Alison Thompson is a full time humanitarian volunteer who has run refugee camps and field hospitals in every major natural disaster around the world, including Syria, for the past 18 years. In 2001 Alison’s life changed direction after she rollerbladed to the WTC and worked as a first responder at Ground Zero. Following, Alison founded the ‘Third Wave Volunteer’ organization which has a network of over 30,000 volunteers and followers from all over the world. Born a preacher’s daughter, she grew up on mission trips living in the jungles of Asia and in 2015 received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in the Humanities from Loyola University. She is the first official Ambassador to the Haitian Ministry of Environment and received the Order of Australia from Queen Elizabeth the 2nd in honor of her work for humanity. Her varied careers include math teacher, rescue paramedic, investment banker, film director and author.

In Episode 9, Hans and Molly interview Alison Thompson — a humanitarian volunteer and founder of Third Wave Volunteers, which has over 30,000 volunteers and followers globally. In this episode, Alison walks us through many of her humanitarian undertakings and the process of mobilizing an entire rescue team. She also speaks to the role corporations play in giving back, and how to ensure we’re not causing even bigger problems for people during a crisis. Alison describes her work as “love in action,” and shares what this work has taught her about what all humans from across the globe have in common.

Show Links

Below are links to all the items we discussed during our conversation with Alison

Alison’s Book and website

The Third Wave: A Volunteer Story by Alison Thompson

Other Resources

When There Is No Doctor by Gerard S. Doyle

Coconut Grove

Get Involved

Alison and her team are currently raising money for N95 masks. In the midst of COVID-19, we all know how important these masks are! Please visit Third Wave Volunteers to make a donation today!


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