With the Holiday Spirit in full swing, many of us have found ways to give back to our communities. Giving often comes in the form of one of 3 T's:
With work and families, time can be hard to come by, but when we can visit elderly homes or help in our local food shelf pantries, or delivery meals to less mobile, the benefits know no bounds. Time feels harder to come by at this time of year, but finding that time can mean the world to those who need help.
Treasure is often construed in the format of monetary donations. This can be contributing to a giving tree, donations to some of your favorite charities, a donation to a place in which you have a memory from the past, or contributing to local youth organizations.
One group that's taking Treasure to another level is RetailROI – Retail Orphan Initiative. Working with Retailers that may have extra inventory or an item that will go on mark down due to demand, the organization helps connect them to communities in need. Did you realize that if orphans were a country, they would be the 8th largest country in the world?!
As a facilitator and coordinator to help Retailers, Vendors, and Suppliers give back to the communities they are in, RetailROI can't do it alone. Talk to your company about getting involved and contributing.
While both of the prior contributions are great ways to give back, not everyone has the means to do so in those formats. When we turn the table to the last of these original 3 Ts, the one thing we all do have, is Talent.
We've all been given different talents to walk the earth with and impart on others. Some people have a sense of humor that can lighten any mood. Others have an uncanny ability to build and create from just about anything. Using creativity, so many problems are solved.
Now about that 4th T. Technology. I'm not necessarily talking about giving people in need a cell phone or computer. What I'm talking about is using existing technologies to solve real world problems to better the communities we live in for those who can't provide for themselves.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a group of Supply Chain Professionals decided that there had to be a better way to help individuals effected in natural disasters. They took their Talent and Technology, and got to work, creating an organization known as ALAN, the American Logistics Aid Network. Did you know that as much as 80% of funds raised for natural disasters can go into the shipping and storage expenses associated with goods that region may need? According to their website, ALAN says:
"Today, ALAN comprises hundreds of supply-chain businesses who stand poised to respond in the event of disasters. We are experts in transportation, warehousing, cold storage, and distribution, and we can help locate and move goods from suppliers to affected communities rapidly and efficiently."
At CSCMP's annual conference this past September, ALAN set a goal to celebrate their 10th anniversary. "The Power of Ten" challenge has a goal of raising $100,000 by 2016. We're 2 weeks away. Even if you look back at the 2nd T – Treasure – and you can't afford to help this organization monetarily, consider approaching your Supply Chain company to partner and offer services during disasters. Whether you're a transportation, trucking, storage, warehouse, or software provider, we all can contribute in some way. We've all built resiliency in to our own supply chains to keep the business running during times of disaster – why not help contribute this knowledge to aid relief?
No matter how you give this season, whether it just be with your friends and family, or you extend that giving to others, remember that there are many formats in which to "give", and many who are more than grateful to accept that help, no matter the format.