To all those who are moved by the typhoon disaster in the Philippines, and want to do something, here is some advice: “Don’t Send Old Shoes to the Philippines.”
This is not a joke. Sending clothes, food goods, shoes, and other material aid not only doesn’t help, it hurts the relief effort. Access to the disaster area is already severely limited. It’s very difficult to deliver critically needed food and medicine. Sending boxes of old clothes and shoes will only clog the system up even more.
Follow the advice of Jessica Alexander, a humanitarian aid worker. “Donate money – not teddy bears, not old shoes, not breast milk. Give money to organizations that have worked in the affected areas before the storm – they will be more likely to know and be able to navigate the local context and may be able to respond faster, as it won’t take them time to set up.”