Don't collect clothes, food, or supplies to send to the disaster area

In most disaster situations, when material goods are requested, clothes and food are at the bottom of the list. There are several reasons for this:

  • Limited warehouse space. In disaster situations, especially after a natural disaster such as a hurricane or flood, buildings which can be used for collecting and distributing relief items are usually being used to their capacity.
  • Transportation cost and limited transportation space. There are standardized recommendations for the purchase of relief supplies in bulk and the bundling of supplies in units to allow the maximum amount to be loaded onto ships, planes, or trucks. It is difficult to include clothes because of the variance in quantity and weight, and also the difficulty of getting the appropriate clothes to those in need.
  • Specific request of partners. Partner congregations or organizations know best the needs of the disaster affected community. In their disaster response plan, they draw up a list of very specific items which can be used immediately. The inclusion of other items requires valuable time in sorting through and determining the appropriateness of the items.
  • In most situations, these items are locally available.

    Review the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Material Aid Policy.

Do creatively support disaster response

If you have already collected items and cannot find a local mission project which can benefit from them, you might want to consider holding a flea market or other type of sale and sending the proceeds to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance using the designated account number for the specific disaster. 

Do assemble Gift of the Heart Kits

Gift of the Heart kits are an excellent hands-on project for youth groups, Presbyterian Women and others who want a tangible way to be involved. Learn how to provide hygiene kits, school kits, and cleanup buckets.



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