The recent tragedy in the Philippines will once again spur folks to dig those old clothes and shoes out of their closets.

Please… don’t do that. Just send $$$. That’s what’s really needed. Read this great article on this topic by Jessica Alexander at Slate:

Don’t send old shoes to the Philippines

Consider what happens when planes full of unwanted donations are competing for runway space with planes carrying needed medicines and food items. Someone has to unload those donations, someone needs to sort through them for customs, someone needs to truck them to affected areas that are hard to reach anyway and where there’s a limited supply of fuel. When old shoes and clothes are sent from the U.S., they just waste people’s time and slow down getting lifesaving medicines and food to affected people.

Money buys medicines, clean water, and food supplies. That’s much more important than having that slightly scuffed up pair of red evening shoes with the matching clutch.



About V. T. Eric Layton

vtel57, Nocturnal Slacker

8 responses »

  1. ebrke says:

    Unfortunately, I can’t afford to give very much, and I spent a fair amount of time trying to decide where to send my small donation–finally settled on Doctors Without Borders. I believe they do good work, and I’m afraid there will be an enormous need for their services in the Philippines over the next few months. What a tragedy.

  2. comhack says:

    I know what you are saying but if it is anything like Haiti or any other disaster, the people will not get the money anyway. It usually goes to the corrupt politicians or any other group that receives the money instead of the people that need it.

    • Often that is the case, sadly. I think the best bet would probably just be the American Red Cross. The Doctors Without Borders that Elizabeth mentions is also a good charitable organization. Bottom line is it’s going to take a lot of money and a lot of time before those poor people in the Philippines get squared away.

      You may remember that friend chrisretusn from my board lives in Olongapo City, Philippines. This monster went by just south of him by a scant 300 miles or so. It would have been very UGLY it would have hit the main populations centers of the Philippines near where Chris lives; Manila, Subic Bay, etc.

      • comhack says:

        Agreed but I was just pointing out that the industry standard is only like 20% of the charity actually goes to the cause and that is when it is legit. It is pretty sad that non-profit corporations rob those in need and take advantage of those trying to help others.

        • Yup. The Tampa Bay Times newspaper did a series on the worst charities in the country. Some of these are just businesses set up to make a living for the founders and their family members… a really fucking good living, too. There oughta’ be a law! Myeh… this happens because no one is watching; the elected and/or appointed officials already getting their guts filled in the public trough don’t give a shit, etc. If I hadn’t been raised properly by my parents to be a “good” and “law-abiding” person, I could be thieving and scamming like all these other assholes who drive the Bentleys and have the 7+ figure yearly incomes.

          Oh well, maybe in my next life…

        • ebrke says:

          I try to investigate these things. Doctors Without Borders certifies that 86.3% of contributions goes to their field operations, which is one reason I give to them. I don’t know if it is still true, but some years ago I was told by a citizen of Sudan that Catholic Charities did very good work in his area. Since that person was a secular Muslim, I felt that at least his opinion was not motivated by ideology. And since the Philippines is a heavily Catholic area, I’m sure Catholic Charities has an infrastructure in place there.

      • ebrke says:

        Glad Chris is all right.

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