And while the Super Bowl is the Holy Grail of American sporting events, it’s also a source of hope and help to thousands of people around the world — which is one reason why World Vision loves it.
At this point, all unused gear for the team that does not win is repackaged, shipped back to the retailer distribution centers, counted again, and donated to World Vision.
This year’s unused Super Bowl merchandise will make its way to Zambia, Armenia, Nicaragua, and Romania in the months to come. On average, this equates to about 100 pallets annually — $2 million worth of product — or about 100,000 articles of clothing that, instead of being destroyed, will help children and adults in need.
Long story short, before the game is played, a bunch of American retailers print up T-shirts and other clothing with BOTH teams’ name on it, listing them as the champion. The clothing with the real winner’s name on it gets sold in America. The clothing with the losing team on it gets donated to World Vision.
The comments to that article made me laugh, as people were savaging them for their so-called “helping”. I’ve combed through World Vision’s site and nowhere – I repeat nowhere does it ever say these T-shirts are donated to people in Romania (and elsewhere). The clothing is donated to World Vision but World Vision only “distributes” the clothing, which could mean anything, including selling it.
It’s not like this is the first time that World Vision has been caught “fudging” the truth either.
I did a little digging and found this page listing the projects that World Vision implements here in Romania, including in good old “County” (Judetul) Cluj. I have no idea where they might be working but I know I’ve damn sure never seen a Superbowl or other NFL shirt worn by anyone around here.
Am I just being suspicious? Am I parsing “distribute” versus “donate” too closely? I don’t think so. The following video is 53 minutes long and talks about Africa but clearly it’s the same thing as what World Vision is doing in Romania. Western charities sell donated clothing in bulk to people in another country, who then turn around and sell them for profit. That’s nice and good except that it impacts the local economy‘s ability to make their own clothing – not to mention that poor people are forced to wear idiotic cast-off shirts from the west.
World Vision’s poorly-written response to criticisms about dumping T-shirts is here. All I know is 12,000 shirts is one hell of a lot of clothing, regardless of what World Vision says.
Who knows, maybe one day poor redneck Americans will be forced to wear cast-off Bamboo Pole Dancing costumes :D Aeoleu!