The Mission in Action: Direct Relief International Responds to Colorado Wildfires

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The Mission in Action: Direct Relief International Responds to Colorado Wildfires

GSK PULSE Volunteer & Direct Relief International Address Health Needs
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.@GSKUS PULSE volunteer & Direct Relief International spring into action for Colorado wildfires

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Direct Relief International responds to Colorado wildfires by shipping much needed supplies.

Direct Relief International ships medicines to wildfire evacuees.

Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 11:40pm


The Mission in Action: Direct Relief International Responds to Colorado Wildfires

GSK PULSE Volunteer helps Direct Relief International Address Health Needs

The mission of Direct Relief International is to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty, disaster and civil unrest. It is my first week as a GSK PULSE volunteer at Direct Relief, where I'll be managing marketing and communications  for the next six months. We have been thrown into action to respond to the Colorado wildfires. 

Being from the East Coast, wildfires are something that I have never experienced firsthand and my only exposure has come from what I see in the news. Whenever I heard about wildfires I just always thought about people losing their homes and possessions. Up until now I never made a link to health issues. My new colleagues at Direct Relief explained to me that while people may lose their homes, there is a devastating impact on the health issues such as:

  • Particulate matter in the wildfire smoke can irritate the eyes and respiratory system
  • Evacuees with chronic health conditions may leave their medications behind

To help combat the impact of the wildfires on the health of the evacuees, Direct Relief has responded by reaching out to their partner clinics, in and around the wildfire area in Colorado, and preparing shipments of much needed medical and personal hygiene supplies.

Being here in the Direct Relief offices experiencing how they react in times of disaster has brought such a renewed sense of purpose to me and a profound level of respect for the work they do. Immediately, the team sprung to work learning who is impacted and what they need and sending it. The team responded in such a quick and efficient manner that it is mind blowing. As I have learned in my few short days here, they are able to respond so quickly during times of disaster because they work with their partner organizations everyday and they know who will get the help to the people who need it most.

In my corporate role at GlaxoSmithKline, it is sometimes hard to see how I actually contribute to our mission of helping people to do more, live longer, and feel better. I don’t discover, make or sell our medicines or vaccines. Today, I got to be hands on and see Direct Relief’s mission in action. And that supports our mission, too.

About GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.For further information go to, follow us on or visit our blog (    


Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | Colorado wildfires | Direct Relief | GSK | GlaxoSmithKline | Supplies | direct relief international | medicines | shipments | wildfire evacuees