We live in a country where we can take the availability of clean water for granted. That has not been the case in Flint, Michigan for over two years. News broke nationally in January 2016 that Flint's water had been compromised, culminating with lead contamination and creating a public health emergency. Good360 and some of its corporate partners joined forces to address the diverse and evolving needs of a community severely impacted by the contaminated water crisis.
As a leader in the distribution of goods and in disaster recovery, Good360's purpose is to create hope and relief for people and communities in need. Good360 took an action-focused approach to both the immediate response and the long-term recovery effort in Flint by galvanizing corporate, foundation and individual donors and by collaborating with Flint-based nonprofits to provide critically-needed goods and supplies to the Flint community through the end of the calendar year and far beyond.
A disaster-impacted community has recovery and rebuilding needs long after the initial response stage, but often the majority of post-disaster giving happens within the initial weeks immediately following a disaster and then those communities are quickly forgotten and donations stop as national and international attention turns to other things.
In Flint, this meant addressing the products needs of the community from the beginning (e.g. water, water filters, vitamins, water testing kits) and through the full recovery phase (e.g. infrastructure replacement, pipes, educational/developmental materials, nutritious foods) which can last years.
When a disaster strikes, well-intentioned and generous individuals and corporations often make in-kind donations without direction and without an understanding of the impacted community's needs. Preliminary research estimates that an average of 60% of in-kind donations end up in landfills because they are the wrong products at the wrong time, and that more than 80% of donations occur within the first six weeks post-disaster, neglecting the long-term recovery and rebuilding phase.
Good360 is leveraging our 33 years of expertise in product philanthropy and purposeful giving to tackle these challenges. Through our DisasterRecovery360 platform and approach, we ensure that the RIGHT GOODS are delivered to the RIGHT PLACE at the RIGHT TIME throughout ALL phases of disaster recovery. In Flint, our efforts are unfolding as follows:
Activation: We immediately reached out to Flint-based nonprofits in order to identify responding organizations and opportunities to help. Good360 is cause-agnostic, assisting all types and sizes of nonprofits, and this was crucial in our response in Flint since many of the responding organizations are smaller and lack connections to major donors.
Needs Identification & Assessment: Responding organizations logged their initial product requirements through either our online platform or our mobile application and then updated them as they changed. We learned that product needs went far beyond a clean water source and what was portrayed in the media. Families had spent money on bottled water for over a year and were going without certain daily essentials. (See attached infographic on the average cost to a family of four of buying additional bottled water for the household.)
Product Acquisition & Deployment: We leveraged strategic relationships with both large corporate partners as well as with small-to-medium sized businesses in order to procure and ship goods to our nonprofit partners who would then distribute those items to individuals and families in need. We communicated what was truly needed to our corporate donors and provided the Flint community with a wide range of goods including water filtration water bottles, baby wipes, body shower wipes, and liquid hand sanitizer.
Measurement, Transparency & Impact: The DisasterRecovery360 platform allows us to track the movement of donated cash and goods from their source all the way to the end recipient, providing complete transparency. Good360 provides metrics and multimedia impact stories to donors highlighting who received their goods and the impact the goods had on recovering communities. Because we can facilitate the purposeful and thoughtful donation of appropriate goods, fewer items end up in landfills or otherwise go to waste.
A Long-Term Commitment: A disaster is not over when the media satellite trucks and reporters have moved on to the next breaking story. We continue to stay connected in Flint and that has more recently enabled us to provide back-to-school supplies, sports equipment for an afterschool program, and clothing. Though these items may seem unrelated to the water crisis, the financial pressures created at the individual and family levels have led to many unmet needs over and above bottled water.
Since our work in the Flint community began in January 2016, Good360 has touched thousands of lives through our community-based partners. While we continue to be active in our recovery work in Flint, we are proud of our achievements so far:
Our nonprofit partners conduct vital work for their communities, mostly below the radar of any media attention, which is why they are so appreciative of their relationships with Good360. As Pastor Anthony Artis of Dedicated Believers Ministries states, "Thank you so very much for your generosity, partnership, and continued support! While others have pulled out of our area as things slowly improve, we are blessed beyond measure because of Good360… Without donors and strategic partners like you, it would be most challenging for families and young children here to make ends meet."
Good360's powerful DisasterRecovery360 platform enables the good work done by our corporate and nonprofit partners so that they can meaningfully impact the lives of those affected, both now and throughout all phases of the recovery cycle.
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