Staying The Course
About a month ago I ran my first half marathon.
I won’t reveal my time. But I will say that I showed up, stayed the course, and succeeded in finishing, even if it did feel like they kept moving the finish line farther and farther away. Plus, I’m already beginning to look ahead to my next race (a 5K on the Tampa Airport Runway).
It’s a fitting parallel for what we do here at ALAN quite a lot.
Over the past few weeks, we have been in mobilization mode for several devastating spring disasters, including the Southeast’s storms, Midwest flooding and East Africa’s Cyclone Idai.
Over the past couple of weeks, we have been busy assisting with two humanitarian shipments to Puerto Rico. And thanks to a terrific support team that included the Florida Trucking Association, Joe Tillman, the Fed Ex Foundation, and UPS, those shipments are now on their way to help survivors of 2017’s Hurricane Maria. (Such efforts aren’t unusual, because disaster recovery is often a long, marathon-like process, which is why you’ll often see ALAN requests for help with disasters that occurred many months or years ago.)
Meanwhile, we’ve been equally busy monitoring recent disasters like last weekend’s tornadoes, the Aurora shootings, California winter storms, Tennessee floods, and Illinois floods – so that when any of our non-profit partners need supply chain assistance for these events, we’ll be able to mobilize swiftly and effectively.
Finally, behind the scenes, we’ve been putting in all of the preliminary work required to get ready for the next hurricane season, including shoring up our systems, doing the fundraising that’s necessary to keep us operational, and building the many relationships that have become ALAN’s most valuable resource.
Like running itself, these activities can occasionally take it out of us, especially if (as was the case with last fall’s many hurricanes) they seem to happen simultaneously or back-to-back-to-back. But as any runner knows, there are few things more exhilarating than being part of a good race, especially if the prize is helping other people in some form or fashion. That’s what ALAN is able to do every day because of folks like you.
So even though I’ve said it a thousand times already, let me say it again: Thank you for everything you do to help keep us running. And P.S.: If you happen to have any spare ibuprofen or Biofreeze, feel free to send it my way!