Happy 66th Anniversary to Leo and Helga!


Sixty-six years ago, CARE played matchmaker for one amazing couple! CARE wishes a happy 66th wedding anniversary to the original CARE Package® couple, Helga and Leo Kissell.

Leo and Helga met in Hohenschwangau, Bavaria in 1945, the same year CARE was founded to send lifesaving CARE Packages to desperate survivors of the Second World War. Helga was a young war refugee who fled Berlin after her father was killed and her home was destroyed in bombing raids. Leo was a soldier in the U.S. Army and an amateur photographer.


Their love story began when Leo walked into the small photography shop owned by Helga’s uncle. “How many prints, please?” asked Helga, who was working behind the counter. The two became friends and, after Leo returned to Ohio, pen pals.


In her letters Helga writes movingly about the hunger she and so many people around her experienced in the aftermath of the war, and how opening the CARE Packages of food sent by Leo was like opening presents on Christmas morning. While exchanging letters and CARE Packages for more than two years, Leo and Helga fell in love. She moved to the United States and, on August 7, 1948, they married. They are retired in Colorado Springs, where Leo is writing a memoir and Helga practices classical guitar.

>>See how today's CARE Package 2.0 is delivering lasting change.