History


1930s

1932
• Initial programs provide clothing, school supplies and hot lunches to school children in Harlan County, Kentucky.

1933
• Programs are operating in five states-Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee. A model project in Tennessee, A Bushel and a Peck, helps families start home gardens.
• First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt is one of many notable guests at the first annual dinner in New York.

1934
• Two large commodity donations provide U.S. families with a ton of seed beans and five tons of clothing, shoes, books and toys.

1937
• The Bushel and a Peck program of home vegetable gardening for canning and income expands to Kentucky.

1938
• The International Save the Children Fund of America becomes Save the Children Federation.
• U.S. school programs begin to provide hot lunches and recreation areas to poor rural students in nine states.
• Expansion to Europe: Clothing, food, blankets and medicine go to children displaced by World War II in Austria, England, Finland, France, Germany and Italy.

1939
• President Herbert Hoover attends Save the Children's annual meeting in New York.

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1940s

1940
• Individual child sponsorship begins-for $30 a year, Americans can support a British war orphan.

1941
• Bundle Days Campaign: collects clothing nationwide to send to European children affected by World War II. • Expansion in the U.S.: there are now 10 full-time staff in New York and 26 in the field.

1942
• More than 250,000 Appalachian children receive Save the Children clothing and shoes and their schools receive more than 800,000 books.

1945
• An emergency appeal goes out for donations and sponsorships for children whose lives are shattered by World War II.

1947
• Overseas development programs are launched in Greece and Italy.

1948
• A Navajo reservation in Arizona buried by blizzards receives emergency relief of clothes, food and medical assistance.

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1950s

1951
• Children in Korea affected by the war receive food, clothing and school supplies. A sponsorship program is started.

1952
• Happy Birthday Save the Children! Save the Children Federation marks the agency's 20th anniversary.
• A field office opens in Lebanon

1954
• Children in ravaged post war Europe, lacking shelter, food, health care and schooling, can now be sponsored for $150 per year.
• Sponsorships for U.S. children are $96 a year, and scholarships are also funded for Native American children.
• First Lady Maime Eisenhower joins Save the Children President, Richard P. Saunders, to present dolls to Korean children, part of a new annual contest to provide dolls to girls in poor communities worldwide.

1957
• New headquarters opens in Norwalk, Connecticut, with 65 staff members.

1958
• Kate Carpenter begins her 42-year career as a receptionist at the new headquarters.

1959
• Expansion to Asia and the Middle East with Education and farming programs.
• The Community Development Foundation opens to measure the impact of the agency's community-based development models.

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1960s

1963
• Expansion to Latin America with a program in Columbia.

1966
• Expansion to Vietnam with a community development program.
• Cherokee and Hopi tribal children and included in U.S. programs

1967
• White Mountain Apache tribal families in Arizona begin a home improvement project.
• Happy Birthday Save the Children! Save the Children Federation marks the agency's 35th anniversary with the first annual Save the Children Day on October 16.

1968
• The Appalachian Fireside Craft Project (AFC): Regional field director Charles Wesley visits an AFC warehouse of traditional crafts made by Appalachian families to be sold as a local program fundraiser. Later, crafts from programs worldwide are marketed in catalogs and online.
• Choctow tribal children of Mississippi join the agency's programs. A majority of sponsored children are now from Native American tribes.

1969
• Expansion to Africa with development programs in Tanzania.

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1970s

1970
• The Lifeline Sponsorship Program allows donors to sponsor entire communities.

1971
• David Guyer succeeds Glen Leet as executive director.

1972
• Happy Birthday Save the Children! Save the Children Federation marks the agency's 40th anniversary.
• High-impact sponsorship beginnings in Dominical Republic, combining child-focused community development programs.

1973
• U.S. Agency for International Development awards grants for the first Community-Based Integrated Rural Development (C-BIRD) program overseas.

1974
• Fire destroys headquarters in Norwalk on July 3.

1975
• Dr. Charles MacCormack later to become CEO joins Save the Children as a program director.
• C-BIRD model is widely replicated with USAID support and becomes the standard for overseas development.

1976
• Earthquake devastates Guatemala and Save the Children leads the emergency response.
• First Westport, Conn. Building purchased at 48 Wilton Road. Later purchases include 54 and 60 Wilton Road.

1977
• Expansion to Upper Volta (modern-day Burkina Faso) with the first community development program there.

