The DEC is a fundraising organisation so we do not collect, store, sort or distribute goods as our role is just to raise money for our member charities' work on the ground.
Further to this it is often not cost effective to collect goods in the UK as the costs of sending them to a disaster area are usually more than the goods are worth. Where possible, DEC’s member charities will buy relief items in bulk from countries in the affected region. This stimulates the local economy and helps the country get back on its feet. It also saves time and money as it is quicker and cheaper to transport goods to a nearby country or within a country than fly goods out from the UK. Charities can also exercise quality control in making sure the goods are suitable for the people affected.
If you have a large amount of goods or items that are particularly relevant to the emergency situation, you can contact DEC partner Global Hand who arrange for suitable goods to be transported to disaster areas or other areas in need. Global Hand is a charity that matches donated goods with items needed by voluntary organisations. Please contact Global Hand at https://www.globalhand.org/en/offers/new and mention that you were directed to them by the DEC.
- Global Hand do not actually warehouse goods in the UK, but they link donors with NGOs for whom they may be of strategic help.
- Global Hand's acceptance of goods will be in part based on consideration to shelf life, cultural sensitivity, environmental appropriateness and impact on local manufacture in struggling economies.
- Global Hand matches donations with need and does not only work in disaster areas. They may not be able to send your goods to the country of the current DEC appeal, but may find a home for them elsewhere (with your approval).
If Global Hand is not relevant for your donation then another good way of helping respond to a disaster is to raise money from the sale of your items, either by giving them to a charity shop of one of the DEC member charities, or by selling the items yourself and donating the money raised. If you sell items on eBay you can ask for some or all of the money to go directly to the DEC, see http://pages.ebay.co.uk/ebayforcharity/sell.html