Heights Clothes and Goods Dropoff Site for Haiti Relief Effort

photo29Perfect Paws at 102 Hicks Street (corner Pineapple St), is acting as a collection point for good condition clothes, canned goods, can openers, shoes, linens, and bottled water. 

By hosting a convenient local collection site, Tom and the crew at Perfect Paws are hoping Brooklyn Heights area residents can generously donate their spare items taking up room in their closets.  All items collected will be donated to churches that will ship the items directly to Haiti.

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  • Corey Rubles

    Leave it up to the boys at perfect paws. They just tend to help the world. I will be there sunday with a closet full of donations. I hope this post get a ton of hits. C

  • hcduvall

    I honestly hope for best for Haiti and any efforts to help the people there, but is the state on the ground in Haiti good enough for this sort of effort now? Well meant as it is, goods donations to crisis locations, because of the logistics, sorting, space, manpower and other issues that they create, are frequently counter-productive. Money, if possible, is probably still the best donation to help Haiti, and if people have clothing they can let go, we’re in the middle of a cold winter and there are places for that locally, directly.

  • Corey Rubles

    always a nay sayer. any good is good. it amazes me that when one person does something for some one. a person finds reason to say not good enough or hey better off to someone else. never good enough for some one just to do some good in any manner. hcduvall let people help people because they want to and try not to tell them how to do it, just wish them well on doing it.

  • Sara Rubins

    I hope you guys do well. I have sent money to the american red cross and I have lots of summer stuff that is last season that im sure someone can use. I will bring it by this weekend.

  • MBorkowsky

    Glad to see the heights in the mix of disaster relief. I think money is great but most go to the salaries of too many not in need. Money is a major help but once the grounds open up the need of so much will be apparent. At least the boxes will be there waiting for so many in need. Count us in this weekend.

  • AEB


  • jorale-man

    HcDuvall has a point. Relief agencies are all asking for money right now and it’s widely known that food or clothes donations won’t get to the people on the ground efficiently at this stage. It’s a well-intentioned effort, and people like the feeling of giving something more tangible than money. But yes, it can be counterproductive.

  • Publius

    The relief effort in Haiti will happen in many phases over many years. It’s correct and proper to begin preparation for other stages now, as long as it doesn’t hamper the initial phase, which was rescue, and is now onto medical treatment, rubble clearance, temporary housing, disease abatement, sanitation, etc.

    The gathering of clothes and non-perishable canned and bottled goods at this point, while the crisis is fresh in everyone’s mind, will maximize the outpouring of giving. The Church efforts, in particular, will complement the traditional aid agencies such as the Red Cross in the coming weeks and months.

    I hope the misinformed naysayers on this board in no way impact the clothes/canned food donations that may come from this area. Last night I prepared my donation bags and will be dropping them off at Perfect Paws this weekend.

  • JB

    This is, unfortunately, a well-intentioned but misguided effort. One poster was absolutely correct – this is not the best way to help people in Haiti. Most of what is donated through this effort is never going to make it all the way to Haiti, as there is no effective way for a small group to distribute the goods. The best way to help is to donate money online to groups such as the Red Cross or Jewish World Service.

  • Publius

    JB: How do you know this? You don’t.

    Were you aware that local churches with large Hatian-American congregations in NYC are working with Hatian-American shipping comanies to transport large containers of donated items directly to Haiti, where they will be distributed through the established U.S. to Haiti aid organizations?

    Will some of the donated items not get there? If you donate a winter parka, likely the churches will leave that out of the container, since the temperature in Haiti rarely dips below 60F, and instead donate it locally in NYC. However, the vast majority of donated items will be containerized and sent directly to Haiti.

    Can the same be said for the cash donated to aid organizations with their administrative overheads and multiple other priorities? I’m not saying here don’t donated cash to aid organizations. But it’s proper to donate both cash and goods, if one can afford to do both.

    Also, did it pass through your mind that some local people here who are unemployed or on fixed incomes and can not spare a monetary donation might want to help by donating clothing?

    Unfortunately, the naysayers will always be with us. I just wished they bothered informing themselves on the facts of a situation before trying to misinform others, either intentionally or unintentionally.

    Thank you Perfect Paws management for donating your time and effort to provide additional help to the people of Haiti, and for making it convenient for local people to drop off their unused items to donate to those who will use them.

