Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, It’s Magic
When I was in elementary school we had to research a career and do a presentation about it to our classmates. I chose “magician.”
I had a great time reading about magicians, and even got to meet a locally famous one who taught me a card trick that I could use in my presentation.
There was only one problem: When the time came for my presentation, the trick failed SPECTACULARLY.
You can imagine how crushing that was to a 9-year-old, especially one who just knew she was destined to give David Copperfield a run for his money. In fact, it pretty well stopped my promising magic career in its tracks.
But what failed? Was it someone in the audience who mispronounced abracadabra? A faulty assistant who tapped the cards the wrong number of times?
No, it was an overly confident kid (me) who was far more devoted to finding the ideal cape and wand than she was to actually practicing the trick.
See, magic doesn’t just happen. It takes lots of hard work and practice, especially if you want it to look effortless.
At ALAN, most of our hard work happens before a disaster. That’s when we put in the hours talking with our nonprofit partners about what they think they’ll need during a disaster. When we visit with the businesses to understand how and when they’ll be able to help. And when we take the time to listen to public emergency management agencies talk about policies that govern their response.
That practice is what allows us to pull off extraordinary feats when disasters hit, including conjuring up help, hope and comfort when they’re needed most.
In fact, some colleagues and I are faced with a particularly challenging request, we often joke about grabbing our wands and pixie dust. We all know that what we really mean is that we’ll dig deep into our top hats (also known as our networks), and pull out not a rabbit, but someone who knows how to solve the problem at hand. Just as important, we know those “someones” won’t disappoint.
That’s where you come in. Over the years, you’ve become a part of our bag of tricks by donating your time, services, equipment, and expertise to those suffering from disaster. The people and communities that receive your assistance may not ever see the hard work you do. But they certainly feel it in the form of hydration, food, hygiene and other items that reach them when they need it most.
Whether you think of that as hocus-pocus or not, one thing’s for sure: When good people come together and put in the work to help people in need, magic really does happen. In a way, maybe I actually got my career wish after all.