When someone mentions donating 'non-food items' ...

People in humanitarian work have their own lingo, like all professions, which inevitably gets turned into acronyms. One of those is "NFIs" which stands for 'Non-Food Items." Normal people will know of calls for donating clothes, blankets, and other goods when there are humanitarian emergencies.

When you hear charities suggest that it is better to send cash instead of donating old clothes, the reason for this is because the complexities and costs of sending the items, cataloguing them, and then storing them before distribution can be more complex and more expensive than buying them new in bulk from suppliers. 

This is the R4R warehouse; normally we keep it tidier than this... But you can see the volume of clothes of all kinds.

Anyone who has worked in the music industry, like me, knows what a headache dealing with merchandising is. This is much more complicated; there are clothes and shoes of every kind and size for infants all the way to grown men and women. 

Volunteering in Lesbos with Refugee 4 Refugees

Last year I didn't get to continue the volunteering tradition, but this year I left, with my mum, on New Years Day for Lesbos, Greece. We're volunteering with "Refugee for Refugees," which was started by Omar Alshakal, a remarkable 23-year old Syrian refugee. There's a good profile of his story, which reads a bit like a combination of an epic tragedy and a Bond film script, in the Independent here.)

My mum Toni and I will be here until the 14th January; we'll provide some updates in the coming days.