Elsewhere online
January 15, 2013

Aid Groups Seek New Ways to Head Off Ill-Advised Donations

Disaster-relief groups and volunteers are exploring ways to head off what aid workers call the "second disaster" of well-intentioned but unwanted and unneeded donations they receive in the wake of hurricanes, floods, and other catastrophes, says NPR.

Despite repeated entreaties for disaster donors to send cash rather than goods, relief groups continue to receive boxes of items victims don't need, from superfluous clothes to, in the case of one Haiti earthquake gift to the American Red Cross, Frisbees.

In one widely praised initiative, Superstorm Sandy volunteers associated with the Occupy movement set up a wedding-gift-style registry at Amazon.com, allowing contributors to pick from a menu of the most urgently needed materials, such as diapers or cleaning supplies.