The way aid should be done:
1) Understand the need that needs to be addressed, the problem that needs to be solved.
2) Plan a solution based on that need, on that problem.
3) Implement the solution to meet the need, fix the problem.
The way far too many amateurs want to do aid:
1) Have a solution (used clothes, volunteers, bunch of soccer balls, a gadget, etc…)
2) Find a problem that you can, with a little imagination, use the solution identified in Step 1 to partially solve.
* * *
The fact that there are masochists in the world does not mean it’s a okay to go around hitting people…
The fact that you can pound nails in using a screwdriver does not mean that it’s a good idea to use screwdrivers for driving nails…
The fact that you can find someone in Haiti who wants your old clothes does not mean that sending used clothes to Haiti is a good idea.
The fact that your volunteers are not run out of a village with torches and pitchforks in the dead of night is not proof, either that they were effective or that they were appreciated.
The fact that you can spin some wildly unlikely hypothetical situation in which your “activity that I’d like to do” idea might possibly not result in utter harm and chaos, in no way means that it’s a good idea.
The fact that you can spin a somewhat unlikely hypothetical situation in which your idea might result in even partial success, in no way means that it’s a good idea.
It’s basic pythagorean logic. It’s Occam’s Razor.
You start with the actual need. Then you base your solution on the need. Not the other way around.
Why is that so hard?