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Operation Usa

Rating: 3.67 stars   3 reviews 1,857

Nonprofit Issues:

Disaster Aid, International, Economic Development, Microfinance

Address:

7421 Beverly Blvd Ste PH Los Angeles CA 90036 USA

Mission:

OperationUSA is an international relief agency that helps communities at home and abroad overcome the effects ofdisasters, disease and endemic poverty by providing privately-funded relief,reconstruction and development aid. 

Working with grass-roots partners on the ground, Operation USA provides material and financial assistance necessary in the face of a disaster, as well as to combat the effects of systemic poverty. Dedicated to rebuilding with commitment and listening to communities’voices to determine the best way to assist them, OperationUSA stays in the field long after many others leave. Long-term projects aresupported that promote education and health services, sustainable development, leadershipbuilding, income generating activities and advocacy on behalf of vulnerablepeople worldwide.

Results:

Over 30+ years, we have been awarded 4 stars from Charity Navigator, designation by Worth Magazine as "One of America's Best 100 Charities" and have scored a number of "firsts" among relief agencies responding to crises in Asia, Africa, the Middle east and Latin America. In California, we support over 100 community health clinics; and 50 more on the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina struck.

Target demographics:

We are global disaster relief and development providers focusing on disaster victims, with an emphasis on women and children.

Direct beneficiaries per year:

over 1,000,000

Geographic areas served:

global USA and 99 Countries

Programs:

From the Vietnamese "Boat People", a million of whom streamed out of Vietnam to five neighboring countries in 1979, to the millions affected by the India, Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia and Taiwan earthquakes, Operation USA has provided assistance to people in need for over 29 years, including those affected by HURRICANE KATRINA and HURRICANE RITA. Operation USA pioneered the concept of "Smart Aid": carefully assessing needs and matching them with the rapid delivery of corporate supply donations. To date, we have worked in 99 countries, many of which faced severe problems with refugees and internally displaced persons. Whether fleeing from manmade or natural disasters, uprooted people need appropriate food, medicines and shelter, and the continuing educational needs of children must be met.

Operation USA's role has been to generate resources to help large numbers of people cope with disaster. Among the problems refugees face is one of well intentioned but poorly focused aid projects. Often, useless supplies are gathered and sent directly to refugee camps. These supplies (i.e., outdated pharmaceuticals and inappropriate food and clothing) overload fragile relief channels. Public cynicism and apathy increase as these efforts produce few worthwhile results and generate negative press reports. Operation USA's programs avoid these problems through needs assessments, professionally-handled shipping and monitoring of all relief delivered through partner agencies.

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More Info

800 678 7255
http://www.opusa.org

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Reviews for Operation Usa

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

As an experienced nonprofit leader who has reviewed this organization's website and financials I'd caution against donating to them. A review of their online information raises numerous red flags related to their program effectiveness, governance practices, and financial reporting. First, the charity reports few, if any, measurements of its program effectiveness, meaning your donations may be wasted on efforts without any measurable impact. This is likely, given that five out of only nine staff are tasked to communications, warehouse management, and administration. Second, I have a number of concerns with their governance practices. The CEO is both paid staff and a voting member and, until recently, his daughter served as the Director of Operations for the charity. Many instances of fraud and abuse involve small charities, employing multiple family members, where the board lacks proper independence. Finally, the organization’s revenue/spending has experienced significant fluctuations, from $3m in 2012 to $22M in 2013 to $12M in 2014. While some relief charities understandably experience fluctuations in donations related to disasters, such extreme variances, in the absence of adequate explanation in the financial statements, raise grave concerns. My advice to donors is to find another relief organization that follows good governance practices, is transparent about its finances, and has the experienced staff and infrastructure to ensure your donation makes an impact.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Wow. I've been a supporter and a fan for 35 years They have the lowest percentage of overhead of any international relief and development group I have ever seen. Their slogan, "If you give -- it gets there" is absolutely true,

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

Increase its fundraising reach.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Operation USA is widely lauded among other international disaster relief and economic development organizations for its creative, effective and rapid response to disasters; it stays long after others have left; it does NOT accept any US Government funding and is thereby independent and not an adjunct of US foreign policy. It shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize as a key part of the Int'l Campaign To Ban Landmines with its unique focus on advancing the technology of landmine detection and removal.

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

responding to major international disasters in the US and in 100 other countries over 30 years

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

Make sure they had the funds necessary to respond even faster to those in need and stay for a longer period after the immediate disaster has abated

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

It's small; it's fiercely independent; it is unafraid to criticize other charities for misbehavior or ineffectiveness o outright fraud in advertising

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

from all backgrounds 12-85 years old; the professional staff of just 10 sends over $20 million a year worth of aid, one of the most efficient charities in America

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do what it has been doing for 30 years but do it more effectively. Smaller is better and budget size does NOT equal quality of programs as the Red Cross, Feed The Children, Operation Blessing, Samaritan's Purse and others vividly illustrate

Ways to make it better...

more people had realized that robotically sending money to the Red Cross and other mega-charities isn't necessarily the most effective way to channel their compassion for disaster victims

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

keeping up with deteriorating health conditions in the US and a failing world economy which, along with climate change,is stressing all means of providing assistance

One thing I'd also say is that...

look at Operation USA's website www.opusa.org and contact them for ways you can get involved

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

 
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