AmeriCares is about as noble an organization as there is. It’s a humanitarian aid outfit, and it sprang to life in 1982 solely because of the generosity of Robert and Leila Macauley, who first mortgaged their home to rescue a crashed planeload of Vietnamese orphans, and then raised funds to deliver medicine to those living under martial law in Poland.
That last part was something Macauley was asked to do by the Pope. Quite a history, eh? Well, the OdysseyRe Foundation is one of their biggest corporate allies. They’ve donated $6 million to the operation since 2007, and countless employee volunteer hours as well. And they just stepped up to give another $2 million, mostly to support low-income folks without health insurance in Fairfield County, CT.
That’s the other part of the AmeriCares mission—healthcare access. They operate four completely free clinics in the state of Connecticut, and it seems this work has caught the Odyssey Re Foundation’s eye. $1.5 million of their latest gift will go toward providing the operating expenses for these clinics, and providing for the new mobile clinic in Stamford, CT, which just opened last year.
The Odyssey Re Foundation is one you probably haven’t heard of: the philanthropic arm of the Odyssey Re Holdings Corp, which is in the reinsurance business. It’s a subsidiary of Toronto-based Fairfax Financial, and it’s one of those foundations that likes to keep its money close to its bases of operation.
For Odyssey Re, that means Miami, Montreal, Mexico City, New York, Sao Paolo, Stamford, and Toronto in the Americas, and London, Paris, Stockholm, Singapore, and Tokyo worldwide. Though it states that it donates to charitable organizations globally, it does seem that most of its giving is focused on the northeast, and Stamford, Connecticut, in particular, where it has its corporate headquarters. So in this case, we’re betting that it’s less AmeriCares’ organizational mission or history or reputation that caught the Odyssey Re Foundation’s eye, and more a matter of geography.
The Odyssey Re Foundation is pretty opaque—no financials or annual reports are available—but we’ve reached out to it and are hoping to learn more in the coming weeks.