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The Challenges Of Donation Management Essay

2576 words - 10 pages

As human beings, most of us have a natural instinct to take care of each other in a time of need. When someone falls, you stop and help them up. So when a disaster happens, people want to help and make everything alright. Those near and far to the disaster may show up and volunteer. Others want to help by supplying material needs to the victims of the hazard. They began making donations in the forms of food, water, clothing, medicines or other needed supplies called in-kind donations or some donations are in the form of cash. The outpouring of giving can be overwhelming in a positive and negative way. Along with the hazard and its effects, someone has to manage the vast amount of donations by organizing and distributing to the needy victims. Emergency management has the responsibility of disaster response operations including donations management. According to McEntire, “Donations management is the receipt, sorting, storing and distribution of goods and monies for the benefit of victims in response and recovery operations.” (McEntire, 195). During disaster response operations, donations management is one of the major challenges faced in the response and recovery phase.
The United States has proven its generosity time and time again when there was a disaster wherever the need. Donations have been made throughout the world and here at home. President George W. Bush was quoted after encouraging Americans to donate to the victims of the Asian tsunamis, “The greatest source of America’s generosity is not our government,” he said. “It’s the good heart of the American people.” (Stevenson) During the response and recovery phase, there are many needs. Donations are welcomed and very needed to meet the necessities of the vulnerable victims and those responding to help. Some items are needed more than others. As the donations begin arriving, volunteers are needed to organize and distribute the donated goods. The donated supplies need storing until distribution and when there is a large supply of donations, storage can become an issue. Buildings or warehouses may have to be rented to house the donations. Sometimes there are too many donations or too many of one particular item. Many times there are not enough donated items to meet needs. Other challenges include items not being suitable donations for a particular disaster area, for example coats in warm climates or damaged, expired or unlabeled medications. Distribution of the items also is a challenge. Sometimes getting the much needed supplies out to the vulnerable victims is difficult. All of these challenges mean extra work and can be very overwhelming for volunteers and emergency workers. (McEntire, 188-189) In an article by Dave Roos, he lists ten items that should not be donated for various reasons. These items are used clothing, blankets, teddy bears, shoes, medicines, pet supplies, boxes of mixed items, canned food and bottled water, unsolicited help, and your money to an...

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