1978
• National Indian Child Conference.
• Women in Development programs.
• Family Daycare Network launches in Atlanta.
• National Save the Children Day is endorsed by 32 state governors.
• TV talk show host Mike Douglas is on-air spokesperson for the agency's first direct-response TV ad.

1979
• Indochinese refugees resettling in the US learn English, vocational skills and micro-enterprises in a program formed with World Learning and World Education.
• Expansion to El Salvador and Columbia with a community development program in the former and women's leadership program for mothers in the latter.
• United Nations International Year of the Child is celebrated worldwide.
• International Save the Children Alliance unites agencies in Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, Norway and the United States.

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1980s

1980
• Home Team USA Campaign Fundraiser for U.S. programs includes televised promotional spots with members of the National Football League.

1981
• Senate subcommittee hearings chaired by Sen. Christopher Dodd hear from 200 children presenting more than 30,000 letters on children's needs and rights from children in Save the Children's programs worldwide.

1982
• Happy Birthday Save the Children! Save the Children Federation marks the agency's 50th anniversary as programs open in the Philippines, Republic of Kiribati and Bhutan.

1984
• Comprehensive child survival programs focusing on a child's first five years begin worldwide.
• Food crises in Ethiopia, Somalia, Southeast Asia and Sudan draw world attention and urgent responses from Save the Children donors.
• Expansion continues with field offices opening in Bolivia, Ecuador, Indonesia and Zimbabwe.

1985
• Child survival initiatives, funded by USAID, open in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ecuador, Indonesia and Zimbabwe to demonstrate ways to protect children's lives and health.
• LIVEAID and USA for AFRICA concerts raise 150 million British pounds for famine relief and children's aid worldwide.
• Disaster Relief goes to Columbia after the Armero volcano destroys lives and villages.
• Save the Children's family of sponsors reaches 100,000 members.

1986
• “Hands Across America” links more than five million people to combat world hunger.
• Reconstruction assistance goes to El Salvador, where an earthquake has devastated the capital, San Salvador.
• Child Survival II expands to Cameroon, Malawi and Sudan, training families to protect child health.

1987
• Child Survival III puts new emphasis on reducing death and disability for women of childbearing ages and children under 5. A 30-minute infomercial debuts as a cable television fundraiser.
• H.R.H. Princess Anne joins CEO David Guyer to visit programs for Native Americans in New Mexico.

1988
• James J. Bausch, named Save the Children president.
• Children and War program opens to support child soldiers recruited into Mozambique's civil war.
• Child Survival IV programs open in Bangladesh, Malawi and Mali.

1989
• Convention on the Rights of the Child is adopted by United Nations General Assembly.
• Street children in Ethiopia receive education, health care and shelter in a new program.
• Child Survival V projects expand to Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Indonesia and Sudan.
• Director Steven Spielberg hosts benefit premiere of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to support Save the Children programs in Africa.

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1990s

1990
• Oprah Winfrey overloads phone banks at Save the Children and UNICEF when her TV audience of millions responds to her call to donate just one dollar each.
• Vietnam allows Save the Children to become the first nongovernmental organization to return and resume operations since the fall of Saigon.
• Second name change, Save the Children Federation becomes Save the Children.

1991
• Children and War program expands to Zimbabwe.
• Woman/Child Impact Program replaces the C-BIRD model for international work.
• Expansion continues: programs now operate in 20 U.S. states and 37 coutnries.

1993
• Child Survival IX expands to Honduras and Cameroon.
• Children and War program expands to Yugoslavia's Bosnian families.
• Dr. Charles MacCormack becomes president of Save the Children, and the agency adopts its first 10-year Strategic Plan.

1994
• Children in Rwanda are reunited with their parents in a Save the Children program to trace families separated during the genocide.
• Convention on the Rights of the Child is ratified by 154 countries (the United States is an exception).
• Child Survival X puts new focus on nutrition and mother-child survival.

1995
• Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing spotlights high maternal mortality rates. Actor Sally Field represents Save the Children there.
• Child Survival XI works in Mali to train community leaders in meeting local health needs.

1996
• National teacher training program opens in Cambodia under a USAID grant to Save the Children, World learning and World Education. • The White House hosts Save the Children's humanitarian aid event for Bosnia.

1997
• Web of Support for U.S. Children program opens to provide children with caring adults, safe place and constructive play before and after school.

