Message from the Executive Director
I am very pleased to report that International Relief Teams just completed its 23rd year of service to victims of disaster, poverty, and neglect by providing more than $32 million in medicines, supplies and volunteer services to thousands in need both here and abroad.
Our disaster relief efforts focused on both natural and man-made disasters in various parts of the world. We shipped medicines to combat the cholera outbreak in Haiti and delivered permanent shelters for Haitian families still homeless after the 2010 earthquake. We purchased food for displaced families in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We rushed medicines and medical supplies to Uzbekistan to treat refugees escaping civil conflict in neighboring Kyrgyzstan. We delivered $6.7 million in medicines to hospitals in Libya to help save the lives of those severely injured or wounded in that country’s brutal civil conflict. 2011 also marked our 6th year of deploying bi-monthly teams of skilled construction volunteers to repair and rebuild the homes of elderly and low-income families that were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
In addition to responding to disasters, we continued to help bring positive and permanent change to the lives of many. We shipped life-saving medicines to Honduras, Sierra Leone, and Burundi to alleviate critical shortages. Through Project “Healthy Baby”, we completed the training of nearly 200 neonatal resuscitation instructors in Vietnam who have already trained more than 3,500 of their colleagues to treat and save newbornsat-risk.
We are proud that for the 8th year, International Relief Teams has been awarded the highest rating (4 stars) by Charity Navigator, the largest independent evaluator of U.S. based charities. Only 2% of all charities evaluated have achieved this consecutive 4 star rating! And, again, 98% of all revenues received were applied directly to programs with less than 2% going to fundraising and administrative costs.
We are deeply grateful to our donors for their generosity, and to our volunteers for their personal investment of time and talent to reduce suffering, improve lives, and impart knowledge. Together, we are making a real difference in the lives of so many.
Barry La Forgia