CNA approached a handful of other NGOs to ask in general what they did with unwanted or unusable in-kind donations, such as clothing.
The Singapore Red Cross said it has “built a network of donor-partners that provides a steady stream of brand new or pre-loved clothes”.
Its spokesperson added that the clothing will be sold at its thrift store, SHOP+, and all proceeds will be used to support Singapore Red Cross’ local humanitarian services. It does not accept in-kind donations for disaster responses.
171 TONNES OF DONATIONS SENT TO TURKIYE
On Tuesday, Mr Gönenli said that aside from embassy staff, Turkish and Singaporean volunteers had sorted through and packed the donations, picking out items that were suitable to send to Türkiye.
These included items that were in their original packaging. The volunteers also checked how the items looked, he added.
Mr Gönenli revealed that so far, the Turkish embassy has sent 116 tonnes (about 116,000kg) of donations – including tents, sleeping bags, clothing, baby food and blankets – to Türkiye via air.
The embassy then linked up with a transport company to transport another 55 tonnes of items by ship to Türkiye.
The embassy began accepting donations of winter clothing and other supplies, including tents and women’s hygiene products, shortly after the earthquake struck on the morning of Feb 6.
However, it was soon overwhelmed with donations at its premises in the SGX Centre 1 Building. Two other donation collection centres opened to help out.
When CNA was at one of the centres – Jay Gee Melwani House at 10 Genting Lane – on Feb 9, dozens turned up to donate supplies and lend a helping hand.
This led to the embassy announcing that it would temporarily suspend the collection of individual in-kind donations until further notice due to the “large in-flow”.
Despite this, supplies continued to pour in the following day.
At the time, Mr Gönenli appealed for people to make financial donations instead to “provide Turkish authorities with the requisite flexibility” due to the evolving list of needs for the earthquake victims.
On Tuesday, he told CNA that the embassy is working with the World Toilet Organisation, which was founded by Singaporean Jack Sim, as well as the Singapore Red Cross to send mobile toilets to Türkiye. This will benefit people who lost their homes and are staying in temporary shelters or container cities.
“The volume of donations we received was staggering, so again we are deeply grateful for that,” Mr Gönenli added.