For the tenth consecutive year, UPSers around the globe are coming together during October to participate in Global Volunteer Month. Joining with international organizations such as Special Olympics, The United Way, and The Salvation Army, as well as local groups such as animal shelters and soup kitchens, UPS people are working towards a goal of giving 195,000 volunteer hours during the month. Take a look at the video below to hear The UPS Foundation President Ed Martinez introducing Global Volunteer Month.
Welcome to upside
On March 11, a record 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck near the Japanese city of Sendai. The quake had an epicenter just off the east coast, which spawned a 32-foot tsunami that surged a quarter of a mile inland, instantly killing thousands of people. The earthquake also damaged nuclear power plants, causing a third emergency with a partial nuclear meltdown and a widespread radiation scare. Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan described the aftermath of the quake as Japan’s worst crisis since World War II.
The Logistics Emergency Team (LET), a partnership between UPS, Agility, TNT and Maersk was deployed to provide logistics support to aid humanitarian relief efforts. I work as a Supply Chain Solutions Ocean Import Supervisor and as the UPS LET coordinator. Here is my journal.
I just returned from the annual meeting of the National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) in Kansas City, just hours from Joplin, Missouri. The outpouring of support from the public has been unbelievable. But based on feedback I heard from first responders at the meeting, unsolicited donations of water, clothes and other items have significantly challenged relief efforts. One relief organization told me they have thousands of cases of water in their warehouse. The AP highlighted this issue in a story about junk donations creating problems for relief agencies helping tornado victims in Alabama.
In my role with The UPS Foundation, I receive hundreds of calls asking for UPS to ship unsolicited goods. The challenge is that these donations don’t meet the needs of the relief agencies that are helping victims. UPS does not transport collected items from unsolicited donors for relief efforts. Instead, we’ve established in-kind agreements with relief organizations like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, CARE, UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the Aidmatrix Network. Our goal is provide logistics support to deliver the right items to the right place at the right time.
Following the earthquake in January 2010, UPS Sales Director Craig Arnold and many other UPS employees went to Haiti and worked in local communities to distribute supplies and establish basic services. As a Salvation Army local board member, Craig had previously volunteered in Haiti before the earthquake, making him familiar with the people and culture. These skills, combined with his contacts at UPS, allowed Craig to offer significant support, including the use of the UPS Trackpad technology, an inventory management system used to track/distribute supplies.
In preparation for the one-year anniversary of the earthquake, this past October Craig returned for a week to revisit the areas and people he worked with last January.
The following post was published at The Salvation Army’s blog this week.
Have you ever sent or received a package and tracked it online through UPS? If so, you’re probably familiar with the useful technology that keeps you well informed and your parcell accounted for throughout the process.
Now, UPS has donated use of their Trackpad® technology to The Salvation Army for use in Haiti relief efforts, adapting the barcode scanning system to disaster relief supply distribution.
Using unique, laminated cards with barcodes, The Salvation Army is now able to streamline distribution of food, medical supplies, and shelter for the 4,000 families living in a makeshift camp near the Port-au-Prince compound. Read More »
Today’s 6.1 aftershock in Haiti doesn’t faze UPS volunteer Craig Arnold. “No problem for me and my roommates. On the way to the clinic, school and command center to assess,” he e-mails at 6 a.m. Since last Friday, Craig has been in Port-au-Prince as a volunteer for the Salvation Army. It’s his sixth trip in five years. Read More »