The donations Sandy's victims don't need

  • Article by: Jose Holguin-Veras , Los Angeles Times
  • Updated: November 6, 2012 - 10:46 AM

The human impulse to help those in need should be encouraged. But people need to be educated on how best to help.

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wastingtimeNov. 6, 1210:59 AM

All we really want is your cash!

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forpeopleNov. 6, 1211:19 AM

And right before the election, Romney and his friends send a bunch of stuff to east coast states that is destined to become rotting garbage. That's symbolic, I'm afraid, of what the USA can expect from Romney if he is elected today. More Republican garbage. Sad, sad, sad.

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submomNov. 6, 1211:19 AM

As someone who has volunteered at both a food shelf and headed a school PTA, this article really hits home. I frequently have to sift through items that people "thought we could use" or even find someone else to take them. I appreciate that people want to be generous but all it takes is a phone call to the organization to see if they really need the items. Often we can direct them to a place that does want them.

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absent_carloNov. 6, 1211:29 AM

Reminds me of the story about the MN blogger(?) who wanted to help out in Haiti. He basically created a logistical nightmare by having a Minnesota warehouse full of bottled water. High on ambition, low on brains.

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davehougNov. 6, 1212:05 PM

Asking those who know. What is wrong with putting that stuff under some roof and letting everyone take what they want for free? Better than letting it spoil in the rain. I must be missing something.

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lonstarNov. 6, 1212:16 PM

Having volunteered for these events more than once, I can say that at least half of what comes in is nothing more than trash people are unloading under the guise of "charity". . Here's a tip - if this natural disaster happened to a member of your family and they lived in the affected area, would you send them dirty clothes, broken appliances or expired food? . No? Then don't do it to anyone else, please.

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beebee82Nov. 6, 1212:18 PM

Why should volunteers waste precious time and energy sorting and setting up what amounts to boxes of junk when they could be spending that time and energy on actual relief efforts?

As one who has participated in several relief drives, I am always amazed at a lot of the garbage people "donate." Dirty, grubby teddy bears, broken hangers, light bulbs (duh, if electricity is out, what good is a light bulb??) — once I even opened an entire bag full of trash that someone had dumped by the donation door. It's as though some people use relief drives as an excuse to clean out all the junk from their closets. Just take five seconds to think about what your priorities would be in during a disaster — used stuffed animals and broken appliances probably won't make that list.

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traderbillNov. 6, 1212:19 PM

davehoug, think about what you are proposing. People coming from all over to sift thru every kind of imaginable product. They need your money - donated to a reliable agency like Salvation Army or Red Cross - not well-intentioned supplies that may be useless. Cash is never useless in a crisis, it is the only thing that is reliable.

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gearrunrNov. 6, 1212:36 PM

"Romney and his friends send a bunch of stuff to east coast states that is destined to become rotting garbage. That's symbolic" - Symbolic is dead on! Because I've NEVER heard of this as being a problem until Romney did something to try to help. Suddenly a plethora of articles on how wrong it is. Pathetic.

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mnmaggiemnNov. 6, 1212:38 PM

I in particularly did not like the line that stated to be careful of what you send because it could affect local retailers who need it??? If people are not working or lost everything, they cant afford to buy those items. I agree with the article but that line bothered me and made me feel like it was money money money...

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