The Greatest Humanitarians


As a development practitioner, never once did I dream that I would be the recipient of aid. But 12 years ago, that is exactly what happened. A trip to Thailand put me in the throws of the deadliest tsunami in history. What quite possibly saved my life was the kindness of that Thai woman who guided me to safety. When I was finally out of the woods (literally), I was greeted by the best of humanity – warm and assuring people giving us everything they had to comfort us.

We all know of great humanitarians who have rightly gained worldwide recognition for their good deeds and actions. These phenoms have a large and permanent place in history for doing extra-human things. But after having spent almost two decades working with fellow aid workers and development practitioners across multiple continents and in various crises or disaster-afflicted places, the greatest humanitarians in my book are the ones who rarely get recognition or support, but still, refuse to give up.  They toil in unforgiving climates and extreme conditions for all of humanity. They set their own needs and wants aside to tend to the needs of others, just like they did for me. Today on World Humanitarian Day, and every day, The Level Market takes our hats off to them.

We know the hoops they jump through, the bureaucracy they suffer through, and the bullets they dodge just to make life better for others. Thanks to their hard work, there are millions of organizations resourced with billions in funding to tackle the world’s hardest problems. But they face a common and unresolved issue: procurement in the sector is outdated, inefficient, and slow.

We created The Level Market (TLM) to serve the most important industry in the world. The industry deserves a better, faster, more efficient way to get supplies to the people it’s serving. Humanitarians shouldn’t have to spend time trying to navigate the murky waters of purchasing relief supplies but should be focused on what they’re best at helping others receive the goods & services they need to survive & thrive.

Luckily, technology is an effective tool for this work. From delivering vaccines and online courses to remote villages to feeding thousands of refugees and improved logistical coordination, tech is being used to make the lives of not only those suffering better but the work of humanitarians easier and more effective.

TLM brings these tech benefits to aid purchasing by cutting the response time in finding, comparing, quoting and purchasing these core and innovative relief supplies.  Harnessing technology to be in servitude of all of humanity and not just a privileged few is our mission. We’ve seen technology transform just about every other industry and ours should be no exception, especially given what is at stake.

We think about what’s at stake a lot here at TLM. We started as an online marketplace for aid supplies, but our work doesn’t stop there. Knowing what’s at stake keeps us up at night. It’s the ones who ensure others are able to see another day even in the most atrocious environments that push us to do more. It’s these people that really are the greatest humanitarians.

From myself and the staff here at TLM, thank you for doing the impossible job that you do.


Stephanie Cox


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