When considering collecting and donating in-kind items, please use the established Emergency Management concept of allowing the responding organizations to ‘pull’ needed items and do not ‘push’ what you think is needed. Be skeptical when you hear people say ‘everything is needed’ or ‘they need as much as they can get’.
If your agency is going to collect items, consider the following:
- BEFORE Collecting: Connect with organizations working in the affected area to identify WHAT is needed, HOW MUCH is needed, and WHEN it is needed. The right items, in the correct amounts, at the right time.
- BEFORE Collecting: Identify transportation to move the items from where they are to where they are needed.
- BEFORE Collecting: Identify who will take possession of the items and how they will be used or distributed.
- Used clothing is never needed in a disaster area. Donate used clothing locally to an organization that has a year round mission with used clothing. Or sell used clothing at a yard sale and donate the money raised to a responding organization.
- Unsolicited, unorganized donated goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs require helping agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, warehouse, transport, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.
Finally, monetary donations are often the best as they can be used for the services needed. Donated money can be leveraged to purchase in bulk and get needed services and supplies to the right people at the right time.
The State of Florida in partner ship with Volunteer Florida has established a monatary donations website for those who wish to give funds in support Hurricane Michael Recovery. https://www.volunteerflorida.org/emergency-management/#fdf