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World Relief Celebrates its 80th Anniversary; a Story of God at Work Through His Church

The organization’s legacy of engaging the world’s greatest crises first began during the 1944 Lenten season

This Easter holiday, World Relief celebrates its 80th anniversary, marking decades of partnering with local churches and communities to address some of the world’s greatest crises. From a small church movement in 1944, World Relief has grown to be a global network that has operated across 100 countries over its organizational history. 

“For 80 years, World Relief has played a key part in responding to some of the world’s greatest challenges and serving people in need, ” said Myal Greene, president and CEO of World Relief. “Throughout this history, we have partnered with countless churches who have answered the call to love their neighbors. This is the basis for all we do – God’s commandment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.”

World Relief’s origins go back to the Lenten season of 1944, culminating on Easter Sunday, 1944. Moved by reports of displacement across Europe at the end of World War II, the congregation at Park Street Church (Boston, MA) fasted and raised funds to come alongside churches in Europe to help rebuild. 

The congregation’s efforts inspired other churches and became the “War Relief Campaign” of the National Association of Evangelicals.  The movement soon spanned across the country and across denominations. By 1945, it had shipped more than 15,000 pounds of clothing to Belgium, and a warehouse opened in Manhattan to store and ship additional donations. By the 1950s, the response had expanded so far beyond the initial “War Relief Campaign” that it was then rebranded as World Relief. 

To learn more about World Relief’s 80 year history, please visit, a new interactive webpage featuring videos and interviews from current and previous World Relief staff members. 

In addition to the website, World Relief is hosting a celebration that will be held at the location where World Relief first started eight decades ago at Park Street Church in Boston on Sunday, April 21 from 1:00 PM ET to 2:40 PM ET. Media interested in attending or viewing a livestream should contact

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