Church World Service was born in the wake of the devastation of World War II. Seventeen Christian denominations came together “to do in partnership what none of us could hope to do as well alone.” In our early days, the CWS family mobilized more than 11 million pounds of food, clothing and medical supplies for war-torn Europe and Asia. In the United States, we began to welcome refugees who were looking to start new lives in safety, resettling more than 100,000 refugees in our first 10 years. Over the decades, the specifics of our programs have shifted and evolved. The CWS family has grown. And our foundation of collaboration and welcome has remained unshakable. We proudly serve as the toolbox that our neighbors near and far use to build healthy, dignified and safe lives. We have responded to deadly emergencies in dozens of countries around the globe. In the late 1950s, serious floods hit Cuba in the midst of a political crisis. CWS provided financial support and worked with the U.S. military to airlift food, multivitamins and clothing to the island. As a severe famine swept through Ethiopia and the rest of the Horn of Africa in the 1980s, the CWS family mobilized a relief effort of over $17 million. In 2010, the world watched in horror as Haiti suffered one of the most deadly disasters in recent history during the earthquake on January 12. We responded to help people rebuild homes and livelihoods. We stand for welcome today, just like we did nearly eight decades ago. When the Refugee Act of 1980 passed, we had already resettled 350,000 refugees in communities across the United States. Today that number is over 865,000.

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