Stop Donating Goods to Disaster Victims. What They Need Is Money.
Karen Merzenich

I understand that some people are put off by her tone, but she is right. Dedicating resources to organizing and reorganizing things that people drop off is not helping people in need. If you do not have extra money to donate, its ok. Sometimes the most important thing you can do is stay out of the way. If you want to help, but you don’t have money or a needed skill, there are plenty of things you can do from afar to make a difference. I know it feels good to be able to physically give something away to help someone else, but you need to remember that your feelings are not a priority at this time. Your instinct to help is a good one, but every disaster is different, so take a step back and listen. The people who are doing the organizing, running shelters, and coordinating relief have not slept. They are drowning in spreadsheets and phone lists and questions from 1000 people. Take a deep breath and try not to be offended.

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