|Area served||164 Countries Worldwide, Including the United States.|
|Product(s)||Humanitarian relief, including medicines, medical supplies, nutritional supplements and other assistance.|
|Motto||A Passion to Help. The Ability to Deliver.|
AmeriCares is a non-profit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization providing immediate response to emergency medical needs and supporting long-term health care initiatives for people in the United States and around the world.
Since its founding in 1982, AmeriCares has delivered more than $11 billion in medicines, medical supplies and humanitarian aid to 164 countries in response to natural disasters, civil conflicts and ongoing shortages in impoverished areas.
AmeriCares is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. The organization has offices in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Port-au-Prince, Haiti Sendai, Japan and Mumbai, India. AmeriCares operates three warehouses, one each in the U.S., Europe and India.
- 1 History
- 2 Emergency Response
- 3 Global Medical Assistance
- 4 AmeriCares Free Clinics
- 5 Accountability and Standards
- 6 Additional Information
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
On April 4, 1975, a U.S. jet carrying 243 Vietnamese orphans crashed into the jungle outside of Tan Son Nhut. A third of the children died in the accident; the surviving children, many critically injured, awaited rescue. The United States government announced that it would not have rescue resources available for at least 10 days.
When Robert Macauley learned about the situation he decided to respond on his own. Macauley and his wife, Leila, mortgaged their home to charter a Boeing 747 and rescue the orphans. Within 48 hours, the children arrived safely in California.
In 1981, after hearing about the rescue mission, Pope John Paul II asked Macauley to raise funds that would provide medicine for people suffering under martial law in Poland. In March, 1982, the first airlift delivering medicines to Poland was launched, and AmeriCares was born.
Macauley served as the CEO of AmeriCares from 1982 to 2002, and Chairman of the Board until his death in 2010.
In 2013, AmeriCares works with a worldwide network of more than 3,000 hospitals, clinics, and community health programs that work in partnership with donors, pharmaceutical companies and medical supply manufacturers to deliver humanitarian aid and medical supplies around the world.
AmeriCares organizes emergency response teams to deliver urgently needed aid to survivors of disasters. Such aid includes medicines, medical supplies, water or water purification treatments and other critically needed resources. In 2012, AmeriCares responded to 24 emergencies in 18 countries. Recent relief efforts have included:
Following Hurricane Sandy (2012), AmeriCares delivered emergency supplies for more than 400,000 people in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York including blankets, flashlights, bottled water and first aid kits. AmeriCares continues to provide post-emergency relief with the AmeriCares mobile medical clinic used to assist health care facilities unable to treat patients because of storm damage and power outages.
AmeriCares sent $6 million in medical aid immediately after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Among prominent donors, actress Jennifer Aniston supported the organization’s work in Haiti with a benefit screening. Since then, the organization has given the country more than $60 million in aid for vaccinations, maternal health, cholera prevention and health workers training.
In response to the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011, AmeriCares sent close to $6 million in medical supplies and humanitarian aid. The on-going recovery work in Japan includes restoring medical and dental clinics and psychosocial programs for survivors.
Other major disasters that AmeriCares has responded to:
- 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia
- Chernobyl disaster (1986)
- 1988 Spitak earthquake (Armenia)
- Rwandan genocide (1994)
- Central America's Hurricane Mitch (1998)
- September 11 attacks (2001)
- 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami
- Hurricane Katrina (2005)
- Pakistan earthquake (2005)
- Myanmar's Cyclone Nargis (2008)
- China earthquake (2008)
- South Pacific earthquakes and typhoons (2009)
- Haiti Earthquake (2010)
- Ongoing humanitarian crisis in Sudan
- Flooding in Pakistan (2010)
- Japan earthquake and tsunami (2011)
- Joplin tornado (2011)
- Somalia famine (2011)
- Hurricane Sandy (2012)
- Typhoon Bopha in Philippines (2012)
Post emergency response
Some disasters are so devastating that survivors and affected communities require ongoing support for rehabilitation and recovery. AmeriCares works to restore comprehensive health care systems – from providing and outfitting field hospitals to supporting nurse and lab technician education programs. The organization remains in Sri Lanka, Haiti and Japan years after the countries experienced natural disasters.
Global Medical Assistance
Assistance and Aid
Globally, AmeriCares delivers free medical aid including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, nutritional supplements, surgical and wound care supplies, hospital supplies and diagnostics and laboratory equipment with the support of corporate and financial donors.
The nonprofit sends aid to institutions through partner organizations located in the United States and countries around the world. The institutions include thousands of general and specialty hospitals, outpatient clinics, community health programs, hospice residences, rehabilitation centers and homes for children and the elderly.
AmeriCares in the U.S.
AmeriCares supplies medicines and medical supplies to more than 400 free and charitable health care clinics across the U.S. The nonprofit also responds to disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, etc.) in the U.S. by sending medicines and relief supplies including bottled water, hygiene kits and household cleaning kits.
Medical Outreach Program
AmeriCares Medical Outreach Program donates medical products to U.S.-based health care professionals bringing medical care to disadvantaged or isolated areas around the world. The services offered by these field volunteers range from primary care to specialty surgeries. Each year AmeriCares supports 1,000+ medical outreach trips, with primary medications, anesthesia, surgical supplies, nutritional supplements, and over-the-counter products.
In 2006, AmeriCares India Foundation was registered as a public charitable trust in India. The AmeriCares India mobile medical clinics provide medical consultations and medicines to those living in the Mumbai slums. The organization also raises awareness about disease prevention, supports health promotion programs, and educates children on the importance of proper hygiene techniques.
AmeriCares Free Clinics
AmeriCares Free Clinics have provided primary health care to the uninsured since 1994. The free clinics provide medical services to thousands of people every year by utilizing a network of volunteer doctors, nurses, interpreters and administrative personnel. AmeriCares also works closely with local hospitals, labs and specialists who donate their services.
The four AmeriCares Free Clinics are:
- Bob Macauley AmeriCares Free Clinic of Norwalk (established 1994)
- Boehringer Ingelheim AmeriCares Free Clinic of Danbury (established 1997)
- Weisman AmeriCares Free Clinic of Bridgeport (established 2003)
- Stamford AmeriCares Free Clinic (established 2014)
Accountability and Standards
AmeriCares consistently received high ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Charity Navigator for efficiency and a commitment to fiscal responsibility. These ratings reflect the fact that more than 97% of total expenses directly support programs and relief for people in need, and 3% represent administrative costs.
AmeriCares Airlift Benefit
AmeriCares has hosted an annual Airlift Benefit, also known as the Hangar Party, since 1988. The event takes place at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y. At the end of the evening, donors board a chartered plane to see AmeriCares work firsthand. Destinations have included the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.
In recent years, the Airlift Benefit has had prominent hosts: Anderson Cooper in 2007, Ann Curry in 2008, Mika Brzezinski in 2009 and 2011 and Kelly Wallace in 2010. The Airlift Benefit has also drawn special guests including actor Aaron Eckhart and baseball manager Bobby Valentine.
In 1988, AmeriCares founded HomeFront, a community-based, volunteer-driven home repair program that provides free repairs to low-income homeowners. HomeFront currently serves Fairfield, Hartford and New Haven Counties in Connecticut, and Westchester County, New York. In 2009, HomeFront became an independent organization.
Camp AmeriKids was founded in 1995 by Robert Macauley in the hopes of reaching out to an underserved population close to the AmeriCares headquarter locality. Today, Camp AmeriKids serves over 250 inner-city children living with the challenges of HIV/AIDS and sickle cell disease. In 2010, Camp AmeriKids became an independent non-profit organization.