SCI Blue Bag Program
Blue Bags have arrived. If anyone is planning an international trip and would like to fill a blue bag up, please contact Kevin Wong at 916-417-3141 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helpful Tips: Discussions with your PH will alert you as to what items are “most appropriate” for the people in the area you will be visiting, supplies available for purchase “in country” and supplies you may have to bring, and update you on any current customs issues. Most PH’s will also be aware of and able to direct you to needy schools, clinics, villages or orphanages in their area.
At present, airlines may charge significant fees for “extra” luggage. Most chapters “pass the hat” to cover the baggage costs. Some members are not affected by the additional costs. Other members creatively condense gear or cut back on “nice but not necessary items” and stay within the allowable luggage guidelines. Others convince airline representatives beforehand (with the help of a letter on SCIF stationery which can be provided upon request) of the humanitarian nature of part of the trip, and have the extra fee waived. Better yet, ask your travel agent to intercede with the airlines, as they are usually on a first-name basis with airline employees. And finally, some members pack the empty SafariCare bag in their luggage and purchase supplies upon arrival, and are thus able to provide familiar, reasonably-priced local items. The bag is then filled and taken on safari for distribution. All these methods work. Find what works best for you or your chapter and do it. Just do it!
Recognition: All SCI members are encouraged to take high-resolution photos and keep notes of their SafariCare experiences. Articles can then be developed for news stories in your local community and for publication in the quarterly Humanitarian Services newsletter, Safari Times, Safari magazine and for web posting. Hunters help save hunting when recognized for compassionate deeds - the present day application of our humanitarian heritage.
Please take care when transporting medical supplies on SafariCare missions. Most countries today require them to bear expiration dates no less than one year from date of entry, and many of the medications, ointments and various supplies sent are usually within six months of expiration. If medical supplies or any items with expiration dates must be carried, they should be segregated into one bag so that it may, in fact, be retained in customs and in some cases a duty on the items will be extorted from the hunter. This is a good reason why purchasing items such as medical supplies/ointments, etc., locally once you’re in country can be done safely and cost effectively, and you’ll be helping the local economy. Remember that you are going to a place where there may or may not be trained medical people, and they may or may not be able to read or understand instruction labels. Some items (non-outdated medicinal supplies) should be dispensed under supervision through established clinics or trained medical people in the village. For example, toothpaste may appear harmless, but some children may think it is candy and become ill from improper use. If misused, the medicines become dangerous.
School supplies and other non-perishable items have no problem going through customs, whether they are in your personal bags, Blue Bags, duffle bags or boxes. They can be considered as gifts, personal items or humanitarian relief supplies. Educational, recreational and basic quality of life items are also welcomed and appreciated.