H istory Began with the Impossible orphans from Saigon crashed shortly after take-off, killing almost half of the children onboard and critically injuring several others. Soon after, the Pentagon announced that it would not have the resources to rescue the children for 10 days. The world received the news of the crash with dismay, shock and a widespread sense of helplessness. On April 4, 1975, a U.S. jet evacuating 243 Vietnamese
permanent vice chairman. Today, Americares has grown into a health-focused relief and development organization that saves lives and improves health for people all over the globe. Each year, Americares reaches an average of 90 countries and all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico with life-changing health programs, medicine and medical supplies. Since its founding, Americares has provided more than $15 billion in aid to 164 countries.
AME R I CA R ES PAVING THE PATHWAY TO A HEALTHY FUTURE
One individual decided to take action. Robert C. “Bob” Macauley, a businessman from New Canaan, Conn., immediately chartered a Boeing 747 to rescue the young survivors. Within 48 hours, the children were safe in California, where the plane was met by President Gerald Ford. It was the first of many compassionate acts by Macauley and his wife, Leila, which would lay the groundwork for the founding of Americares. Macauley was just an ordinary citizen who saw a profound need and risked everything to make a difference. He did not have $10,000 in the bank to cover the down payment for the aircraft, nor the $241,000 for the remaining balance. To cover the expenses, the Macauleys took out a mortgage on their home. “Bob got the kids, and the bank got the house,” Leila Macauley said at the time. Americares has been helping people in need ever since. Macauley officially founded the organization in 1979 and served as its CEO for 23 years. He remained chairman of the board until his death in 2010. Mrs. Macauley continues to serve as Americares
A Network of Support In its home state of Connecticut, Americares operates four free clinics that serve low-income, uninsured patients in Bridgeport, Danbury, Norwalk and Stamford. Most patients visit the health centers because they have been diagnosed with a chronic condition like diabetes or hypertension. Others visit for a checkup because they have gone years without seeing a doctor. Without the clinics, TOP TO BOTTOM: PATIENTS AT THE ZONDO COMMUNTY HEALTH CLINIC IN BUCHANAN, LIBERIA. PHOTO BY MARC BIRNBACH/AMERICARES ; BOB MACAULEY, LEILA MACAULEY. PHOTO COURTESY OF AMERICARES; AMERICARES CLINIC DIRECTOR JENNIFER DASILVA, RN, SPEAKS WITH A PATIENT AT THE FRED WEISMAN AMERICARES FREE CLINIC OF BRIDGEPORT. PHOTO BY MARC BIRNBACH/AMERICARES.
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