  • HaitiHelp

    It’s easy to call people naysayers, but the reality is that in disaster relief situations, the victims do not need clothing and canned food shipped from abroad. These items can be bought/shipped from areas relatively local to the disaster area. What Haiti needs from abroad/US residents is money, medical supplies, and experienced disaster relief personnel. Using people and resources to send old clothing all the way from the US may “feel” good in the short term, but is ultimately selfish and sometimes even harmful. It takes away from already limited cargo space on transportation heading to Haiti from the US. Also, people unloading old clothes just get in the way of people doing seriously urgent relief work in Haiti’s one currently working port and other makeshift distribution areas. The situation on the ground there is still a logistical nightmare, and as good as it makes people feel to send old stuff and canned food, it is literally the opposite of what Haitians and experienced disaster personnel need from the US right now. It’s much more helpful to give the gift of money or time to a charity in this situation.

  • HaitiHelp

    “Does following the news coverage of the Haiti quake make you want to jump on the next plane there or empty your closet to help victims? Please don’t, professional rescuers beg… Donations of old clothes, canned goods, water and outdated prescriptions are accumulating…while such items sound useful, they’re actually expensive to sort, to transport and to distribute…Oftentimes, the household items donated are simply not useful to the disaster victims they’re intended to help.

    Entire article here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34958965/ns/world_news-haiti_earthquake/

  • bklyn20

    This discussion makes no sense! Maybe the clothes can’t get to Haiti right away — so what!? They will get there as soon as they possibly can. Even if, in the end, some of the clothes and household supplies go to people in Brooklyn who have less than I have, or than most others in our neighborhood have, then I am glad for them to have my old clothes! I tend to get sentimentally attached to objects and knowing that they will be well-used by a friend, a person at a local church or synagogue. mosque, etc. — well, that makes it much easier to let the things go. I have given many bags of top-notch outgrown clothing to friends for their children, and I have also given to people at the school who know what children need this kind of help. Neither my child, the child receiving the clothes, nor in some cases even the child’s parent(s) knows where they came from. I just trust that these are decent people who will make sure the things go where they are needed. If I happen to see a kid at school wearing my child’s too-small dress, I feel very satisfied. PS 8 is accepting toiletries and household items, as well as money. We also have people with family in Haiti in our school community. My family has made some donations there as well.

    Tom and Aaron at Perfect Paws are getting clothes for devastated people in Haiti at this time. They always do this kind of thing — why besmirch them for it? A few weeks ago, I came to them for advice with an out-of-state dog rescue issue. Aaron spent something like 20 minutes giving me suggestions. He and Tom do this out of friendship and caring. I have not had a dog groomed there since 2004, when my last long-haired dog died and I stopped using professional groomers. I buy the occasional bag of dog food or dog toy at their store. There is no profit motive involved, just basic human kindness.

  • jorale-man

    A person is not being lazy by questioning this store’s methods. It’s being smart and strategic about charitable giving. There have been dozens of news reports explaining why donations of food, medicine and other goods are inefficient and even counterproductive to relief effort. (Here’s one: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/nyregion/24critic.html)

    Again, the best approach is to donate a charity that has a solid track record of working in Haiti and which has a suitable ratio of overhead to other expenses. This store’s heart is in the right place but they might want to consider acting as a conduit to a charity like Partners in Health or the Red Cross.

  • AEB

    Let us not confuse the wish to help the people of Haiti, which all posters, at the very least, DO, and the issue of how that can be done most expeditiously.

    It stands to reason that sending money is the shortest distance between two points. That said, and assuming legitimate and effective means of delivery exist, sending clothes for the needy, at whatever point in their need, is another way of giving help.

  • MiddaghLady

    ” questioning this store’s methods “You must not know these guys at the store. They have been around for 20years doing good from Atlantic Avenue days to the Heights. They also have lived in the Neighborhood for over a decade and are involved with local and national stuff. I for a fact have seen first hand at what they have done and where the charity goes. The Katrina relief they did, the Tsunami help, and just the local food banks they have collected for. Yes Cash is always good. Most of us have done that, but at least when CNN stops running the story about Haiti 24/7 these guys are here to remind us that help is still needed in their window. Stop with the hating and go in the store and ask them where the stuff is going. You might find out most of the stuff is not making it all the way to Haiti, but to help relocated victims in Cambria Heights, Bed Sty, Westchester County and other places. So GUESS WHAT! some of the people comming here have no clothes. You guys on this site make it sound like Perfect Paws pulled a rabit out of its ass and is deaf, dumb and blind and walkilng around like morons. Sometimes Charity is as simple as a Store locally trying to do something good. Get over your synical, high tower, better than thou attitudes. If you donated cash wonderful, if you dont want to drop stuff by then shut the F@@k up. and let good people be.
    Sally W.

