Watch This Space
Space has always held a fascination for me. So now is an especially exciting time to be an astrophile. The recent release of photos from the Webb Space Telescope, the Artemis I moon mission and even the propagation of billionaire blast-offs have all renewed my enchantment with exploring the “final frontier.”
In honor of the latest “giant leaps for (hu)mankind” I’d like provide you with a similarly starry-eyed view of ALAN – all with the help of some of my favorite physicist and astronomer friends.
Because just as clearer pictures of the universe help scientists better understand celestial mechanics, a closer examination of who we are and what we do serves as a great reminder of just how far we and our mission to “save lives through logistics” have come.
“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” – Carl Sagan
Seventeen years ago, the individuals who formed ALAN realized that effective disaster relief needed a strong supply chain foundation – one that didn’t yet exist. So they invented one and called it ALAN. I’m so proud of the extensive universe of trade association, non-profit, corporate and individual partners we’ve built and so awed by the ways I see that network making a difference each and every day.
“God not only plays dice. He sometimes throws the dice where they cannot be seen.” – Stephen Hawking
We’ll leave the theological debate for another day, but I will say that disasters, like dice, are never predictable. If they were, they wouldn’t be disasters. It hasn’t always been easy to watch so many catastrophes cropping up so suddenly and unexpectedly. But it has been inspiring to see what’s happened next (which is why I encourage you to read on!).
“Nothing happens until something moves.” – Albert Einstein
Time and time again, we’ve been reminded that serving disaster survivors can’t happen without the skills, services, and assets of the logistics and supply chain community – perhaps not exactly the moves that Einstein talks about, but just as important in disasters. Because in order for hospitals, humanitarian organizations and shelters to provide disaster survivors with the help they need, someone has to reach these organizations with the supplies they need, regardless of any hurdles that stand in their way.
That is, of course, what ALAN is all about.
“Nothing comes out more clearly in astronomical observations than the immense activity of the universe.” – Maria Mitchell
Boy is this final one true. Over the years it’s been a joy to watch so many good people appear with critical donations of transportation, industrial equipment, space, and supplies precisely when and where they were needed most– all without asking for anything in return. Day in and day out, ALAN partners really are stars at showing up, not to mention immensely generous.
Thanks for listening to my “spacey” musings. Just as important, thank you for being part of ALAN’s ongoing journey. Having the chance to meet and work alongside folks like you is truly one of the most heavenly parts of my job.
American Logistics Aid Network
P.S. (If you’d like to learn more about ALAN’s work and how you can be a part of our community, take a look at our list of open cases, visit the How To Help section of our website, or download our annual report.)