I’m sure you wear lovely undergarments.
But, like the rest of us, you may need to refurbish yours
from time to time. Or, maybe you just
get bored. That leopard print bra that
you were in love with last season may feel dated to you now. Or, like me, maybe your boobs changed in size after
kids and breast feeding, and it just doesn’t fit right anymore.
Perhaps you have thrown it in a plastic bag along with some
other items for donation. There is
nothing wrong with it, right? It’s not worn or stained, therefore, maybe some nameless,
faceless woman in Nicaragua or Sudan can benefit from your throwaway. You toss in the bra and then decide to go
through your entire undergarment drawer and clean out.
You find negligees, piles of them actually, that you no
longer wear. Again, perhaps it’s a
sizing issue. No worries, sister. Kids changed my body, too. Or maybe you’ve
upgraded to something with more lace or frill.
Whatever your reasons were for cleaning out your negligee
drawer, that plastic bag full of them now sits in the back of your car,
beckoning to be put into one of those clothing donation boxes outside firehouses
and police stations and grocery stores.
Except you forgot the negligee bag was back there, and life
Until Hurricane Sandy hit, and every church on every corner
was taking donations of clothing and non perishable foods and diapers and
blankets. You wanted to give. You wanted to feel as if you had “done your
And lucky for you, you just happened to have a bag of
negligees sitting in the back of your car, so you dropped it off to Our Lady of
Perpetual Help in Highlands, New Jersey, one of the hardest hit areas on the Jersey
“Those women who lost their homes and all of their
belongings won’t ever have to go without a negligee,” you think to yourself proudly.
You walk out of the church feeling satisfied. You can cross, “Give to hurricane relief effort”
off your list.
And live happily ever after.
I wish I could tell you that I was making this story up, but
the sad truth is that a friend of mine who has been volunteering with the
relief effort found a bag of negligees amongst the clothing donations. A whole bag of them people! An entire bag.
This might be the most demonstrative example I can give of
those who have given thoughtlessly to the relief effort.
Please! Please! Stop using hurricane relief as an
opportunity to clean out your closets!
Please stop sending trailer loads of “stuff” to New Jersey, without
actually talking to someone at a reputable charity first, to see if we really need
what’s in that trailer.
I have heard many people opt to donate goods versus money, because
money may be tight for you. Plus, people are
wary of giving money. However, we need
to think long term with hurricane relief – and a lot of the “short term” issues
have been taken care of. Most of the donation sites around here have stopped taking
clothing and diapers because they have more than they need. At least for now.
The people who have been affected the hardest need money
more than another blanket or diaper or negligee for that matter.
The hardest hit families will need money for gas. Because they
have been placed in temporary housing fifty miles away from where they live,
and therefore have to spend $100.00 more
per week on gas than they used to.
They will need money to rebuild their homes.
They will need money to cover their insurance deductibles on
Local charities in my area, the ones who have the pulse on
the situation, are using their monetary donations appropriately for necessary
relief initiatives versus unnecessary relief initiatives. If you send $5.00, you are helping. If you send $1.00, you are helping. You are helping to buy lumber to rebuild
homes or a tank of gas for someone or a hot meal.
If you really want to help, do your homework.
And please, send your negligees elsewhere.
How to help:
RAINE Foundation, Hazlet, New Jersey: Local charity on the front lines of this hurricane.
Project Paul, Keansburg, NJ: Project Paul runs one of the largest food
pantries on the New Jersey Bayshore.
They also provide assistance for families to pay utilities. Their headquarters was badly flooded during
Sandy, and sadly, they will need to rebuild themselves, so that they can move
forward in helping some of the hardest hit families, which happen to be in the
same town. Please consider making a monetary donation to their EMERGENCY
RESTORATION FUND. http://www.projpaul.org
Monmouth County SPCA: They have taken in animals
who have been separated from their families due to the hurricane. Many families
who lost homes are staying in housing that does not allow pets, and the families
have had to temporarily surrender their animals. Help them take are of these
animals as you would want someone to take care of your own. They are a no-kill
shelter and do excellent work. Here is
their Amazon wish list: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1VJZX5LQJ0S3E/ref=cm_sw_su_w