As a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty, CARE reaches 70 million people in 100 countries around the world. However, it recently passed a major milestone right here in the United States.
“I’m proud to announce that as of today, CARE has crossed the 6 million mark, delivering the 6 millionth CARE package right here in the U.S.,” President Joe Biden said during the organization’s 75th anniversary event.
“Each package provided that demonstrates our greatness as a nation is matched by our fundamental goodness as a people — people whose generosity help feed the hungry, heal the sick and lift up people and communities all around the world,” Biden noted. “This is truly a remarkable moment coming from a truly remarkable organization. Let’s remember. The job isn’t over.”
Under the direction of host Whoopi Goldberg, CARE’s virtual celebration brought together former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; poet laureate Amanda Gorman, Katharine McPhee-Foster, Jewel, Betty Who, Michelle Williams and the Northwell Health Nurse Choir for a slew of performances.
Aside from the intimate musical moments, the event featured CARE’s crucial work over the last three-quarters of a century. Early on, a conversation between CARE global advocate Iman and actor-philanthropist Isabella Rossellini highlighted the work done by Rossellini’s mother, Ingrid Bergman, during the organization’s early days. She brought packages to post-war Europe and starred in CARE’s first advertisements.
“CARE was something that I grew up with. I always heard my mom talking about it,” Rossellini said. “More than anything, she made me realize that it can happen to all of us.”
CARE’s largest U.S. effort came in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, marking its first ever operation here with implementation of CARE package relief in March 2020 with goal to deliver food and expand job access. The program hit six different markets, including Los Angeles, Calif., Akron, Ohio and Houston, Texas. CEO and president Michelle Nunn assured that efforts will continue through 2021, including the expansion of access to the COVID-19 vaccine here and around the world.
The evening kicked off with a poem from Gorman, which she originally recited last year for World Humanitarian Day. It best captured the spirit and endurance of CARE.
“Around us a battle whirls to save lives and end poverty,” she said. “It’s our calling to rally with a headstrong heart. For fighting with CARE means to take part in the work simply because there is always work to be done, always a valley and a hill we will overcome.”
Watch the celebration in full below.