1999
• First Lady Hillary Clinton hosts CEO Charles MacCormack at the White House launch of the “Do Good. Mentor a Child” national mentoring initiative.

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2000s

2000
• The State of the World's Mothers report offers the agency's first annual ranking of mothers' and children's well-being in more than 100 countries.
• People affected by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa receive new educational and medical assistance.
• The Saving Newborn Lives initiative is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help reduce newborn deaths in developing countries.

2002
• The America's Forgotten Children report spotlights 2.5 million children living in rural poverty in the United States.

2003
• Kim Phuc, who survived napalm burns as a child during the Vietnam War, and actor Sally Field attends a Capitol Hill news conference supporting funding and passage of the Women and Children in Conflict Protection Act.
• The war in Iraq intensifies: Save the Children delivers food, water, fuel and medical supplies to thousands of affected children and families.
• Mothers in India, Mali and Pakistan who are immunized against potentially fatal tetanus infections now total more than 14 million.

2004
• Literacy and nutrition programs are established in poor, rural, American community schools.
• Aid goes to Sudan's Darfur region, where civil conflict displaces more than 300,000 children and families.
• The Asian tsunami kills more than 200,000 people. Save the Children registers 7,000 children separated from their families and sets up schools and trauma care centers.

2005
• Actor George Clooney and CEO Charles MacCormack attend the G-8 Summit in Scotland, to promote the ONE global campaign against poverty and HIV/AIDS. In Ethiopia actor Brad Pitt tours a Save the Children program for the ONE campaign.
• Response to Pakistan's earthquake includes emergency health clinics, schools and shelters.
• Hurricane Katrina strikes the US Gulf Coast, displacing hundreds of thousands of children. Save the Children sets up schools, camps and child care and counseling centers.

2006
• The Caps to the Capitol program enlists volunteers to knit or crochet more than 130,000 caps to keep newborns warm and alive in the developing world, and to write President Bush in support of child survival programs.
• Microfinance loans have now gone to help nearly half a million mothers support their families in 17 countries.
• The Rewrite the Future campaign opens to help provide education to some of the more than 40 million children affected by armed conflict worldwide.

2007
• Happy Birthday Save the Children! Save the Children observes 75 year of service to children as former sponsored child Dominique Jones rings the January 8 closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

2008
• In May 2008 Cyclone Nargis devastated Myanmar's Irrawaddy Delta. Save the Children reached more than 600,000 affected people including at least 300,000 children, with live-saving aid.

2009
• May 19, 2009 marks the 90th birthday of Save the Children movement.

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2010s

2010s
• Save the Children provided 1.6 million Haitians including 700,000 children with shelter materials, food and water, health care, hygiene and sanitation, after the magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti.
• In August 2010, severe monsoon flooding wreaked havoc in Pakistan, forcing an estimated 21 million people to flee their homes. Save the Children helped more than 2.6 million flood-affected people with emergency medical care, as well as food, shelter materials and other basic necessities.
• Save the Children delivered community based health care to more than 6.6 million newborns and 7.3 million children under age 5 in 2010.
• In Bangladesh, Save the Children's HIV messages reached 36 million children and youth through a national media campaign.

2011
• When the devastating drought struck the Horn of Africa, Save the Children helped 942,000 children by providing child-friendly spaces, education and counseling services, reuniting children with their families and providing foster families when needed.
• Save the Children provided relief, care and protection for nearly 7.6 million children caught up in natural disasters in 2011, including the Japan earthquake and tsunami, tornadoes in Alabama and Missouri and drought in the Horn of Africa.
• Save the Children's education programs helped more than 15 million children improve their skills and engage in learning in 26 countries.
• Save the Children's health programs reached 16 million children in 2011, many through frontline health workers we trained, who can play a critical role in treating life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia, malaria, and diarrhea.

2012
• Hurricane Sandy devastated the east coast in October 2012. Save the Children mobilized our staff and resources for children, providing protection through our Child Friendly Spaces in emergency shelters.
• In September 2012, Save the Children launched the Every Beat Matters campaign, giving Americans new ways to help millions more children survive.
• The Syria civil war has killed thousands of children, and many more have been injured traumatized or forced to flee their homes. Save the Children is on the ground, in very dangerous conditions, helping keep children safe, providing the basics they need and offering assistance to help them cope with trauma.

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