CARE Then and Now: A parcel and a penfriend

Elizabeth Coughlin’s letter to CARE, with a photo of herself which she has marked with an 'x'

Elizabeth Coughlin, now living in Worcester, told us:

Yes we did receive a parcel, I lived in Poplar in the East End of London. I was just 12 years old.

It started with writing to a penfriend when I was at secondary school. Her name was Betty Constantine. She wrote to the school to ask for a pen friend. She chose me probably because my name was Betty Wosahlo. I remember they lived in New York, in the Bronx area. They also had a home in Long Island.

The parcel came and I remember how excited we were. I had a brother and sister, also mum and dad.

During the war we only lived on rations, so I remember the parcel contained tea, sugar, and rice, also tins of food and cellotape which we had never seen before.

I wrote to Betty until I was married in 1953. Although I was young during the war I have vivid memories of the bombing.

Share your story

If you or your family or someone you know received a CARE package, please get in touch to tell us your story:

  • fill in the form below
  • call us on 0800 320 2233

We’re very happy for you to just share a few memories or your full story – as much or as little as you want to share. And if you have any photos or other memorabilia to go with your story, please let us know. We’ve created an online home for memories about the original CARE packages (and we feature longer stories on our website too). We think it’s important that the stories aren’t forgotten and that future generations can share them.

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.