CARE USA History

CARE is one of the leading private humanitarian aid organizations in the world and a member of a 12 member international confederation of organizations that help communities through a commitment to the developing world aimed at eradicating poverty. CARE was founded in 1945 when CARE packages were put together by 22 American organizations for survivors of World War II. There were thousands who contributed with the most prominent of them being President Harry S. Truman.

The first 20,000 CARE packages arrived on May 11, 1946 in Le Havre, France. During the following two decades, over 100 million packages reached those in need. The first packages went to Europe, followed by Asia and then other areas of the developing world.

CARE packages originated from Army surplus packages that were 10 in 1 parcels of food intended to feed one meal to 10 soldiers during the army's planned Japanese invasion. They were obtained by CARE when the Second World War ended. A service was started where families and friends could send packages to people in Europe, where following the war many were starving. For just ten dollars, a CARE package could be purchased and was guaranteed to reach its addressee in just four months.

When the army surplus rations ran out CARE started to assemble its own food packs that it received thanks to donations from many American companies. The first care packages consisted of different cooking material and foodstuffs and later included food that created for different cultural diets and non-food contents like blankets, tools, medicines and school supplies.

Those packages began to fade out some decades ago when the organization started to expand its work and focus on projects that were long term and also to focus on emergency relief. Today CARE devotes its energies to fighting global poverty by working hand in hand with women.


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