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The Care Package Celebrates Its 70th Anniversary This Spring

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The CARE package celebrates its 70th anniversary this Spring.

You've may have received one from grandma -- a care package, with homemade cookies and mittens -- but the first CARE package was sent 70 years ago to refugees in need following World War II.

"Those packages contained things like beans and little bars of chocolates, some of them were the rations from WWII, some of them were the military," says Michelle Nunn, CEO of CARE. The non-profit, originally called Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe, was founded in 1945 to provide relief to Europe. The group assembled the first "CARE" packages in Philadelphia and they arrived in France in May of 1946.

Men stack CARE Packages in CARE's main warehouse in Philadelphia. (Photo provided by CARE)

"CARE packages went on for decades, there were more than 100 million CARE packages sent," says Nunn.

Over the decades CARE's mission has expanded to provide relief aid in more than 90 countries, including Syria and Ethiopia. As they have evolved, so has the definition of CARE package, which now includes electronic debit cards with a month food allowance.

"It enables them to go to a local market and pick out the food and supplies that their family needs," she says.

CARE will celebrate the anniversary of the CARE package later this Spring. For more, go to

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