“You wouldn’t want to receive something you didn’t ask for or need at Christmas, let alone during a humanitarian crisis.”
It is Christmas eve and presents are lined beneath my family’s tree. Do you remember that present from a distant relative last year that you opened, cringed and never used? For me it was Barbie dolls when I was sixteen. I appreciate the thought that my relatives put into gifts but sometimes I receive ones I know I will never use. It led me to ask for cash.
Now raise the stakes exponentially. I’m not talking about holiday gift giving but donations given during times of crisis.
In Ebola-stricken areas, healthcare workers may give more than a cringe upon receiving in-kind donations of canned food or used clothing when they are not needed or when those needs have been met. You wouldn’t want to receive something you didn’t ask for or need at Christmas, let alone during a humanitarian crisis. Just as I would hate to give a gift I know would be discarded, I would never want to donate goods that would impede a relief effort. Instead, I donate cash.
It’s difficult to anticipate the needs of a relative; it’s even more difficult anticipating the needs of those in a humanitarian crisis. Cash is best.