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Richmond-based ChildFund International Celebrates 75 Years

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Richmond, Va.– Nov. 26, 2013 – One of the nation’s first child sponsorship organizations is celebrating a milestone. Seventy-five years ago, ChildFund International began its work helping vulnerable children across the world from its office in Richmond, Va.

ChildFund International started as China’s Children Fund in 1938, when Dr. J. Calvitt Clarke, a Richmond Presbyterian minister with a background in fundraising, created a campaign to help Chinese children orphaned during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Clarke connected donors on a one-to-one basis with children through “adoptions,” which would serve as the backbone for today’s current sponsorship model.

Within 10 years, the nonprofit had expanded beyond China, to the Philippines, Burma, Japan and Korea, focusing its efforts internationally.

Today, ChildFund works in 30 countries. Since its founding, the organization has raised more than $5 billion to help the world’s most vulnerable children.

“Like any organization, ChildFund has adapted and grown over time, but protecting and helping children succeed always has been at the forefront of our work,” says Anne Lynam Goddard, president and CEO of ChildFund International. “There are more than 400 million children living in poverty today. We’re committed to breaking the generational cycle of poverty so those children can achieve their full potential.”

With 1.2 billion letters exchanged between sponsors and children in 2012 alone, child sponsorships remain a core element of the organization’s work, but through the years, ChildFund has extended its reach by providing communities with access to clean water, health care and education.

To create environments children need to succeed, ChildFund works with families, local partner organizations and communities across the globe. The organization currently serves about 18.1 million children and families throughout its program countries.

To learn more about ChildFund, please visit its blog at,where a series of 75 blog posts will profile sponsors, children and international programs. Additional information also may be found at


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ChildFund International is a global child development and protection agency serving more than 18.1 million children and family members in 30 countries. For 75 years, we have helped the world's deprived, excluded and vulnerable children survive and thrive to reach their full potential and become leaders of enduring change. As a member of ChildFund Alliance we create supportive environments in which children can flourish. To sponsor a child in need, visit the ChildFund website.