One smalls gesture… one giant impact
We’re often asked if we’ve received parcels of underwear that you’ve so generously donated. This can be a surprisingly tricky question to answer! So we thought it would be helpful if we explained what happens after you’ve sent them off to us.
Receiving the parcels
In June 2019, we moved to our new warehouse in West Calder. Most of the donations we receive, whether by Royal Mail or courier, are now sent there. However, our previous mailing address (Maria’s home) still appears on many old posts so we expect parcels will continue to be sent there for some time yet.
Parcels sent to Maria’s home are left under cover on the porch of the Pantagon (Pants HQ!) in her garden, and she then takes them to the warehouse whenever she can.
Opening and sorting the parcels
We rely completely on volunteers who are kind enough to come in and open/sort your donations in their spare time. We have two – sometimes three or four – opening/sorting days each week, but sometimes the donations come in faster (not complaining!) than we can sort them and it can take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks from when you send a parcel to our being able to open it.
“We split them into pants and bras, then ages and sizes,” says Shelagh, one of our intrepid volunteers, “So when we get requests from our partners who distribute the underwear, it’s so much easier to get it bagged and ready.”
Sometimes people include little notes which are lovely to read and encourage us in what we do.
Acknowledging the parcels
Unfortunately, we don’t have a way of tracking parcels. This is largely because data protection regulations mean we can’t keep records that would allow us to trace people’s names and addresses or tie them to a particular donation.
In an ideal world, we’d like to be able to thank all our kind and generous supporters individually. But due to data protection issues and the costs that would be involved in writing, we’re unable to do this. Instead, we need to rely on social media – and where possible email – to thank people for their kindness.
Many – if not most – of the parcels we receive are anonymous. But if a parcel includes a note with an email address (which we can read!), we send a little acknowledgement/thank you email at the end of the month when we opened it. The notes then need to be destroyed and the records deleted.
If you’ve sent us a parcel and haven’t heard anything from us, we hope this explains why. Please know that we value each and every donation and that your help is making a real difference. We couldn’t do what we do without you and truly appreciate your support.