Direct Relief International is a nonprofit dedicated to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergency situations.

The nonprofit, Direct Relief International, works through donations, with volunteers and through the use of advocacy in order to mobilize and provide essential medical care for people in need.

The nonprofit opened its doors in 1948 in order to help people in need confront enormous hardships and recover from natural disasters that have taken away their livelihood.

Direct Relief International was founded by William Zimdin, an Estonian immigrant. He used his good fortune and wealth to send relief packages containing food, clothing and medicine to friends and former employees who were trying to rebuild their lives after World War II.

Zimdin then formed the William Zimdin foundation in California in 1948, which was a precursor to what the nonprofit is today.

When Zimdin died in 1951, just a few years after opening the William Zimdin foundation, his close business associate Dezso Karczag, a Hungarian immigrant, became the foundation’s main manager. Six years later, they changed their name from The William Zimdin Foundation to Direct Relief International.

Direct Relief International provides direct and targeted assistance and does so with respect and involvement with the people it serves.

The nonprofit spends 98.7 percent of all donations and gifts on the programs it runs and manages in needy countries. These programs provide relief packages, vaccinations, vitamin injections, food and assistance to impoverished and displaced peoples.

Much of their relief work, besides providing beneficial relief packages, focuses on the care of pregnant mothers, child health, preventing disease and emergency preparedness programs. This is to ensure that those who live in areas of high disaster risk can be prepared, and major loss of life can be prevented.

Direct Relief International has helped countless people by providing direct medical care and emergency assistance to nations who need it most.

They help provide relief for natural as well as man-made disasters and use contributions from pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment manufacturers to provide health care to those who need it most.

They employ 50 dedicated professional staff members and with the help of 400 volunteers, provide aid to thousands of people each year.

Cara Morgan

Sources: Charity Navigator, Direct Relief International
Photo: SAP News Center