As someone who has worked in international development, there are two things I particularly appreciate about Mercy Corps: 1. Solutions are market driven --> Mercy Corps identifies community leaders and works with them to tackle community problems
Mission: Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.
Programs: Mercy Corps works in the toughest places on the planet. Failing states like Somalia and Zimbabwe. Conflict zones like Afghanistan, Congo and Iraq. And countries that have endured natural disasters, like Pakistan and Haiti. In these places, a child’s life is often at risk. A woman’s education is usually ignored. A family’s livelihood is never a sure thing. These conditions threaten the welfare of neighborhoods, towns, provinces, countries and entire regions.
To these important and imperiled places Mercy Corps brings relief, recovery and development. For 32 years, we have helped people grappling with the toughest hardships survive – and then thrive. That’s the heart of our approach: we help communities turn crisis into opportunity.
Decades of field experience have shown us the most effective ways to support that transformation. We know that local people are the best agents of their own change and that local markets are often the fastest, most durable drivers of economic recovery. That’s why we listen to what communities need and prioritize their most important projects. It’s why we often partner with local organizations – and why our program teams are 95 percent staffed by local people. Mercy Corps approaches each challenge with an open mind and a bias for action. We listen to local people and prioritize their most urgent needs. We fix gaps to get markets up and running. We think big, start small and take responsible risks to find solutions that benefit the greatest number of people.
As someone who has worked in international development, there are two things I particularly appreciate about Mercy Corps: 1. Solutions are market driven --> Mercy Corps identifies community leaders and works with them to tackle community problems where Mercy Corps has additional expertise that can be useful in the projects. 2. Mercy Corps recognizes that there are relevant issues that they have expertise in locally as well, and has invested money in the Mercy Corps Action Center and Mercy Corps NW to address these issues. The Mercy Corps Action Center does a fantastic job of engaging and educating the public about a variety of global issues, including things that Mercy Corps addresses every day. Mercy Corps NW addresses many economic issues close to home, including business education, connecting potential small business owners to capital and mentoring, and providing entrepreneurial education to people who have been incarcerated in the past and may have a difficult time finding employment in alternative areas.
I enjoy raising money for Mercy Corps through producing compelling fund-raising events that seek to increase awareness and create exceptional value for people who are compelled to donate due to the compelling nature of the cause and the successful execution of the event itself.
Mercy Corps is the first charity my husband and I donate to in the event of any global crisis or disaster. They are usually on the ground before any other agencies, probably because they are already "in country". We became aware of Mercy Corps because they are based in Portland, Oregon and have a well-deserved reputation for excellent management paired with amazing empathy. Their staff is very helpful in supplying materials to aid in Alternative Gift Fairs, promptly and at no charge. Their gift cards for 2010 were distinctive, conveying their messages of hope with colorful pictures & catchy wording.