Date
26 March 2017
Hongkongers have generously contributed to Nepal earthquake relief, but some donated items, including used clothing (inset), are unsuitable. Photos: AFP, Facebook
Hongkongers have generously contributed to Nepal earthquake relief, but some donated items, including used clothing (inset), are unsuitable. Photos: AFP, Facebook

Don’t donate dirty items, used clothes for Nepal, charities say

Hongkongers have responded enthusiastically to the call to donate items to help earthquake victims in Nepal, but some are treating the collection centers as dump sites for unwanted belongings.

Charity workers are urging donors to have empathy with the recipients of the goods, Sky Post reported Tuesday.

One volunteer complained in a posting on a Facebook page, HK Support Nepal Earthquake Relief, that some people have donated used underwear, dirty pillows, diapers and curtains, implying that those donors use the charity collection centers as dump sites.

Saying nearly 20 percent of donated clothing is unsuitable and dealing with it is a waste of time, the poster urged people to put themselves in the quake victims’ shoes and not donate belongings merely as a form of almsgiving or just to make themselves feel better.

Simon Wong, community relations director at Salvation Army Hong Kong, said donating used clothing from unidentified sources is inappropriate, as the recipients could fall sick if the clothing is contaminated.

Wong said it would be better to donate money that can be used to buy supplies directly in the affected areas.

Charity workers suggest four things that people should consider before they donate items:

(1) Know the weather of the disaster-stricken area;

(2) Tents and hygiene kits should be given priority;

(3) Monetary donations are better than used belongings and can save transportation costs; and

(4) Know the background of the charity groups.

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