Question: SHOULD I SEND USED CLOTHING TO A DISASTER ZONE?
Answer: ONLY, ONLY, ONLY if requested by a specific partner or organization.
In the first 7-14 days, clothes may be needed in mass flooding situations, HOWEVER listen to those on the ground & double check the list before sending.
After Hurricane Katrina, so many clothes flooded into the area. The Fire Dept I was working with took them in, hoping to be helpful. They devoted one entire station to clothing & created a mountain of used clothes. The mountain never moved. We ran ads in the newspapers for weeks offering FREE clothes. We called non-profits all over the country trying to get someone to come get them. The answer was always no. Sadly, because the station was needed, the clothes had to be disposed of. Don’t assume clothing or anything else for that matter is needed. Look at the list being distributed, or call or text & ask what the top 1-3 needs are at this time & send that.
Better still, may be to send gift cards to local department stores. It allows the people to shop for their own new clothes & can help jump start the local economy.