Flood appeal - why cash donations are preferred

One of our members, Tanya Love, is out helping at a donation centre in Brisbane today and has sent this photo through, here is her message:

"This is what the donation centres out here are dealing with! It is only one of MANY piles in this one centre alone. It DELAYS the support reaching the affected people. PLEASE sort and label your donations & don't donate rubbish! They are throwing away as much stuff as they are distributing. These people DO NOT need stuffed toys and broken crockery, nor do they deserve it!! If you are donating, please do so thoughtfully, these families' hearts are broken, they don't deserve broken stuff too!"

Please, if you're donating things only send good quality or near new items and sort and label everything. If you're yet to donate and deciding on whether to send things or a cash donation, please send money, that way people can buy the things that they need from local businesses in the flood affected regions who are also doing it tough right now.


  1. I hope people send cash! I purchased from one of the many auctions and had cash donated on my behalf for this appeal. My family and I donated new items to black Saturday a few years ago but I now prefer to send cash so the locals have people spending in their stores and it gives the victims some sense of control over their lives after what has happened to them.

    Good on you Tanya for getting out there and volenteering too.

  2. I think this is all getting frustrating for a lot of people. The messages are getting mixed up.
    I think second hand is fine, as long as it is clean, not broken, and works. We are collecting whatever people can afford to give, not everybody can afford new items or money. But of the things we have, a mark on a teddy, kids don't care, I keep having to remind my children that the toys are for children who have lost all, as my kids keep liking what they see, regardless of it being second hand or not.
    But for where to send, that is where the message is not getting through. There isn't any proper information, and of those few we can find, which are main distribution centres, they are overloaded, yet there are plenty of people out and about who are not receiving all that they could use because it isn't getting out there. Meanwhile we have all of this great stuff, and hard to know where to send to next.
    What can we do? What assistance can we have with getting it out there?
    I want to cry when I think of a little kid who has lost all of their toys, they don't understand, and yet I have some amazing beautiful, cuddly, fun toys sitting here, that I would love to see in their hands, nappies for babies that would really help mums, books to keep the children entertained while the clean up continues, and many other useful things. I am happy to hold on for some months and keep sending gradually, but there is just no real information on what to do, and no way for me to properly co ordinate it with anybody. Victoria need things as well, there are no contacts for there.
    What to do?

  3. Hi Linda,
    You're right, I think its difficult to coordinate all of the donations - there are so many people in need so they don't want to turn things away but at the same time it would be a massive job matching the things that have been donated to the thousands of families in need, especially when those families are spread across hundreds of kilometres throughout central and southern Queensland.

    Donations are always appreciated, I guess there needs to be a more streamlined approach in how to handle it though as you've said above. I guess where people have asked for specific donations its a different matter too as these are needed items.

  4. I read this and sorry i dont agree, they dont NEED near new! People donate what ever they can, and they may not have new things themselves, if you are needy you will acept things that are old but work. We are not trying to improve their homes, or give them a better home than they had, we are trying to help people so they can move on with their lives. I agree dont give things that are broken or things such as stuffed

  5. Thanks for your comment I guess we're all trying to help these people get back on track as quickly as possible.

    Just to clarify Connect2mums is calling for donations to be given to help get Playgroups up and running and for safety reasons we have asked for 'new or near new' toys and books to be donated. We're also accepting financial donations so these groups can purchase new resources to replace those that they've lost.

  6. i am with annonymous. why are these people given the right to expect new things when their own things wouldn't have been new. i am trying to collect stuff for people that is quality second hand things - nwto, unopened, collected items, bought items no longer wanted/better used by these people. no one has the right to reject offers of unbroken items. the money you want donated can't be afforded by everyone and isn't going to everyone so why would you now donate money oh and i am sure whoever is distributing will be taking a huge amount for admin fees. no one has denied this one.

  7. I was involved with http://www.qldtoyappeal.com.au/ and they were sorting all donations into crates by item specifics (i.e. toys, books, clothing - into size groups) to make it easier to distribute to those in need when it got up to Queensland. They were also making sure only items in suitable condition (regardless of new or second hand) are sent.

    I think it is great that people have the option to help, even if they are not able to do so financially. I know there is no way possible for me to donate cash, but I went through our present box, my sons clothes, books and toys and found items in good condition to donate. My son and I also baked cupcake, slices and banana bread with items we had in the cupboard to feed the volunteers that were accepting, sorting and packing donations. As it was we stopped this as it got too expensive buying more butter, sugar, eggs and flour and we were really scrimping for ourselves.

    I feel as long as people are using common sense, and not using it as an option for dumping old/broken/dirty toys and clothing, that it is a good option for those that want to help that don't have the financial means.

  8. Thanks for the tip to bag and label everything. Will do that.

  9. "These people DO NOT need stuffed toys and broken crockery, nor do they deserve it!!"

    You really think the kids don't deserve stuffed toys? I completely agree that soiled or broken items should not be donated, but many of the kids could be comforted by a used teddy still in good condition. Unbroken toys of any kinds, even well loved ones, should - and I'm sure will be - gratefully accepted.

    Knowing several people who have been helping at distribution centres in various locations, yours seems to be the only one throwing away more than is being distributed. Sounds like you're being too picky, not wanting stuffed toys and only wanting new or near new. Those I know in Queensland are grateful for whatever is donated, as long as it works.

  10. From Tanya:

    "Hey guys, that particular shot wasn't to portray the "rubbish" stuff but rather the crazy volume of stuffed toys that they have here. Yesterday though I saw three men spend four hours going through boxes and boxes containing one armed Barb...ie dolls, puzzles with pieces missing, coffee cups with broken handles, fry pans that are so charred that you couldn't even use them to cook on camping, bags with busted zips, dirty undies (I kid you not!), odd socks, baby bottles with chewed teets, you name it! There was two points I was making - 1; don't donate crap as it just uses precious manpower having to sort, clean & sadly throw a lot of it away, and 2; don't donate stuff that can't be used eg, thousands upon thousands of stuffed toys, and clothes with holes in the bum etc. That is not what they need to put their lives back together..."



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