January 2010 – Monthly Roundup!

We ended the year with 6341 items of underwear being donated.  I need to update this figure as have more waiting to be “processed”, just not had time to sort yet with being away.

A few people have been asking “what now” in terms of this being a one off.  Given I have 3840+ underwear and seeing the response from the recipients of our donations then no it’s not a one off!  My thinking is that I will do an annual appeal and 1 or 2 trips a year.  However will not be turning away any donations (already had 2 people drop donations off this year!) so for those of you who want to continue supporting then please do!

 In terms of the blog I will update on the 20th of each month.

 Some of you questioned (in a good way) whether I needed to take the donations over myself in terms of having to take holidays and fund these trips myself, and why didn’t I use couriers.  My answer was always “yes” as this way I was sure that our donations got to where they were needed, and didn’t get tied up in red tape or “lost”.  I was nervous about shipping to Ethiopia but after meeting the City Link rep was a little reassured, add in the fact that our donations were being delivered to the Sheraton hotel to be met by Danielle to be distributed I did think it would be okay.  However, my fears were confirmed on Monday 4 January as I waited at Heathrow to go to Kenya, Danielle did not receive our donations.  There wasn’t much I could do at that point but as soon as I got back contacted City Link who are now investigating.  For a fuller explanation please see my email from Danielle in “Ethiopia” below.

Lesson learnt the hard way but I’m keeping my fingers crossed City Link will locate the 1000 underwear.


 Due to the bad weather I had to reschedule the meeting with EVOC from Tuesday 22 December.  We’re now meeting on Thursday 28 January.


 Hi Maria,

Thanks for your email. I’m so sorry for just now getting back to you. We didn’t receive the package while we were in Ethiopia. It should have been there when the first two members of our group arrived, but it was not. We checked everyday we were in Addis, and the concierge said no packages arrived for any guests during that time. We were trying to email you for a tracking number of some sort, but the internet was down the whole time we were in Addis. We ran into our own issues getting our donations there as well.  The shoes we had shipped via cargo on Lufthansa were detained in customs, as were our medication donations. We spent 10 hours fighting to get them released, to no avail. The matter is currently under investigation here in the US via the embassy. We had followed all of the steps required to bring the donations into the country, and had cleared everything with the Ethiopian embassy here before we left. I imagine your package met a similar fate that our donations did, that it’s sitting in customs somewhere in Ethiopia. We had always had a policy of not shipping or mailing anything to Ethiopia for this reason (this happens a lot when non-profits are trying to bring stuff into the country for donation purposes), but we made exceptions this time because in both situations generous donors like you had offered to cover the shipping costs. I’m so very sorry this happened.

 City Link are investigating and I’ll keep you posted


 Check out “Kenya – January 2010” and the photo gallery!!


2 Responses to “January 2010 – Monthly Roundup!”

  1. Abi Sloan Says:

    Hi, any news on the missing pants?

  2. smallsforall Says:

    Sadly no. I chased end of last week but have heard nothing so far. Still kicking myself.

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