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Thread: Idaes on what to bring for the poor

  1. #1
    Ken
    Guest

    Default Idaes on what to bring for the poor

    I have a dear friend in Puerto Plata that is a pastor for a small congregation in the mountains outside the city. I had an opportunity to meet the people in the village last year and they are really in need of a lot.

    I will be in P.P in February for a visit next month. During our past vacations our family always fills up an extra few suitcases of clothing donations for my friend to hand out.

    After seeing the prices of articles in the grocery store in P.P. it is obvious to me that I can purchase a lot of things at discount at our local Costco or Price Club.

    I would be interested to hear from others about what items are hard to obtain/costly but available and/or cheap in Canada. Please do tell me to give money, as the suitcases are going to be filled with something, and might as well be filled with items of worth to the people.

    I can fill up a few large suitcases with whatever, but it would be better to bring the items that are most needed.

    Your help would be appreciated.

    Ken

  2. #2
    Me
    Guest

    Default Re: Idaes on what to bring for the poor

    I shop throughout the year for household items that go on bargain prices, especially things that the DR has to import anyway. Bargain means good quality at low cost, and not shoddy stuff. Pepsodent toothpaste went on sale here; store brand toothbrushes are sometimes good quality and on sale; good candlestick holders; shoes; baby items; children's items...clothing and educational toys

  3. #3
    Ken
    Guest

    Default Re: Ideas on what to bring for the poor

    Are you aware of some products that we have access to, that they don't? What products could be purchased to fill a suitcase that would be of most value to the Poor? Thanks

  4. #4
    T Santos
    Guest

    Default Re: Idaes on what to bring for the poor

    Hi Ken,when I was there as a volunteer I brought with me school supplies such as pencils,pens,crayons and notepad books for writing in.Also any type of kids clothing except our bulky winter stuff that we Canadians have to wear Recently I have sent down some Yo-Yo's that play music and light up which can be bought in the Dollar stores here,a gift like this can be enjoyed by girls and boys.A friend of mine is going in a month or so and has collected some used baseball equipment too,so I hope this helps.Good Luck!

    Pasola Joe

  5. #5
    Jim Hinsch
    Guest

    Default Re: Ideas on what to bring for the poor

    There is no shortage of goods in the Dominican Republic. There is a shortage of money. Most items cost about the same or just slightly more than in the USA. This has been discussed and confirmed many times here on the board. Search the archives. It is designer imported items that like Levi jeans and Nike tennis shoes that will cost more, but not much more.

    Yes, you may find some items cheaper at a warehouse club in the USA than a particular store in Puerto Plata, but there are plenty of places in the DR that also sell at a deep discount.

    For example, at http://lacentralexpress.com you can have a small set of groceries delivered to anywhere in the DR for US$79.99 plus a small delivery charge and you can charge it to your credit card. I priced the same items at my local Meijer Discount store in my neighborhood here in the Detroit suburbs and the total came to US$80.12, and that was leaving out a couple items for which I could find no equivalent and discounting the rice by 50% since they don't sell rice in bags over 5 lbs. at this store (if anybody wants the run-down, E-mail me).

    If you have to go out and buy it, your best bet is to just give the cash. You can stock up on dollar items like school supplies and cheap toys but I assure you they sell lots of that same stuff for the same price or cheaper right in the DR. In fact, I find it easier to buy dollar or less items and school supplies in the DR than in the USA! A lot of place in the DR sell at flea-market prices.

    So, if you must fill your suitcases, fill it with your old stuff like clothes. A suitcase full of clothes in good condition can be worth a lot. Consider giving cash instead of trying to buy things thinking it is cheaper than in the DR. It just isn't the case.

    Jim Hinsch JimHinsch@CSI.COM

  6. #6
    diego
    Guest

    Default Re: Ideas on what to bring for the poor

    I just came back yesterday from the DR. I stayed in La Vega and I went there with 3 Suitcases full of used Clothing and Items from local Dollar Stores. At Christmas Eve I played Santa and I have to tell you it was a Riot, the Kids in the Campo I stayed in had Fun, but not as much as I did. I have to agree with some off the above Writers to taking Cash, but I would, and thats what I will do in the Future, not giving cash to people, but buying Products locally and then give it to the People you think need it the most. Dont forget none off the Airlines will let you carry more then 20 Pounds off Luggage after that it,s $5.oo a pound. I paid $180.00 for overweight,thats RD 1800 that will buy a lot of Toys.

  7. #7
    Lyse
    Guest

    Default Re: Ideas on what to bring for the poor

    You mean 20 kilo (44 pounds) and 5$ per kilo on charter flight.???????

  8. #8
    Susanne
    Guest

    Default Re: Ideas on what to bring for the poor

    I have to agree with Jim on this one.

    In the different places I stayed in the DR there was no shortage of anything. This is not a Third World Country, neither is it Eastern Europe before the fall of Iron Curtain. The Dominican Republic is in many ways a developing country, but almost anything you need is there. The brands are not always the same as in USA, but in my opinion most of the local produce is very good.

    Bring cash, or - as Jim says - clothes in GOOD condition. People from the rich world often have an idea that people from poor countrys will wear anything and be grateful, but it is not so. You just have to look at the Dominicans and even their smallest, poorest house to see that their sense of beauty is keen.

    The advantage of cash is that people then can decide themselves what they really want. Different people have different needs and wishes. And you may be surprised: Sometimes the wish is for the "unecessary" little luxury to brighten up a daily life that can be hard. This tends to offend people from richer countries - we seem to expect that the money should be used to buy a bunch of more "sensible" and practical things rather than be "wasted" - but in my best opinion an attitude like that is patronizing, even if it is kindly meant. (I am not implying that this is how YOU think, I am generalizing from the amount of charity people I have spoken with over the years).

    Regards and the best wishes for your good initiative, Susanne

  9. #9
    Me
    Guest

    Default Re: Ideas on what to bring for the poor

    Susanne, these views are not mutually exclusive...Jim's views and mine are not in conflict, basically, so you don't have to choose and defend a side. He is right that most everything imaginable can be located, if not obtained by the poor. The original poster did not deny this, buyt stated that it is the intention of the person to fill up the suitcases. I am allowed 2 suitcases of 70 lbs. each and a carry on when I fly, and do not waste the opportunity to fill the suitcases up. I did specify that I do not bring cheap stuff, as Jim mentioned, but look for really good bargains. I have looked at the toys available there and have not found some of the educational ones that I bring, and I don't have time to go hunting through a lot of stores to search for them when I am there. I bring lego blocks, alphabet blocks, blackboards and chalk (which I have seen there), children's books in Spanish, dolls, musical instruments and such. I believe education should start early. Nobody said that cash is not good and won't be one of the items, but it would take a lot of cash to fill up a large suitcase.

  10. #10
    Meredith
    Guest

    Default Re: Ideas on what to bring for the poor

    I found that the poor in the Dominican do not like to accept cash from people, especially those who they do not know. Clothes is a good ideas, so is toys and products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap. When I volunteered there I found that the community run hospitals are very desperate for supplies such as plastic gloves, bandages, sterile needles, etc.

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