Direct Relief International

Rating: 5 stars   12 reviews

Issues: Disaster Aid, Health, International

Location: 27 South La Patera Lane Santa Barbara CA 93117 USA

Mission: Direct Relief International works to improve the health and lives of people living in developing countries and people affected by disaster or war. We are nonsectarian and nongovernmental. We provide locally run health facilities and projects the essential material resources they need: medicines, supplies, and equipment. We receive most of these products through donations and ensure that they are provided in the most secure, most efficient manner possible.Our approach focuses on local health efforts and the people who run them. Our partner organizations typically serve rural communities in countries and areas that are poor, lack health infrastructure, and in which people confront severe health challenges. All partner organizations demonstrate the capacity, commitment, and credibility to provide quality health services in a nondiscriminatory manner. Direct Relief International also works nationally to address particular health needs in the U.S., including our home community of Santa Barbara, California.

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Community Reviews

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Rating: 5 stars  

My wife and I have been contributing to DRI for many years now because it always responds in a timely way when disasters strike around the world. It is staffed largely by volunteers so more than 90% of a contribution goes towards medical supplies, etc that it sends out. Ie, its administrative overhead is very low. It also has the flexibility to find and fill an unmet need that other organizations overlook. After the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March 2011 DRI found that the Japanese health system was up to meeting the needs of the victims. So, it contributed funds to NGO's providing support for housing, counseling, etc.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Direct Relief has not only been a "relief" to all of the free clinics in the U.S. for quite a while now, but it has served as inspiration for hard work on behalf of those most in need worldwide. Our free clinic has received medications, medical supplies, and consumer products that our patients would never have been able to afford otherwise. With Direct Relief's help, we have served thousands of medically needy patients and their families, and we have been able to expand that help when disasters have hit. We are very proud to partner with Direct Relief to help ensure all Americans have health care.

Although Direct Relief is an international organization, its work here at "home" commands respect. It is a quality organization with very dedicated people. In fact, it is such an incredible organization that their most experienced volunteer, Edythe at 106 years old, is still there today. What a fantastic testament to their mission, dedication, and services.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Duplicate it a thousand times so no one in the world would have to do without anything!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

Direct Relief is a great non profit. I have been volunteering with them and I am so impressed at how hard they all work, how much they get done and their passion to do the right things for people in the US and around the world. They are transparent, ethical and use money and donations as effectivly and efficiently as posssible.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More people knew about them!!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Full disclaimer - I worked at Direct Relief for a few years. So, while I may maintain some sort of bias, I also know the organization from the inside out. Having worked there, I can say with confidence that I can't imagine a smarter, more ethical group of people than those at Direct Relief - people who on a daily basis work to get medicine to people who need it, and who serve as responsible stewards of donor money. I'm involved with a number of non-profits, but I'd give my highest rating to Direct Relief, and it's the one I donate to.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

What is unique about this organization?

They don't spend donor money on advertising or fancy offices (they're in a warehouse by the railroad tracks in an industrial zone). They instead commit 100% of every donated dollar to programmatic work.

Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

When I moved to Santa Barbara in 1966, my mother said, "Oh, that's where Direct Relief is!" As a doctor's wife, she had helped collect medicine samples for DRI from doctors' offices in our town in Kentucky.

DRI has come a long way since then, but still is one of the most effective, and cost effective, donations around. Who else multiplies your donation by 25 or 30 times? And they make sure the supplies they send actually are what's needed, and get to the people who need and can use them.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the Santa Barbara area: disaster supplies for local public schools; particulate masks during local wildfires; other local services.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

tell them not to change.

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Wonderful organization, especially thier work in Haiti

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Not directly. Their help related to other charitable organizations.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand it

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

How did you learn about this organization?

news, word of mouth

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

DRI is a wonderful non-profit organization to donate to help the people of the world who are in the most need right now!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

World Wide Media

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them more help from government grants!

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

I first started donating to DRI after the tsunami in Indonesia, because I liked their privacy policy and I liked that they were very clear in how the money would be used (and what they would do if they received too many donations. ) I've given additional funds since then for various disaster relief (Hurricane Katrina, the earthquakes in Pakistan and Haiti, etc.), as well as for my annual CFC Campaign donation. I like helping Direct Relief International as I respect how well they run their organizationi and how much they respect and value their donors.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Reading about their work, following their updates, etc.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make their work better known to individual donors. I do see DRI as a great alternative to some of the mega-huge charities who don't have sound privacy policies or targeted donation policies (not that they should bad mouth other charities...)

Rating: 5 stars  

I first started donating to DRI after the tsunami in Indonesia, because I liked their privacy policy and I liked that they were very clear in how the money would be used (and what they would do if they received too many donations. ) I've given additional funds since then for various disaster relief (Hurricane Katrina, the earthquakes in Pakistan and Haiti, etc.), as well as for my annual CFC Campaign donation. I like helping Direct Relief International as I respect how well they run their organizationi and how much they respect and value their donors.

More Feedback

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Reading about their work, following their updates, etc.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make their work better known to individual donors. I do see DRI as a great alternative to some of the mega-huge charities who don't have sound privacy policies or targeted donation policies (not that they should bad mouth other charities...)

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

I doubled my donations after I got a raise at work. A month later someone contacted me because they noticed I had two auto-donations per month set up - they wanted to make sure they weren't over billing me. That's a first.

Great group - awesome place to donate in my opinion. 100% of your money goes to helping. Their operations are completely supported by an anonymous trust (or something like that)

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I haven't traveled to places where they work - but I've read about their work.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Change nothing.

Review from Guidestar

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