Smart Giving During a Disaster

"When nature gets savage and angry, Americans get generous and kind," reports Scott Simon on last weekend's CBS's Sunday Morning. In his report, "When Disaster Relief Brings Anything But Relief," Simon describes that the heartfelt actions of people wanting to help "can also be a problem."

Simon explains how donations during disasters can overwhelm emergency responders and hamper rather than help relief efforts. The problem is that many of the items that people donate aren't needed and the organizations trying to meet the needs of those impacted are weighed down by tons of unnecessary goods.

A Flood of Clothing in the Wake of Sandy

Planet Aid has first-hand experience with this issue. During the Hurricane Sandy relief operation, we donated to help those in need. But instead of clothing, we were called on to donate water, which we delivered by the truckload to places where people's drinking supplies had been contaminated or otherwise didn't function.

Planet Aid also received calls from relief organizations to help them with clothing donations. They were not seeking more clothing, but needed someone to remove tons of textiles that they received that they could never use. Lacking other storage options, one organization filled a nearby empty swimming pool with unwanted donations.

Read more about our Sandy relief efforts by clicking here.

Donating Dollars

Donating an article of clothing to help another in need is a kind and beautiful gesture. However, even after a disaster, clothing is rarely in short supply. We have an incredible excess of unwanted clothing in the United States. That is why so much of it ends up in landfills. It is also why Planet Aid works hard to provide a solution that works, one that helps the environment while also effectively delivering support to those in need.

See this AdCouncil video about what to donate when disaster strikes.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1, but already forecasters are predicting between 6-8 hurricanes and as many as 12-14 named storms. The hope is that none of these storms makes landfall. But if they do, please remember to donate cash for relief efforts, and donate your clothing in your nearest yellow Planet Aid recycling bin.