Q: When will you be distributing the donations in the affected area?
A: We work with the local community to determine when and where the needs are. In some cases our distribution trips will be planned well in advance, in others they will be on short notice. Still other times the plans may change several times depending on the affected area and the situation they are dealing with. It is of paramount importance that our presence is helpful to the community, not disruptive. It is critical that the donations are given to families at a time when they can receive them and store them, making use of them to recover and rebuild.
So a simple answer is that we will make our distribution trips as soon as it is safe and appropriate to do so, according to our contacts in the region.
Q: I donated at your drive and you told me you were going down on a certain day, but it doesn’t look like you went. What happened to my donations?
A: Your donations are safely stored until the people of the region are ready for us to bring them into the area. Many disasters are fluid in nature and change quickly, without notice. It is not uncommon for our trips to be delayed or changed to accommodate the residents and those in need.
Q: I’ve heard that donations of clothes and things go to waste, or get sold in thrift stores. I don’t want that to happen to my donations. How do I know they won’t be wasted?
A: All of the donations we receive go directly to the families who need them. We have never “wasted” a donation by leaving it on the roadside, a sidewalk or donating it to organizations that will sell them in thrift stores. Our mission is to make sure each and every donation goes directly to those in need.
Q: How do you know that the people you donate stuff to actually need it?
A: We carefully screen all of the people who get donations. If they don’t come through one of our trusted, partner organizations we personally screen them to make sure they have truly suffered a loss from the disaster and that they are in need of the donated items.
Q: Do you collect money?
A: While we keep our expenses VERY low, there are some costs inherent with storing and distributing donations. It’s actually the reason so many organizations don’t accept clothing and other donations. Because of these hard costs we do accept cash donations. The funds go directly to our expenses which are otherwise paid for out of pocket.
Q: Do you work with the Red Cross?
A: We work with a number of organizations when we can find mutually beneficial partnerships. We do not give donations we receive to the Red Cross and other national organizations since most of our donations are the kind that they don’t want. 🙂 We do, however, work collaboratively with the Red Cross and other national organizations when possible to give people in our community every chance to help and make a difference.