9. Americares

History of AmeriCares:

On April 4, 1975, a U.S. jet carrying 243 Vietnamese orphans crashed into the jungle outside Tan Son Nhut. A third of the children burned to death, many of the remaining victims were critically injured. Soon after, the Pentagon announced that it would not have the resources to rescue the children for 10 days.

The world received the news of the crash with dismay, shock and a widespread sense of helplessness. One individual decided to take action. Robert C. Macauley, a paper broker from New Canaan, Conn., immediately chartered a Boeing 747 to rescue the young survivors. Within 48 hours, the children were safe in California.

The rescue plan a success, Macauley now had to deal with a few financial issues, a minor detail in his philanthropic mind. Macauley did not have $10,000 in the bank to cover the down payment for the aircraft, nor the $241,000 for the remaining balance. To cover his expenses, Mr. and Mrs. Macauley took out a mortgage on their house. A fair trade, his wife Leila comments, “The bank got the house and Bob got the kids.”

Born of unbounded compassion and sheer audacity, this mission set the stage for many to come. When human lives are at stake, Macauley has no patience for bureaucracy. “You act now,” Macauley advises, “and worry about the red tape later”.

Having learned of Mr. Macauley’s efforts in Vietnam, Pope John Paul II asked him to Rome in 1981. “Poland was under martial law, and the country had virtually no medical supplies,” Macauley recalls. “I’m not even Catholic, but when the Pope asks a favor, you comply.” Macauley and His Holiness agreed upon a goal of $50,000 worth of medical supplies for the people of the Pope’s native Poland. That goal was quickly exceeded when AmeriCares airlifted more than $3.2 million worth of aid to the country.

The Poland mission an overwhelming success, Macauley quickly realized the same model could be used to help those suffering in other countries around the world. Thus, one year later, 1982, AmeriCares was born.


AmeriCares is a nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization which provides immediate response to emergency medical needs – and supports long-term humanitarian assistance programs – for all people around the world, irrespective of race, creed or political persuasion.

Who is Americares?

Who We Are   

In times of epic disaster, daily struggle or civil conflict, AmeriCares restores health and saves lives by delivering donated medicines, medical supplies and humanitarian aid to people in need around the world and here at home.

The World Health Organization estimates one-third of the world’s population – nearly 2 billion people – lack access to essential medicines. In addition to a shortage of medicines, health care professionals in poor countries struggle daily with a lack of supplies such as gloves, syringes, gauze and bandages. That’s where AmeriCares comes in. Since our founding in 1982, AmeriCares has provided more than

$10 Billion

of aid to 147 countries. To accomplish these results, AmeriCares assembles product donations from the private sector, determines the most urgent needs and solicits the funding to send the aid via airlift or ocean cargo to health and welfare professionals in the indigent locations. The model is time tested, cost effective and experience driven. Historically, for each $100 donated, AmeriCares delivers more than $3,500 in emergency relief and humanitarian aid, including medicines, medical supplies, clothing, blankets and nutritional supplements.

AmeriCares has a longstanding commitment to fiscal responsibility and has consistently received high rankings from Charity Navigator for our efficiency. These ratings reflect the fact that more than 98% of our overall expenses directly support programs and relief for people in need – and just under 2% represent administrative costs.

Americares Programs:

Global Medical Assistance
With the support of generous corporate and financial donors, AmeriCares largest program, Global Medical Assistance, provides medicines, medical supplies and other relief on an ongoing basis to hospitals, clinics and community health programs in over 40 countries, including the United States. The program helps our health care partners deliver quality care by providing aid to fill critical resource gaps, including essential products that are unavailable or financially inaccessible. We also supply more than 150 health care clinics serving the uninsured and underinsured in over 35 states throughout the United States and provide free prescription medications in all 50 states through our Patient Assistance Program

Emergency Response         
Our emergency response teams deliver urgently needed relief to survivors of natural and manmade disasters both globally and domestically. They provide medicines, hospital supplies, bottled water and water purification treatments, nutritional supplements and other critically needed aid.

Medical Outreach Program
The Medical Outreach Program donates medical products to U.S.-based health care professionals who travel overseas as volunteers to provide primary care and surgeries for people in need. For many of the people they treat, it is the first time they see a doctor

AmeriCares Free Clinics
AmeriCares Free Clinics provide primary health care to the uninsured in Connecticut. Three clinics in Bridgeport, Norwalk and Danbury offer medical services to thousands of residents every year, thanks to the work of dedicated and committed volunteer doctors, nurses, interpreters and administrative personnel. We also work closely with local hospitals, labs and specialists who donate their services.

AmeriCares Gift-in-Kind Model               
Our gift-in-kind model enables medical supply manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies to donate essential products while we raise the funding necessary to transport the products to a network of partners providing primary health care. This, in turn, empowers health care workers to save lives and restore the health of people who often lack the basic medicines, medical supplies and aid they need to survive.

Partnerships Make It Possible          
Partnerships allow us to help more people around the world live longer, healthier lives by providing them with critical medicines and improved health care. We work closely with leading pharmaceutical companies and medical manufacturers, as well as corporate and individual donors and health care providers. Our on-the-ground partners include over 2,000 hospitals, clinics and community health programs in every region of the world, as well as international and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and government ministries. They help us assess the health priorities in their communities so we can deliver the medicines and supplies they need the most.

Maximizing Every Donation         
The AmeriCares model is time-tested, cost-effective and experiencedriven; and for donors, the value proposition is powerful. For every $100 in cash contributed, AmeriCares is able to deliver more than $3,500 in humanitarian relief, including medicines, medical supplies, nutritional supplements and other assistance.

Our Distribution Network
AmeriCares operates three warehouses, one each in the U.S., Europe and India. Our warehouses serve as vital hubs for distributing critical aid during emergencies and responding to ongoing needs around the world with greater speed and efficiency.

(For more detailed information, please visit: http://www.americares.org/aboutus/index.html)


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