“Bah” La La La La
Have I ever told you about the time I played Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol? Yes, really.
Our fifth-grade class staged a musical version of Dickens’ famous holiday classic, and I was one of several students cast to play the role of the crotchety cheapskate.
To this day, when I watch any of the adaptations (Scrooged is my favorite, followed closely by The Muppet Christmas Carol), I can’t help but break into a rousing chorus of:
“Eb-e-ne-zer, Eb-e-ne-zer, oh, he’s a cranky, hanky-panky, wicked, nasty, mean sarcastic geezer!”
We all know the story of Scrooge and his transformation from miserly old coot to a generous, affable philanthropist – especially the fact that it took several otherworldly visitors to convince him to change his ways.
But this year it seems especially relevant– and hits awfully close to home.
After all, 2020 has unfortunately had a lot of similarities to life in Scrooge’s world, among them the fact that:
- Many of us have been toiling away at our (home) desks a la Bob Cratchit much longer than we should have
- Far too many families are hungry and in need
- Quite a few people have engaged in Scrooge-like hoarding – except they’ve been stockpiling cleaning supplies and toilet paper, not money
- And like Tiny Tim’s parents, some of us have had to struggle with the fact that we or our family members may be impacted by a serious illness
Plus, like Scrooge, I find myself simultaneously trying to deal with the visions of the past, present and future. Take a look . . . .
There’s no denying that there’s been a lot of stress and sadness over the past 12 months – so much so that almost feels like we’ve lived through a decade rather than year. However 2020 was also full of a lot of bright spots thanks to the good work ALAN and our partners were able to do.
A few of my favorite highlights are wrapped up in the stories of those we recognized via our Humanitarian Logistics Awards and in the many thank you notes we issued to our in-kind donors on social media. But they’re also evident on ALAN’s web site (where we were able to create a one-stop information shop on crisis related logistics needs), our Supply Chain Intelligence Center (which has given people a valuable real-time view of COVID restrictions as well as disasters and their supply chain impacts) and in the many new volunteers who have joined our cause. Thank you to all who have helped make these merry and bright achievements possible.
Despite the fact that some disasters – like the many hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast – have come and gone, ALAN and our partners continue to respond to their lingering effects. Meanwhile, some disasters like the pandemic seem to keep on going and going and going.
All of that is to say that there is still an immense need to deliver hunger relief for humans and animals, as well as PPE to help reduce virus spread. So if you’re looking for ways to do something TODAY, check out our Disaster Micro-site for a list of our open cases.
Gone are the days when ALAN was able to deal with a single disaster event at once. For the foreseeable future, COVID and its aftereffects will cast a shadowy specter over all of our responses – all while the usual supply of weather-related disasters like tornadoes, derechos and earthquakes will continue to disrupt lives and create new needs for our services.
But, as Dickens reminds us, the future has yet to be written, and it is within all of our power to make changes to prevent the worst possible outcomes – which is where you come in.
ALAN is committed to continuing to serve whatever the crisis may be. But we need your help to do so. Will you make a financial gift to help us? We’d be so grateful.
God Bless Us, Everyone
On a final note, like all of you, I’m ready to bid good riddance to 2020. But before I do, I plan to re-read A Christmas Carol as I often do at this time of year. And as I do, I’ll be thinking of all of you – and how we can change the future for the better, together.