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To refuse to donate clothes to the school?

(66 Posts)
HecatesTwopenceworth Wed 17-Jun-09 17:24:24

Got a little bag sent home. Please fill it up with clothes, the school will get a few pence per kilo, the clothes will go to the third world and underdeveloped countries.

All well and good you think, but my husband (kenyan) told me years ago about these companies.

These clothes that we give are not always given to people in need, they are often sold to them. The company makes a profit and the local businesses lose custom, which in such countries makes the difference between eating or not.

So by donating clothes, I am actually helping to ruin the business of someone in the third world, AND lining the pockets of a company that pretends to be helping people in the third world hmm

But the school gets a few quid. hmm

psychomum5 Wed 17-Jun-09 17:27:49


is that true??

that is as bad as the shoebox appeal at xmas then.

feel guilty now as I just have done that.....thought I was doing A Good Thing.

expatinscotland Wed 17-Jun-09 17:28:06

Oh, I didn't know that. But I'm a bit of a sheep when it comes to stuff like this. I filled up a couple of bags and off they went.

McDreamy Wed 17-Jun-09 17:30:56

What was the problem with the shoebox appeal? Do they sell them too?

jugglingwoman Wed 17-Jun-09 17:32:44

I knew about the bags of clothes but not the shoebox appeal. Normally those bags have very interesting small print...

Try the Salvation Army or, someone you know are 'proper'. My church has some good links so I send things through them.

psychomum5 Wed 17-Jun-09 17:33:40

no, but they donlt give them unless the children declare they are religious etc (IIRC anyway).

I do know that they are very conniving with regards to the shoebox's (that said, not all companies, just some).

HecatesTwopenceworth Wed 17-Jun-09 17:33:51

Oh is that the one from the evangelical christians who put their literature in each box and - someone reported but don't know if it's accurate - won't let kids have a box unless they convert / get preached to / something like that??

snickersnack Wed 17-Jun-09 17:34:23

Shoebox appeals largely run by very dubious religious organisations who put Bibles into the boxes and attempt to convert the little heathen children to the path of righteousness. I had a big row with the school about it last year...

snickersnack Wed 17-Jun-09 17:36:52


HecatesTwopenceworth Wed 17-Jun-09 17:37:34

I told the school about these bags last year.

Clearly their 30p a kilo matters more than helping a company taking advantage of people and putting people in a bad situation who are trying to earn a living in these countries hmm

StripeyKnickersSpottySocks Wed 17-Jun-09 17:37:41


I refuse to donate for these very reasons and have told the PTA woman why and how totally unethical it is.

Uganda has stopped accepting clothing "donations" as they want to build their own textile industry up, thereby creating jobs. Also as you pointed out, the clothes are sold not donated. The only people that really win is the company involved (and the school a little). I may have a picket line/placard on the next "blue bag day".

purepurple Wed 17-Jun-09 17:39:12

I get lots of these 'charity' bags through the door, asking for clothes.
I only donate to real charities like Scope. You do have to look carefully at where the clothes go, most of them are not charities, but businesses like the OP describes.
I do prefer to pass them on to people that I know before I give them to charity.
so, in answer to your question YANBU

happywomble Wed 17-Jun-09 17:50:28

YANBU - I discovered this and didn't donate anything..I take clothes etc straight to a charity shop.

I wonder if the schools realise what happens to the clothes.

It would appear the blue bag people are running this as a business to make a profit for themselves. It doesn't seem very ethical at all.

happywomble Wed 17-Jun-09 17:52:48

Re: shoe organisations always put religious stuff in..I thought the idea was you donate toys etc for a disadvantaged child at Christmas. Do you think all shoe box appeals are suspect or are there just a few dodgy ones?

bumptwitknocker Wed 17-Jun-09 18:07:17

The Christmas shoe boxes are given to children. They are good ones to support.

Longtalljosie Wed 17-Jun-09 18:10:21

Does it have a British registered charity number? If not, it will be a business.

Often the ones which aren't charities use a form of words to kind of imply they are - but if it's kosher it'll simply say "Registered charity, number xxxxxx"

memoo Wed 17-Jun-09 18:10:38

The christmas shoes boxes are only given to children whose family convert to christianity

weegiemum Wed 17-Jun-09 18:14:25

The shoeboxes to avoid especially are Samaritans Purse. I'm a CHristian and I refuse to do them. there are some other better ones, but tbh, they are all crappy development practice - you are better giving money to a charity who can buy these things in their country rather than transporting stuff round the globe

<<phew, gets off hobbyhorse>>

Frasersmum123 Wed 17-Jun-09 18:21:24

We always do a shoebox for Operation Christmas child through DS's Boys Brigade - are they okay?

We get lots of flyers and bags through our door, but if it doenst have a charity number it ges in the bin - I always seemt the bags filled up in our neighbourhood though, so they must be doing alright out of it!

funtimewincies Wed 17-Jun-09 19:41:02

As Longtalljosie says, if it's genuine there will be a registered charity number printed on the bag and you can find out information about them. If there isn't, then it's likely to be a company which sells the clothes on.

Thunderduck Wed 17-Jun-09 19:48:12

Operation Christmas Child is run by Samaritan's Purse who I have issues with because they send a bible or similar literature with every package.

They used the boxes to try to gain new converts.I'd never support them.

Frasersmum123 Wed 17-Jun-09 19:55:39

Oh gosh - I didnt know that - might reconsider doing one this year then.

Thunderduck Wed 17-Jun-09 19:59:05

A direct quote from their website.

''We are always trying to expand our ministry to children,” he said. “The boxes give us an opportunity to reach out to them in a way that would not be possible otherwise. They are a good tool for explaining to them who Jesus is and to share the Gospel with them.”

The above quote suggests to me that the true purpose of the boxes is not to help the children, but to convert them.

Frasersmum123 Wed 17-Jun-09 19:59:54

Thanks for the info Thunderduck.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 17-Jun-09 20:01:48

shock No way!?!?!?

The school and play school do the blue bag scheme.

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