Frequently Asked Questions

What’s Needed Now: As of Fall 2019
Adult Clothing in S/M/L

New

Q: What is needed now? (Updated Fall 2019)

A: Please only send items that are clean, unstained, and new or like-new condition. Any stained or damaged items are disposed of.

Clothing

Note that no clothing XL or larger is needed. Due to the modesty of the culture, please refrain from sending women’s shorts, capris, pants, athletic wear and see-through tops/dresses/skirts.

Current needs include: Baseball caps, underwear (new in package only, all children’s sizes or adult small + medium), men’s socks, school shoes (brown or black in separate marked box), children’s shorts, canvas shoes, men’s jeans, boys clothing.

Medical Items

Due to Zambian law, expired items cannot be used. Any donated items should be good for 1 year past the shipping date.

Anything requiring electric or electronic equipment for use is not usable.

Baby formula (powdered); Ensure (powdered); Gauze pads, bandaging and rolls for dressing supplies; crutches (all sizes); regular adult or small wheelchairs; containers for disposal of sharp objects.

Non-Medical Items

Plastic Milk Bag Mats; Children’s books, DVD’s and Videos (Please avoid any that talk about magic, casting spells or masks – these are connected with witchcraft in Zambian culture); pillowcases and sheets; flannel or cotton re-usable sanitary pads, cloth diapers, face cloths, towels (quick drying or light bath towels).

Q: What else do you need?

A: The primary rule is quality over quantity. As you’ll see on our shipping form, the categories of needed goods include Medical Equipment & Supplies, Christian & School Supplies, Maintenance & Hygiene Supplies, Electronics, Household Items, and Non-Perishable Food & Drink.

Q: What is the policy about only boxes supplied by ACCTS for shipments to Zambia?

A: The workers in Zambia have asked that all goods (excluding items which do not fit in boxes) be packed in uniform sized boxes which can be packed into larger boxes that load easily into the containers. This makes for easier and more secure in-country handling and shipping for our Zambian workers.

Q: What kind of boxes can I send?

A: ACCTS has a specific size of box that is used for loading containers in Portage-la-Prarie and Markham. These boxes are available by pickup when delivering your goods to the warehouse. We can also send them to you if you make a request. To send them to you we must have your street address and telephone number for the courier service. (No P.O. Box numbers please!)

Q: How should I pack the boxes?

A: Please list contents of the box on the box in the field provided, grouping similar items in the same box whenever possible. If you have a variety of dissimilar items left, put them in a box but leave it unsealed – volunteers will look after finding appropriate boxes for the items. Please make sure your name is on the box. If you are sending to a specific mission worker, please contact them beforehand in case they have some specific instructions.

Q: What if I can’t get any of these boxes?

A: Please make every attempt to acquire the proper ACCTS box. However, should this fail, you may still use an apple, orange or banana box although they are harder to accommodate due to the fact that our larger container boxes hold a specific number of these ACCTS boxes. If a fragile item comes pre-packaged it is best to leave it in its original carton. If you have a specific question, please call us, we will be happy to work it out with you.

Q: Can I send a crate instead of lots of boxes?

A: This is discouraged. Wooden crates are used only if the items are dedicated to one person or mission station and the items are too big or awkward to place in the ACCTS boxes. It must be properly constructed and therefore be easily lifted into the container with a forklift. Unless items will not fit into boxes as requested we discourage the use of crates. The whole idea of using boxes is to make packing easier. If a crate must be used, the contents should be marked on the outside. Additionally, based on the type of wood used, the crate may not be permitted into Zambia due to environmental concerns. See also Before Shipping. If in any doubt, please get in touch before bringing a crate in.

Q: About the Inventory. What if I have several different categories in one box?

A: Just choose the two most dominant and don’t worry about the rest. However, please send an inventory sheet with the boxes.

Q: When can I bring items to the warehouse for the container?

A: There are 2 answers to this question. If you don’t need help handling the boxes, you can bring them to the warehouse any time the MSC Canada office is open. The office staff will open the doors for you. If you need help unloading the boxes, then you must bring them at a time there are volunteers present to help you. The dates when there are workers in the warehouse are posted on the Shipping Dates page. Otherwise you should call the MSC office to be sure someone is there to help.

Q: How long does it take the containers to arrive on the mission field?

A: This of course depends where they are going. Generally it is about 12 weeks because of the overland shipping, but sometimes much longer.

Q: Can I help with manning the warehouse or packing.

A: Yes! We can always use volunteers. Contact Gerrit Van Essen if you can give some time.

Q: Do we have to pay to ship items in the container?

A : No, payment is not required. However, if you are sending things, the question you can ask yourself is “how will the things I’m sending be paid for?”

Q: What does it cost to ship? How much do ACCTS boxes cost?

Cost to ship each ACCTS box: $30
Cost to ship a cubic foot of goods (unboxed): $20/cu.ft.
Cost per empty ACCTS Box (Markham): $3.30
Cost per empty ACCTS Box (Portage): $6.60

Q: Where do I send donations?

A. ACCTS finances are handled in their entirety by MSC Canada. Cheques should be sent to MSC Canada, 101 Amber St., Unit 16, Markham, Ontario, L3R 3B2. MSC will issue a charitable receipt.

Q: Should I make cheques payable to ACCTS?

A. No. cheques should be made payable to MSC Canada. However please annotate them with ACCTS.