Our History

French-American Aid for Children has a rich and vibrant history. FAAFC is committed to improving the lives of children since 1939.

1939
1940
1944
1950
1960
Today

1939

FAAFC was founded in November 1939 by women who believed in making a difference in a world that had been ravaged by conflict.  Simone Alibert Smith ( see photo below) along with 5 other French women married to Americans, decided that they could send back supplies and funds to France.

 

1939

1940

The earliest fundraising activity was a Christmas bazaar at The Ritz Hotel in New York City. This activity continued until the 1960s.  The members knitted clothing and sold handmade dolls. Founder Simone Smith along with Jacqueline Pahle and Lucie Sandifer who also went onto serve as President of the group are in the photograph below.

1940

1944

FAAFC, first known as “Committee of French-American Wives” was granted a license by President Roosevelt to operate and reported monthly to the US government. Mrs. Smith, the founder, coordinated the war relief efforts with the Quakers (American Friends Service Committee) and the American Red Cross working in Europe through her contact Anne Morgan, daughter of J.P. Morgan and a francophile.

1944

1950

The group sent over 1,000 parcels to French prisoners of war. With the Liberation, thousands more packages were sent to Europe, filled with blankets, clothing, powdered milk and other necessities for distressed French families and orphans. A mobile x-ray machine was bought and sent to Europe. During that time, a number of organizations who wanted to send funds for charitable purposes to France and England used the Committee. It retained a fee of 5%, a welcome source of income. For her remarkable efforts, in 1950, France decorated Mrs. Smith with the insignia of a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

1950

1960

After the war, the group continued to raise money for relief organizations through private efforts on a volunteer basis. The group’s goal is to aid selected organizations and answer appeals, wherever they may come from, in times of emergency.

1960

Today

Today, FAAFC is composed of members from France, America and many other countries who are motivated to make a difference in children’s lives in France and in the United States while strengthening the bonds of friendship between these two nations.

Today

Our Leadership

Our full board of directors provides leadership to the organization. Click the link below to see a complete list of our directors and officers.

Our Junior Board

Our Junior Board is composed of young leaders eager to learn how to fundraise, run a nonprofit, advocate for children, communicate and volunteer with children.