Happy Holidays! We hope you're having a wonderful holiday season and enjoying the time with friends and family.
At Fuel Relief Fund, the holidays are a time to take stock of how lucky we are to be doing the work we do. All year round, we see people struggling through the hardest circumstances they've ever experienced. In the wake of a major disaster, survivors lose more than just their possessions: In the most tragic cases, they may lose family members, friends, or neighbors, but almost everyone that we speak to says they've lost any sense of normalcy in their lives. And that can take months or even years to regain.
There is nothing that we are more grateful for than our ability to make a difference in these people's lives at a time when they need it most. Even if it's just filling a single gas can for someone, that's one less thing they'll have to deal with that day. FRF's emergency response deployments are hard–logistically, emotionally–but they are always worth it.
Things have been relatively quiet on the disaster front since we returned home from our relief mission to the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian. So, while we have a little time on our hands, the FRF team has been putting our resources towards improving our response capacity through developing necessary training for responders; improving systems for data collection in the field; and building our base of amazing supporters who make our work possible.
Every deployment is a learning experience for us and an opportunity to get better at what we do best. From Dorian, for example, we learned that we should always deploy one additional team member whose sole role is to serve as a communications and reporting focal point (taking that burden off of the shoulders of the fuel management volunteers). Among other things, this person will liaise with government officials to ensure that FRF is getting aid to the areas that need it most; collect demographic information from survivors we assist; and track every drop of fuel that we give away.
As we come closer to the New Year, we want to make a special plea to all our supporters to get more involved, not just in FRF's work, but in any charitable venture that you care about.
When you are lucky enough to count relative health and safety as some of your blessings, you are in a unique position to help those who are less fortunate. And disaster survivors are nothing if not unlucky. So, this holiday season, take a moment to count your blessings and, if you can, pay it forward.
THANK YOU to everyone that has supported us this year and throughout our ten years of disaster relief work. Your generosity means the world to us and to everyone that we serve.