Charity Gifts In KindWe are always delighted when visitors want to support us by donating items in kind, If you are travelling from abroad some airlines do provide 'charity baggage allowances', although these need to be organised usually a minimum of a month in advance. Below are a few suggestions of what can be useful.
Large Fabric PlastersFabric plasters are much better in slum conditions than small boxes of standard plasters. The slum environment is hot, damp and dusty and 'standard' plasters only last a couple of minutes before they fall off. Fabric plasters tend to be much better and last longer.
Sterile bandages (Small)Small bandages are required, especially for larger infections / wounds. It allows us to give the wound an extra barrier against the slum environment. Small bandages of 2 - 3" are ideal. (Please no triangular bandages)
Sterile Gauze Swabs (Small)Gauze swabs are ideal for cleaning wounds, small swabs for cleaning small infections and burns are ideal.
Non-Adherent Burns Dressings (eg Melolin)Sadly, burns are very common in the slums due to open fires and children often walking around bare foot. Non-Adherent dressings are ideal as they do not stick to the wound allowing it to heal better and quicker.
Micropore Tape (rolls)When some things just won't stay on, micropore does the trick! Great for wounds on fingers and toes to keep plasters in place!
Betadine Solution / TCP / DetolWe always need antibacterial solutions for cleaning wounds, Betadine, TCP or Detol would be greatly appreciated for helping keep the children on the road to recovery.
Please be aware that we only accept new un-opened sterile items and ALL medicine are in date to make sure that the children receive the best care possible.
Small & Medium sized towelsThe children visit the beach evey week and washing facilities in the slums (Morning Light Project) so we are always in need of good quality towels to make sure they are dried properly before heading home.
Toothpaste & ToothbrushesToothpaste and brushes are ideal as they promote good health and good practice. Any extra items we receive we distribute to other local slums and organisations/schools. If the children do not have toothpaste they use charcoal as a substitue.
Nail BrushesNail brushs are ideal, some of the children we help live in truely appaling conditions, where a nail brush can really make a difference. Anyone who has expeinced a mosquito bite will surely know how much they itch. Scratching with dirty fingernails is how many of the skin infections spread.
Head Lice Products / ConditionerHead lice are rampant in the slums, some children can have literally thousands and in the most severe cases lice cause sores and infection. We try to control them by using preventative measures, nit combs, tea tree oil and in the worse cases we use medicated treatment. Head lice have a habit of becoming immune to certain products, presently we are using Hedrin Lotion, metal nit combs are excellent, plastic ones are perhaps not worth bothering with as they damage very easily.
SoapSoap is esential for good hygene and we teach the children to wash their hands properly everyday. Any extra Soap can also be easily handed out in the slums so it never goes to waste. This can be bought cheaply locally.
Shampoo & ConditionerThe children really appreciate feeling clean and a good shampoo and conditioner for the girls (long hair) can make a huge difference.
Children's VitaminsAnother simple way to promote health is to give the children an extra boost by providing vitamins daily. This is something we hope to start although we are desperate for 'sweet type' children's vitamins. Bassetts Multivitamins or Boots Jelly vitamins are ideal.
Alcohol Hand SanitiserThis is great when treating the children's cuts and burns, as it kills a good selection of germs. The volunteers and staff always give their hands a rub before and after treating the children.
Make Up Remover Pads / Wet wipesMake-up remover pads and wet wipes are primarily used to clean around wounds to keep the whole area clean, feet and legs especially need a good scrub to make sure they are clean enough to put bandages on.
Stationary and Art Materials
A4 Card & PaperPaper and Card are always appreciated, we enjoy putting on craft activities and a ream of paper goes quickly when you are teaching 50+ children each day. Reams of paper or A4 pads are preferred to smaller books.
Metal Scissors (Strong Metal)Good quality scissors are always needed, plastic scissors really do not last long and are frustrating to use when they don't cut properly.
CellotapeCellotape is very useful, especially when we want to display the chidlren's work.
Glue, Paint and other Craft ItemsWe welcome any type of craft materials, for example pva glue, prit sticks, glitter, paint (like you get in schools etc so that we can encourage the children to be more creative.
Blu TacWe use Blu Tac to display the children's work in each of the centers and also in the office.
Wall paper pasteThe children enjoy making Papier-mâché models and wall paper paste is ideal as the flour and water mix doesn't cope so well in the humidity.
Good quality BalloonsWe are always in need of balloons, especially at the moment with the Papier-mâché models , but they are alway good to have in stock for stocking fillers for presents.
Clothes are ideal but remember that Indian children are often tiny in comparison, generally speaking clothes for children aged 12 and under are what we are looking for. The following are always appreciated t-shirts, shorts, light weight trousers not (jeans), skirts, leggings, jumpers, sweatshirts, underwear including vests and trainer bars for the girls. It is also helpful if the clothes are packed separately depending on girls/boys and tops/bottoms.
Here's a list of things to think about...
GirlsSmall waist, long dresses are ideal, vests and training bra's / spors bras are also good. Generally clothes designed for girls aged 10 and less are suitable.
SizeThe children are generally small in comparision to western children, the maximum size should really be to fit an English Boy/Girl of 9 to 10 years of age.
UnderwearUnderwear is always welcome but do think about the size. Most of the children wear underwear that is deigned for much younger children. The UK age for underwear should really be between 1 year and 5 years of age.
SandalsFootwear, simple sandals and flip flops are mostly used in India, any sizes below size 5 would be best.
Babies ClothesSize is important! Indian newborn children are tiny. The ideal sizes are newborn ( 0 to 3 months) or for premature babies. Sizes for 3 - 6 months are really the maximum we would use.
Toys / Presents
Simple ToysSimple toys are best, Bats, footballs, tennis balls, frizbees, skipping ropes, toy cars and dolls are all ideal. Toys are used to give out as presents in December and also for the children's birthdays.
Balloons / Punch BalloonsBalloons and punch balloons are great, they are light and bring a smile to children faces of any age!
Hair Bobbles / Clips / Nail VarnishThe girls love to receive 'accessories' and spend hours combing their hair and enjoy dressing up.
What NOT to Bring :
No Chocolates / SweetsWe do give out sweets on occasion, for birthdays, parties and special occassions, although we do try to limit their intake as dental problems are common and their teeth are so important. Poor dental hygiene and sweets speed up the decay process. An ideal substitute are grapes or apples which are less likely to eat away at the children's enamel.
No Adult ClothesPlease do not donate adult clothes in general as we are a children's charity.
No SocksSocks are not really worn, as most children wear sandals/flipflops