Monday, September 7, 2015 - 09:03
Asylum auth.: Bring items to Red Cross, not refugee centers
The Dutch central agency for the reception of asylum seekers, the COA, has received so many donations of toys, clothes and food over the past few days that they are drowning in it at some locations. The agency is therefore asking citizens to stop spontaneous collections for refugees. The donations are heartening, according to the agency, but would be better if it was coordinated. In Assen for example, a man pulled up with a van full of bread, but the asylum center there has no need for food. "That's well looked after", a spokesperson for the COA explained to the Telegraaf. Boxes full of toys were delivered to the Autotron in Rosmalen, where up to 500 asylum seekers will soon be housed. But the refugees that will be housed there are all adult men. Many people also want to donate money to the COA, which is unnecessary because the agency receives money from the government. COA spokesperson Robert Ploeg calls these donations heartwarming but unnecessary. "There are many organization that arrange clothing and food for us", he said to the newspaper, adding that there are many organizations that have more need for the donations, such as the Red Cross and the clothes- and toys banks. Cash donations to Doctors Without Borders were also recommended People can report their ideas on the COA's site. "It's really better to do that. Especially to avoid disappointment. We find the willingness of people fantastic, let that be clear", according to the spokesperson.