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How To Give (And How NOT To Give)

This doesn’t have anything to do with mothering, except in the larger “mother the world” sort of way, but bear with me.

I know a lot of us are looking at the disaster in the Philippines and wanting to help. It reminds me of Hurricane Sandy, and how quickly people want to reach out, give a warm blanket and a hot meal and a hug. I love that about humanity – when something like this hits, it stirs our hearts, even if it’s half a world away.

A good friend of mine works at World Vision a non-governmental organization that is one of the tops, in my opinion, at being right there in an international crisis with aid. He’s worked for them for years, has seen First Response teams in action across the globe, and knows what he’s talking about. Which is why I stopped and read this article he posted yesterday – The Ten Worst Things To Donate After A Disaster.

I strongly encourage you to take a quick look at it; some of the things on the list surprised me, like “food”. Who doesn’t need food after a hurricane? But the truth is, all food donated has to be exhaustively inspected first – and stored until it can be inspected – and that takes up a lot of space and manpower. Sending a check can feel cold and “easy”, but giving money to a great organization that already has a structure in place to handle and emergency and simply needs the cash to buy the supplies to help people will actually be doing more for the victims than waiting in line at your post office to mail a box of canned goods.

It’s a fast read, so go through it, and if you’re going to donate, please research charities and donate to one that is equipped to do the most good with your money. As I mentioned before, we love World Vision and that’s our first-response charity of choice, but wherever you send your money, send it somewhere that counts.


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