Misdirected Donations for Tsunami Victims

“It’s clear that some people have sent clothes that are actually meant to be used as dusters,” said Himali Fernando, another aid official. “We don’t mean to be ungrateful, but it would be appreciated if people take a little more care before just unloading their basements and garages.”

An embarrassed Fernando said the black-and-pink thong underwear will not be offered to refugees. Nor would a spaghetti-strap, sequin-studded black evening dress. Still, she said, nothing will be thrown away. Warm clothing may be sent to shelters or to tea plantation workers in the hills, where the climate is cooler.

Among the most unlikely supplies sent in were six packs of Viagra from Australia, said Gandhi Saundararajan of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization.

The better approach I would imagine is to ask individuals to donate money, which can then be deployed locally to purchase needed items, thereby spurring the local economy.

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