Who We Are

AN ALL-VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION BENEFITTING DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN

French-American Aid for Children is composed of a hundred Foreign and American members who carry forward a 78-year-old tradition of supporting underprivileged children in both the US and France. Our all-volunteer organization was originally dedicated to helping French orphans and families of prisoners of war. After World War II, the focus of this New York-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization became children's welfare, with aid extended to American and French charities.

The longevity of the organization is a testimony to the friendship and cooperation between France and America, to the devotion of its all-volunteer membership, and to the loyalty of outstanding corporate supporters over the many decades. A Board of Directors governs the organization whose current President is Mrs. Marguerite Mangin. Every fundraiser is produced entirely by our volunteers and all Officers and Directors serve part-time, without compensation.



What We Do

FUND AND MONITOR PROJECTS PROVIDING TOOLS TO HELP CHILDREN

Our fundamental mission is to empower children and help them build a better life.  As such FAAFC funds and monitors specific projects undertaken by hand-selected American and French children's charities to address issues in health care, education, social problems and the prevention of child abuse.



History

  • 1939

    Our work began in November 1939, when a group of well-placed and dedicated women founded the Committee of French-American Wives in New York City, composed of French women married to American citizens. The founder was Mrs. Leonard B. Smith, who was skillful in organizing and motivating others, and who remained active until 1955.

  • 1944

    Loyal to their adopted country and concerned about the ravages of war, the committee was granted license no. 184 by President Franklin Roosevelt's War Relief Control Board, and operated under strict government control. Through her friendship with Anne Morgan, chairman of the Coordinating Council of War Relief Agencies, a Francophile and daughter of J. P. Morgan, Mrs. Smith was able to establish contact with the Quakers (American Friends Service Committee) and the American Red Cross working in Europe.  

  • 1950

    The group sent over 1000 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.

  • 1960s

    After the war, the group recognized a continuing need to raise money for relief organizations through private, volunteer efforts. The group has never had a project of its own in France. Its aim was always to aid well-established relief organizations and to answer appeals, wherever they may come from, in times of emergency.  

  • 1989

    In 1989, the Committee was renamed the French-American Aid for Children, and continued to pursue its charitable goals.

  • 2010

    Over the last 70 years, FAAFC has provided funding to either French or American organizations dedicated to children which has amounted to several million dollars.

  • Today

    Today, FAAFC is composed of members from France, America and many other countries who take great pride in increasing its support to unfortunate children both in the United States and France, thereby strengthening the bonds of friendship between these two nations. The group is still in operation as a tax-exempt organization for over seventy years. Our gala, the "Bal des Berceaux" is the group's main annual fund raising event.



Board of Directors

FOUNDER

MRS. LEONARD B. SMITH

PRESIDENT

MRS. CHARLES-HENRI MANGIN

FIRST VICE PRESIDENT

ELLEN YAMAGUCHI

SECOND VICE PRESIDENT

JERI SAPE

CORRESPONDING SECRETARY

MS. ROXANE Y. SIROTTO

RECORDING SECRETARY

MRS. CELINE MERLE-WISLIN

TREASURER

COUNTESS P. DE RAVEL D'ESCLAPON

NOMINATING CHAIRMAN

MS. DIANE L. ACKERMAN

 

Directors

MS. DIANE L. ACKERMAN *

MRS. MARIAM AZARM

MRS. PIERRE BONNIFAY

MRS. JONATHAN A. BULKLEY *

MRS. JOHN W. CHAPPELL *

MRS. JAMES R. CHERRY, JR.

MRS. JEAN-CLAUDE CROS

MS. FRANCESCA DRICOT

MRS. DENNIS S. HERSCH *

MRS. JOERG KLEBE *

MRS. CHARLES-HENRI MANGIN *

MRS. CELINE MERLE-WISLIN

MRS. TILDEN E. MILLER *

NICOLE MONTALETTE, ESQ.*

MRS. GEORGES DE MONTEBELLO *

MRS. MARIE-CLAUDE P. MYERS

MRS. THEODORE J. PAHLE *

COUNTESS PIERRE DE RAVEL D'ESCLAPON

MRS.SIGOURNEY B.ROMAINE, JR.

MRS. GEORGE P. SAPE

MRS. FRANCES SHELTON-BRUDER

MS. ROXANE Y. SIROTTO

MRS. MICHEL SOMNOLET *

MS. ELAINE B. TROSS

MS. ELLEN YAMAGUCHI

* PAST-PRESIDENTS AND EX OFFICIOS