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Direct Relief International Receives $500,000 Year-End Donation

Goleta-based nonprofit relies solely on private support to finance its humanitarian health programs

Direct Relief International, a Goleta-based international humanitarian aid organization, received a welcome year-end boost with a $500,000 contribution from an individual investor who previously supported the organization’s Direct Relief USA program, which has become the largest nonprofit program in the country providing free medications to low-income, uninsured people and the only such program operating in all 50 U.S. states.

With days remaining in 2011, this gift is a reminder that everyone still has the opportunity to help make a difference this year.

“We are intensely focused on doing more, better, for people who need help in these challenging economic times,” Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe said. “We are so deeply thankful for this gift and for every act of generosity, which has particular poignancy and is deeply humbling. With only three days remaining in 2011, we are hopeful that people step forward to help our neighbors here at home and others in severe circumstances receive care they need and otherwise won’t receive.”

Direct Relief, which doesn’t receive government funds and devotes 100 percent of donations to its programs, relies entirely on support from private parties to finance its humanitarian health programs in the United States and throughout the world.

Recently named by Forbes magazine as one of the 20 most efficient large charities in the United States, Direct Relief, as do many charities, typically receives one-third or more of its annual revenue in December in year-end charitable contributions.

The Direct Relief USA program, which supports care for patients at more than 1,000 nonprofit community health centers and free clinics nationwide, has expanded rapidly since becoming the only nonprofit licensed to distribute prescription medications in all 50 states three years ago and has provided over $53 million in free medications and supplies in 2011 that the organization receives via donations from close to 100 health-care companies.

The organization recently won the 2011 Peter F. Drucker Institute Award for Nonprofit Innovation for its use of technology in the Direct Relief USA program and for bringing efficiencies to humanitarian health efforts worldwide.

— Kelley Kaufman is the communications manager for Direct Relief International.

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