Sing Along With ALAN – How To Help Edition


Move over, Weird Al. ALAN’s offbeat songwriter is back – and this time she’s decided to tackle one of the biggest donation challenges that relief organizations face, especially after disasters like hurricanes.

(Sing to the tune of “I Will Survive”)

At first it seemed so great – a collection drive!

My water and canned goods would help survivors thrive

But after seeing the big pile of “help” that was received

Still stuck here

I knew I’d been deceived


Now it sits

Collecting dust

There’s no way to deliver it

My good deed was a bust


I should’ve listened to advice

That said gifts of cash were key

The last thing first responders need

Is random things from me


So if you want

To help out more

With post-disaster efforts

Don’t collect goods anymore

Relief groups on the ground have bigger fish to fry

They’ll only grumble

If unneeded goods arrive


So no, collection drives

There are better ways to show your love to those who have survived

If you’ve got some cash to spare

Or some trucks and lifts to share

Give those instead

Give those instead


Yeah yeah no

Collection drives . . .

We could go on. But you probably get the idea. This Hurricane Season, please resist the urge to participate in product collection drives or to self-deploy to disaster sites. While the intentions behind these efforts are good, they often create more challenges than they solve, because they tend to get in the way of responders who are working to save lives – and add confusion to an emergency supply chain that is already under tremendous strain. If you’re looking for a meaningful way to help, pick a humanitarian organization and collect money for it instead. Such donations will be much more useful and efficient – and far more likely to actually reach and help storm survivors.

Lori Lockman

Communications Director

American Logistics Aid Network

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