We really appreciate the generosity, but we are not accepting in-kind donations for food, clothes, medical equipment or other items, as we’re unable to distribute those overseas. There are several good reasons for this. Every item must be checked, cleaned, sorted, packed, transported, stored and distributed, which hugely increases the cost of the relief effort and diverts from work that may be needed on the ground.
Also, the items donated aren’t always what people need. Even worse, unwanted boxes of donated goods can clog ports and post offices and prevent the delivery of essential items like medicines and relief supplies.
Our experience with emergencies shows that donations of money, where possible, help affected communities recover sooner. This is because people can make their own dignified choices – including purchasing the goods they need for their own families.
The website DonateResponsibly.org has a great explanation of what can go wrong.
If you have good-quality clothes or household items, our Red Cross Shops would gratefully accept them, to on-sell in Australia and raise funds for our vital work. Visit redcross.org.au/stores to find your nearest shop. Stores in several states are currently closed because of COVID-19 pandemic - they will be open again as soon as we are able.