I CAME BACK from London in 1945 humbled, depressed by the devastation I'd seen, and aware of the immense rehabilitation job that lay ahead. I was immediately interested, therefore, to learn that the Cooperative League was already taking the initiative in the formation of a new cooperative which would make it easier for Americans to help the less fortunate overseas.
I am, of course, referring to CARE, an organization that has since become so important and famous for what it does that practically nobody knows what it is--a cooperative.
There were a lot of people in on the beginning of CARE, as there must be with any cooperative. I suppose credit for the idea rightly belongs to Arthur Ringland, then of the President's War Relief Control Board. Ringland had served with Herbert Hoover after World War I in a similar venture (but not one that was in any sense cooperatively directed), in five years overseeing the distribution of eighteen million dollars' worth of relief packages. When the atomic bomb brought a quick, and somewhat unexpected, end to World War II, the United States Government was left with immense stockpiles of army ten-in-one rations. Aware of these stockpiles, Mr. Ringland was inspired to set up an organization to purchase the surplus packages, each of which contained the equivalent of thirty good meals, and ship them to the hungry of Europe. He tossed the idea to Dr. Lincoln Clark, cooperative specialist for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Through John Carson of the Cooperative