Wednesday, October 04, 2006

AmeriCares

AmeriCares is another 4-Star Charity to which I have donated in the past. Similar to Children's Hunger Fund, AmeriCares spends less than 1% of all donations on administrative and fundraising expenses, meaning 99% of donations are applied to carrying out the organization's mission.

AmeriCares' tagline is "Humanitarian Lifeline to the World." Its mission is listed below:

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

In-kind donations, primarily from pharmaceutical manufactures, comprised $1.2 billion worth of donations to AmeriCares in 2005, or over 90% of all donations, grants, etc.

In 2005, approximately $350 million worth of pharmaceuticals were distributed through the AmeriCares Patient Assistance Program to patients in the United States who would otherwise be unable to afford the medicines. Total program expenses in 2005 were $1.1 billion, so more than $700 million was spent on programs other than the US Patient Assistance Program. Though not explicitly stated, it appears most of the remaining $700 million of medical and disaster aid went to international sources, including Sudan, tsunami-devastated Southeast Asia, El Salvador (rotavirus outbreak), Afghanistan, Ethiopia, etc. (In 2004, 58% percent of aid went to sources outside of the United States.)

Within the US, the previously mentioned Patient Assistance Program appears to be the largest effort, both financially and in terms of the number of people served. Additionally, AmeriCares provides a limited number of free health clinics, free home renovations for the handicapped, and free summer camps for children with HIV/AIDS.

Internationally, AmeriCares provides disaster relief, humanitarian assistance in the form of sustainable long-term health care, and medical outreach. The Medical Outreach program delivers "desperately-needed healthcare to well over 100,000 people a year in some of the most underdeveloped areas in 82 countries around the world."

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