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And now going for the Aid Watch record on global charity cluelessness…

Aid Watch received the following tidbit from a trusted source. It was posted on a community list-serve:

Does anyone have any old men’s size  8.5-9.0 sneakers they would like to get rid of? Like, lawnmowing sneakers, that sort of thing?  I’m running a mud race on Sunday and at the end the muddy destroyed sneakers will be donated to Green Sneakers, a non-profit that recycles old sneakers and donates them to people in need around the world. If you have a decent pair that can withstand a mud run, I’d be happy to take them off your hands.

Despite the great popularity of Aid Watch posts like Nobody wants your old shoes (by Alanna) and  A suggestion for the 1 million shirts guy (by Laura) it would be safe to say that all of us in this business still have a little  educatin’ left to do.

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  1. I’m patiently awaiting the used underwear charity donation campaign. I am well stocked. We could sign-up the Fruit of the Loom characters for a heart-wrenching commercial.

    “Poor Ndugu has a chafed bum because he has no underwear. You can help him by donating your gently used underwear to ‘Get Behind Africa’ today. Thank you!”

    Posted October 11, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Permalink
  2. joe wrote:

    Mind you, it appears that they’re not actually promising to take the shoes to needy people overseas unlike the other #swedow projects we’ve seen. So, if anything, the problem is that the website is a bit misleading – they’re offering to pay for waste shoes – which implies that they’re going into the wholesale used shoe market rather than for any kind of aid/relief by the charity mentioned. Of course, there are various opinions on the value of the used clothing market in Africa and elsewhere, should anyone want to rehearse them.

    Posted October 11, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Permalink
  3. anon wrote:

    ^ misleading? Green Sneakers is downright shady. and paying? one could hardly call it paying.

    Posted October 11, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Permalink
  4. Amanda wrote:

    Well, you have to give it to them: they managed to somehow incorporate all of the fancy buzzwords into their “About” section (despite not backing up the claims). They assert that the project: “greatly improves economic conditions in developing nations,” “provides sustainable job oportunities” (yes, it is spelled incorrectly on their site), and sneakers are “distributed through reputable relief agencies with the appropriate mechanisms in place to effectively engage in this level of aide.”

    Posted October 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink
  5. J. wrote:

    Ssshhhhhhh…! These dorks only have 27 followers on twitter. Let’s keep it that way – maybe they’ll die of obscurity. Don’t give them any more headline space on famous aid blogs.

    Posted October 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Permalink
  6. Dan Kyba wrote:

    If you follow the basic TEE protocol when beginning your due diligence, the web site and the organisation fails on all three elements:

    1) T – there is no Transparency re who operates the programme.
    2) E – there is no presentation of Efficiency re how their financial resources are managed.
    3) – there is no presentation of Effectiveness re any independent assessment regarding whether the programme meets its claimed targets.

    If you have money to donate, I am sure you can find other organisations which are far more T, E & E to donate to rather than spending time & money checking this group (?).

    Posted October 11, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Permalink
  7. c-sez wrote:

    never mind the small fry. here’s a well respected organisation shipping out the ultimate in #swedow – the very people who crashed the global economy in 2008 and created massive piles of poverty as a result


    Posted October 12, 2010 at 3:04 am | Permalink
  8. Rebecca wrote:

    Why would anyone want “muddy, destroyed sneakers”… ? You are going to wreck them in a mud-run and then donate the wrecked items to some “poor” person?
    Forgetting the inherent problems that come from donations of “gently used” items, but now we are sending them garbage? Nice.

    Posted October 15, 2010 at 11:31 am | Permalink
  9. Reflections wrote:

    What about this one?

    Buy a pair of shoes, and they will give $5 for each shoe purchased to build a well in a “poor” community and even give them a NEW pair of shoes to boot.

    At least it’s better than used shoes??

    Posted October 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by William Easterly, Ian Thorpe, Conduit Journal, sponso RING, Aid Watch and others. Aid Watch said: And now going for the @aidwatch record on Global Charity Cluelessness… […]

  2. By How to give aid on October 12, 2010 at 3:49 am

    […] And now going for the Aid Watch record on global charity cluelessness… […]

  3. By Development Dilemma | The Intersector on October 18, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    […] Easterly advocates for bottom-up market creation and criticizes certain well-intentioned efforts. His post on Aid Watch scorns charitable efforts such as collecting shoes and shirts for the developing […]

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    The Aid Watch blog is a project of New York University's Development Research Institute (DRI). This blog is principally written by William Easterly, author of "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics" and "The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good," and Professor of Economics at NYU. It is co-written by Laura Freschi and by occasional guest bloggers. Our work is based on the idea that more aid will reach the poor the more people are watching aid.

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