage bags of clothing that may or may not suit the hurricane victims we have.
---Annie on 9/11/05

If you want to donate clothing, find a good charity shop. There is one in my town that raises money for scholarships and they give more than $15,000 a year away that way. And sizes are not a problem there because people are able to shop for themselves. This shop is now open extra days for hurricane victims.
---Annie on 9/11/05

I think the thing to consider on donated clothes is, if you know a person who needs it and the sizes match, then go for it. But it if is going to a large donation bin, and you don't know who is going to get it, the organization is way better off getting the financial donation so the people and clothing can be matched more easily. Again, otherwise you might wind up with a small person and a bunch of XXL donations, or vice versa.
---Annie on 9/11/05

Remember, its not the needy who make these rules, its the agencies. The particular agency would be blamed if someone got some disease from wearing sullied clothes.
---NVBarbara on 9/11/05

A few years ago I worked in a charity shop and a friend worked in a different one. She told me how they'd had a couple of big bags of clothes which contained soiled panties. I just found that so hard to believe - until one day.......... yeh, we got one too. Don't people know where their bin is, or couldn't they have a little fire in the back yard and dispose of such stuff? I hope this hasn't happened with the Katrina appeals.
---Xanthi on 9/11/05

This is why most agencies just ask for monetary donations. Then they can go out and buy for specific people.
Some of these organizations have been doing this so long that they know the hazards of used clothing. As someone said, many filthy things get mixed in with decent things and the whole lot has to be trashed.
And sadly, there are enough weirdos in the world who would puposely expose things to something that could be harmful to people.
---NVBarbara on 9/10/05

A friend requested clothes to send to missionaries. I collected many & was asked for the receipt for the DRY CLEANING. I knew they had to be 'clean' but I took that to mean that I had washed them all, which I had. This wasn't good enough apparantly as they must be dry cleaned with the cleaners tags on to show cleaning had taken place. I took my huge consignment to the nearest charity shop instead. In this particular case the questioner mentions I'm sure there must be a misunderstanding somewhere.
---Paulette on 9/10/05

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Annie: The things I have to donate are already separated by size. And hey -- you would have to separate new things by size just as you would gently used things. As for busses not being able to get to where the people are ... that was true when all were still stranded in New Orleans -- but now they are in TX and such and are not difficult to access.
---Anna on 9/9/05

One thing you may want to consider is that it is difficult to match donated used clothing to people. My church is listing sizes of hurricane victims so they can buy specifically for that person. This makes it easier on the receiver, more effective for5 the giver, and easier on the volunteers, too, who otherwise might find themselves with a size 5 evacuee having to wear a size 12 or vice versa.
---Annie on 9/9/05

I cannot afford new things, but I truly want to contribute and share what I do have. I would NEVER contribute something that I wouldn't put on my own children or myself! I understand concern about disease and such, but these charities could state (instead of new only) "clean and folded items only" or some such wording. I have so many things that a young mother would need and no where to donate them.
---Anna on 9/9/05

They just want new underwear and new socks, tents, because they don't have a way to wash. They throw away underwear when dirty. One day radio stations were at our local mall and Wal-Mart collecting money for the Red Cross and Salvation Army. I heard there are about 100 trucks that can not get to where the people are who need stuff, because they are not allowed. I think volunteers are overwelmed and there isn't much room. I heard on TV, there are fake Red Cross web sites, one from Brazil.
---Ulrika on 9/9/05

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I understand your concern here. I think the reason is that they don't wish people to be offended if given old things but most people would not give things that they would not be prepared to wear or use themselves. I'd be grateful for second hand anything in that position and I'm sure the majority are. People are seeing problems that are not there I think.
---Xanthi on 9/9/05

I am donating gently used childrens clothing. I can not even buy my own child new cloths. I would think people in need of help will be thankfull just to get anything let alone new items. Give what you can and what you have. If people only donated new there would be much less donated.
---Marla on 9/9/05

The requests I have received for donations says "used" clothing is accepted, but they request "new" underwear and socks (which makes sense). A few peoople evidently cleared out their storage sheds, because a friend of mine who volunteered to help sort donated items said some of the stuff was absolutely nasty, blankets covered with animal hair, reeking of urine. etc. I don't think new is necessary, but "reasonably clean" is a must! They have enough problems.
---Nan on 9/9/05

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