On Friday, August 29th, the Disaster Services Corporation St. Vincent de Paul USA awarded the 2019 Sam Carocci Humanitarian Disaster Relief Award to AID:Tech for its support of DSC’s disaster recovery work after deadly impact of Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Michael.
The award ceremony took place at the opening luncheon of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Annual Assembly of its membership at the Gaylord Mountain Resort in Denver, Colorado. The Sam Carocci Humanitarian Award is given each year to an outstanding organization in disaster relief and recovery.
In 2019, AID:Tech and Disaster Services Corporation teamed up to fundraise for the disaster survivors of the 2018 Hurricanes. Through AID:Tech’s advanced technology and Elizabeth Disco-Shearer’s (CEO of DSC) forward leaning approach, the US disaster community experienced a disaster response with digital identities and assets for the first time.
Donations management has been an issue for the United States for the past 50 years. No one questions the generosity of the American people, but not all donations are equal. Former Director of the Center for International Disaster Information in Washington, D.C., Juanita Rilling describes the challenge "Generally after a disaster, people with loving intentions donate things that cannot be used in a disaster response, and in fact may actually be harmful. And they have no idea that they're doing it."
More times than not, the rapid influx of unsolicited, and mostly unwanted, donations clog shelters, airport tarmacs and warehouses and drain the time and energy of the willing but scarce volunteers.
"It is heartbreaking," Rilling said. "It's heartbreaking for the donor, it's heartbreaking for the relief organizations, and it's heartbreaking for survivors. This is why cash donations are so much more effective. They buy exactly what people need, when they need it. This is why our partnership is so critical, because cash donations and leveraging digital assets through blockchain enable relief organizations to purchase supplies locally, which ensures that they're fresh and familiar to survivors, purchased in just the right quantities, and delivered quickly. And those local purchases support the local merchants, which strengthens the local economy for the long run.
About Disaster Services Corporation SVDP-USA
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Disaster Services is a founding member of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and its Disaster Services Corporation provides relief and recovery to disaster survivors across the United States and American Territories. The House in a Box Program® is a disaster recovery program started by St. Vincent de Paul after Hurricane Katrina and the program provides new household items to families impacted by disaster who have unmet recovery needs. SVDP Disaster Services supports Disaster Resource Centers and Multi-Agency Resource Centers at the start of recovery, provides specialized long- term recovery training, contracts with State governments and FEMA on disaster case management programs, and works at the state and local government level on Economic Recovery Programs Summits.
About the Society of St. Vincent de Paul
One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (www.svdpusa.org) is an international, nonprofit, Catholic lay organization of about 800,000 men and women who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 150 countries on five continents. With the U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., membership in the United States totals nearly 100,000 in 4,400 communities.
SVdP offers a variety of programs and services, including home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, education and mentoring, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, assistance with transportation, prescription medication, and rent and utility costs. The Society also works to provide care for the sick, the incarcerated and the elderly. Over the past year, SVdP provided over $1.2 billion in tangible and in-kind services to those in need, made more than 1.8 million personal visits (homes, hospitals, prisons and eldercare facilities) and helped more than 23.8 million people regardless of race, religion or national origin.
Founded in 2015, AID:Tech was the first company in the world to deliver humanitarian aid using Blockchain technology. AID:Tech’s mission is to bring social and financial inclusion to the underserved and unbanked and enable Governments to deliver better digital services to their citizens.
AID:Tech’s platform enables items like aid, remittances, donations, healthcare and disaster relief supplies to be digitized and delivered through Blockchain technology in a completely transparent manner. AID:Tech has won numerous international accolades including the Citi Tech4Integrity Global Game Changer award, IBM No. 1 Global Startup, Mastercard Company of the year and French Government GovTech award.