  • T.K. Small

    While I do not think it was the intention of MiddaghLady to be offensive to people with disabilities, the statement that “You guys on this site make it sound like Perfect Paws pulled a rabit out of its ass and is deaf, dumb and blind and walkilng around like morons.” suggests that we still have a ways to go in accepting everyone.

    Even if my comment provokes a backlash complaining about “political correctness”, I just wanted to put this out there as a segue into why I am supporting Portlight Strategies as part of the Haitian relief effort. Portlight specifically targets people with disabilities in providing relief, both in the United States and around the world. Frequently PWDs are the unseen and forgotten victims of all sorts of disasters.

    If anyone is interested in learning more about Portlight’s activities, check out:

    Alternatively, on Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 11 AM I interviewed the director of Portlight Strategies during my radio show on WBAI. The program is called The Largest Minority Radio Show and can be downloaded from the WBAI archive at:

  • RemsenDude

    I can’t wait to see the Sunday Times. Perfect Paws, black market can goods dealer. It amazes me instead of wishing well and being happy some one takes a stand people use synical comments and post to hurt a task someone has taken on. If everything the people at Perfect Paws goes to Haiti, then great, if not then maybe some local people might get some good help. I know for a fact when I donated stuff to their effort for Katrina they told me some stuff might go to other charities since the logistics were not laid out just yet but other local groups could benefit from my stuff. I was glad to help the same way I am glad to help now. Yes you can give monies to many just google you computer to help haiti and you will find 10,000 sites. I dont see any other store in our local area making a display at their cost (where they can promote sales instead of help) to help people. This is an awesome shop that does wonders for the little tiny shop they are. remember you synics it just takes one good person to make the world a better place. If i donate a can of soup to the store and it doesnt make it to Haiti, but to a soup kitchen then so be it. I also agree that CNN as will most news agencies will stop running 24-7 coverage and most of us will forget. The little tiny corner store is a gentle reminder that help is needed and we are gifted to live in this woderful area with so much. Give love not hate. do what you can or just SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!

  • donate

    Since apparently every way to donate is wrong in your eyes I will do the following tonight: I will take my family out to the Rivercafe, spend besides the money on the food another $500 on a bottle of wine and then go home full and happy! Our clothes I will donate at the Salvation Army where I will obtain a receipt for my 2010 income tax!

    Now, I might not have helped the people in Haiti, but made my family happy.

  • andy

    I don’t know why this is so controversial. There have been numerous news reports from charitable foundations that state during and after disasters, hard goods (food, clothing, medicine) often do not make it to their intended recipients. This happened with the tsunami several years again and it is likely to happen with the disaster in Haiti. Donated goods clog up shipping facilities and eat up human resources required to handle them. They often sit in warehouses. Understanding this doesn’t make one a cynic or a naysayer.

    If you have money to donate and wish to help Haiti, send it to the Red Cross or another reputable agency. If you have clothes to donate, understand they would probably do much more good going to local charities to help those less fortunate right in our own city.

    Looking at this actuality isn’t bad or cynical or negative. It’s just understanding that while one’s heart may be in the absolute right place, sometimes reality dictates there are even better ways to help. Pointing that out doesn’t mean someone is a bad person.

  • beth

    Well said, Andy.

  • Homer Fink

    Folks, having been around the people planning Hope for Haiti I know first hand that cash is king in these situations. I applaud Perfect Paws for their effort – and I’m sure goods will get to Haiti eventually – however if you want to make an immediate impact, cash does it best.
    This is the best, fastest way to get money to the victims is via the American Red Cross:

  • spm

    I am amazed at the controversy regarding this. I stepped into Perfect Paws on Sunday regarding a donation for Grace Church’s Fair (they donate services every year) and Tom relayed to me some of what was going on in the blog. He explained that some of the donations would make it to Haiti with a friend of his who is a pediatric nurse and other donations will be sent to local charities. Either way, it is a win-win – for those who are on the receiving end and for those who are giving as regardless, you are helping your fellow man. Thanks Tom and Aron for all your efforts and thanks to everyone who has donated: cash, clothes, canned goods or time.

