AmeriCares is a nonprofit international disaster relief organization that delivers medicine, medical supplies and aid to people in crisis.
The organization works with major pharmaceutical companies and other medical suppliers to receive product donations and solicits financial support from individuals and corporations to deliver the aid via airlift or ocean cargo. AmeriCares partners with local charitable organizations in countries around the world who distribute the medicines and medical supplies to the health and welfare professionals in the indigent locations. Currently, AmeriCares is working in partnership with local organizations in more than 30 countries worldwide from Afghanistan to Vietnam.
Since its founding, AmeriCares has delivered more than $7 billion in aid to 137 countries. Through its three community programs, AmeriCares also reaches out to those in need in Connecticut and New York. They are AmeriCares HomeFront, AmeriCares Free Clinics and Camp AmeriKids.
Former First Lady Barbara Bush has served as the AmeriCares "ambassador-at-large" since 1986, and Elie Wiesel has served on AmeriCares advisory board since 1994.The organization's president and chief executive officer is Curtis R. Welling.
AmeriCares was founded in 1982 by Robert C. Macauley, a paper broker from New Canaan, Connecticut. After hearing about Macauley’s past success with humanitarian missions, Pope John Paul II asked Macauley to help the people of his home country of Poland who were suffering under martial law and had limited medical supplies. Macauley raised $3.2 million worth of aid from pharmaceutical manufacturers and airlifted it to the people of Poland. The model developed then still exists today.
Throughout its 25-year history, AmeriCares has provided medical relief to those affected by the famine in Ethiopia (1984); the Chernobyl disaster (1986); the Armenian earthquake (1988); Central America’s Hurricane Mitch (1998); the Rwandan refugee crisis (1994); the South Asian tsunami (2004); the Pakistan earthquake (2005); Hurricane Katrina (2005); and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
Rankings and recognitionEdit
Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities, has awarded AmeriCares a 4-Star rating from 2001 to 2007. The Better Business Bureau has stated that AmeriCares meets the BBB's "Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability". The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked AmeriCares third in the publication's 2006 edition of the "Philanthropy 400", which rates charities based on the support they receive from individuals, foundations and corporations. The 2007 "Investment Guide" of Forbes magazine lists AmeriCares on its list of the 200 largest charitable organizations. Forbes ranks charities based on the amount of private gifts they receive. AmeriCares was one of 17 nonprofits on the Forbes list with "100 percent fundraising efficiency", according to the charity. AmeriCares went from 16th to 9th place in the 2006 "NPT Top 100" rankings.