By Allison G. S. Knox
The recent wildfires in Boulder County, Colorado, are devastating to see. The photos show neighborhoods in partial or complete destruction with homes that are eliminated down to their foundations. From looking at the images, it is easy to see that residents have lost everything.
It is often a knee-jerk reaction to donate to help victims who have been directly affected by a disaster such as the Boulder County wildfires. In many cases, people donate their belongings, such as clothing, kitchen items, children’s toys and other items that would immediately help another family in need.
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Many Donations Are Not Usable and Require Additional Effort from Emergency Managers
While these donations are well-intended, emergency management scholars argue against their use. Managing donated items becomes a very difficult enterprise since some of the donations sometimes aren’t usable and require further effort from emergency managers.
If you’re thinking about donating to the Boulder County wildfire recovery effort, consider donating money only, since monetary donations go much farther for families than actual items. Another option is to wait until Colorado emergency managers explain the specific needs of their communities.