  • nabeguy

    Not for nothing, by why is such a heavy relevance being attached to where these donations are going? Wouldn’t it be nice to think that our generosity is not limited to a single catastrophe but can be used to benefit those who most need our help, regardless of where they may reside, including our own city?

  • J Velasquez

    Have all the “naysayers” considered that they don’t know everyone’s financial situation? I am a student, that lives paycheck to paycheck, I can’t afford to donate more than a dollar. Does that mean that because I can’t offer cash that I’m not fit to help? God forbid, I DO donate clothes and get criticized for it!!

    All the fellas at Perfect Paws were trying to do was find an easy way to help others get involved. If they hadn’t brought this up in the first place, I never would have thought that I could make a difference. I, for one, feel great knowing I can.

    Furthermore; to those who don’t care enough to research all the facts,
    yes, Perfect Paws is donating clothes but is NOT sending an “excess” of clothing to Haiti. Any surplus of clothing given will be donated to Housing Works- either way, IT IS STILL A GOOD CAUSE!

  • ConnieM

    I help Tom on a volunteer basis sorting out the stuff. I have to say first hand he has people in the Dominican Republic and two local nurses in Haiti that are there for the supplies on the ground when the roads open. I sort through many bags going through what can be sent and what wont make it. the wont make it stuff is still brought to centers that need help in NYC on his day off. I’m glad a good person like Tom exist. Money helps but its so easy to give 10 bucks and walk away as opposed to staying the long haul. I have promised Tom I will help him keep this going as long as he needs me. You locals may just wanna help us out. Stop in the store maybe you can make a difference in someones like other than your insignificant ones. Connie.

  • KatF

    I was just informed about the controversy regarding Perfect Paws’ call to donate. As a pediatric RN at a Brooklyn hospital who has numerous Haitian colleagues, I think this is a wonderful idea. I’ve donated money to the American Red Cross and I plan to donate food and canned goods to Perfect Paws. Frankly, I cannot understand the debate. Any effort can help the people in Haiti, and it has been stated by the owner of Perfect Paws that these things will indeed be delivered. So what’s the problem? If you want to donate money, do it. But please do not ridicule others for choosing to contribute in a different manner. Everyone has the right to do good in the manner they deem fit. This is a tragedy, so let’s not contribute to the disaster with negative energy and bickering. Let’s just give to others as we would want others to give to us should this have happened here in Brooklyn Heights. Perfect Paws is amazing, and clearly these people have big, giving hearts. Kudos.

  • Akila

    Perfect Paws congratulations. That is what grass roots looks like. I do appreciate what you are doing, but I’m just wondering if this is an on going effort, because I was speaking to a woman from Harlem who encouraged me to start a clothes drive for her to take to Haiti personally, because the reality on the ground is that the relief is not reaching the average people. I have numerous folks saving clothes for Haiti, and I am the person to pick up and drop off, but I am unable to get in touch with the woman. She is probably already in Haiti.

    These folks are holding the clothes for me, but they are all tired of the bundle in their living rooms and are on my back to get them out of their spaces, but they particularly want them to go to Haiti. I am hoping that I can still drop off these clothes, because I know that there is still a dire need for them in Haiti.

    I myself have a garbage bag of sheets and towels, baby items and other necessary items like flash lights, shavers etc. I think that despite the outcry for money, the people still need food, clothing and shelter as well as other commodities. It is at this point that clothes etc are required. People cannot eat or wear money, and now that the tragedy is over 2 months and counting, this is actually the time to try to get in real commodities like clothes, food, flashlights, tents, cuttelry and other necessary items, because the problem did not go away. It is an ongoing problem. Also the rain is coming, and we need to get the commodities there ASAP.
    Thanking you again for your concern and effort.

  • http://aol ombsai

    Is it too late to make shoes and clothes donations to haiti? If so where else can I drop them off?

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    ombsai: I suspect the answer is, donations will still be gratefully accepted. The need there remains great. Try contacting one of the organizations listed on this website.