Please People! Leave Your Negligees at Home!


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
went on.

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
their houses.

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.

Namaste, Divas!


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

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:



Please People! Leave Your Negligees at Home! — 28 Comments

  1. Great article, and so very true. I was sorting donations one day and opened a huge bag of bikini bathing suits. I imagine the kind sentiment was there, but we were expecting a Nor’easter!

  2. Oh I love you so much for this. It has been maddening. Same story here – most sites have stopped taking clothing donations (except for winter coats and blankets) and have explicitly stated that they don’t want any more clothes. And yet, at the sites where I’ve volunteered, the clothes show up and such inappropriate stuff – literally pieces of cloth. How is that helpful? I totally get that people want to be helpful but you are absolutely right. Rebuilding is a long-term effort.

  3. Working in the non-profit world, I’ve been on the receiving end of these kind of donations. People want to give and actually get mad if you tell them what they are giving is just not needed. I’ve had to turn down donations because we simply didn’t have any use (or storage) for the items. The worst part is that it drains resources. In this case, money seems to be the best to give right now. Keep writing these posts. We need to know what’s going on and how to help!

  4. OK, I have to say, you have at least presented the situation with a sense of humor. It’s gallows humor to be sure, but I did laugh like hell at the first half of the piece, even though I knew full well that it surely really happened. Gah! People can be such assholes. What are people going to do with negligees in the middle of fucking winter? I mean or at all, but seriously, if you need new clothes right now, you’re hoping for LONGSLEEVES and … you know… OUTERWEAR.

  5. Thanks for passing on the needs and the wish lists-those are really helpful. Sometimes it’s a matter of just not knowing what to do, but too often it’s an opportunity to clean out a closet/basement. 🙁
    I’m grateful you are there to be a megaphone for the area. You go, girl!

  6. This is so funny! And such an important message. I can really see how this could happen and you’re right, a bag of negligees would only be useful if it were simply a container for a hefty donation check! I have two bags of kids clothes in my car that would be more helpful than undergarments, but I haven’t found time to donate them. I will now! Great post! xoxo

  7. I donate so much clothing to Goodwill, the local rescue mission, and to the Salvation Army, and I NEVER EVER donate overly stained anything or anything that remotely got used as an undergarment. Including negligees. It’s disgusting. I would rather go commando than wear someone else’s underwear. I actually feel terribly selfish for saying that. Is that weird? But ESPECIALLY with negligees. Who does that?? Don’t women like that think, “Yes. A woman lost her home, all of her belongings, and the first thing she’s going to want to do is put on a negligee. She’ll prance around her unrecognizable neighborhood in something pretty today.” Gah. Breaks my heart.
    I was going to do a yard sale this year. A huge one before our move. I had 11 bags (the big black bags nonetheless) of clothing to sell. All stuff I knew would sell, because it was still in good shape.
    I donated it instead. There were no unmatched gloves or socks. No torn shirts. No stained pants. And certainly no underthingies. lol I don’t donate to clean. I donate to donate.
    Great post, friend. Great post.

  8. Yikes! That is crazy. People donate that type of stuff?!?!? Not like I wear negligees – in fact I’m having a hard time trying to spell the word correctly.

  9. A-MEN, sister.
    This is exactly why I’m hoping to raise funds (and awareness) for long-term rebuilding efforts. The hard work is just beginning … and people are not doing to do it in sexy undergarments.

  10. Good point! IDK, I think it’s insulting to donate undergarments to anyone. I love to thrift, but when I see a bin of used panties, I want to hurl! There are plenty of other sensible ways for people to help.

  11. I am cracking up at Adrienne’s comment above! I think undergarments are one thing that we should allow to break down in a landfill. If they don’t break down, some animal can grab it and make a nest with it or something.
    In all seriousness, I think people need to be reminded during times like these of what they can do to TRULY help out. This was a great way of doing it!

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