Sunday, January 27, 2008

Latest Frustration

I’ve been slowly spring cleaning my apartment. I’ve gone through closets, drawers, and hidden crevices pulling things out to organize and to get rid of. I’ve got two garbage bags of clothes to donate as well as other random things. What I want is to ship these clothes to Tanzania where a people truly in need and who stole a chunk of my heart can benefit from them. However, it seems as if that is much more difficult than one would think. In fact, unless I meet someone who is actually going to Africa soon, it’s impossible. All international organizations want money (which I don’t have to give) and only money. I’ve been told if I ship them to the missionaries in Tanzania they will have to pay a lot of money to even get the clothes! I’m not worried about my costs (I can ship them for not too much) but the fact that the missionaries would have to pay for the donation is bizarre to me. I’ve just spent hours on the internet looking for organizations in the states where I could ship these boxes to for them to deliver or take with them when they go. I’ve come up completely empty. It seems as if the only option is Goodwill where the likelihood of my clothes ending up in a thrift store in America, where middle and upper class teenagers are looking for cheap clothes (no stone throwing here…I’ve done it too), seems to be much more likely than them ending up in Africa. I’m frustrated by the fact that even the poor in America make more money than the average person in Africa. We live in a world where panhandlers make more money a year than I’ll ever make (some making much more than 100,000 a year). How is it with all the push for relief for Africa and all the celebrity speeches and red Gap t-shirts, there isn’t a place to send those red Gap t-shirts after we’ve worn them?! It’s not like Gap takes donations for clothes to send, and I haven’t seen Angelina’s (or any other actor who’s made a promise to help Africa) address for us to send clothes to for them to take. I’m enraged! I’m frustrated beyond explanation! And, I’m sad for the lack of help I’m able to give.

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