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CARE Mourns the Loss of Ed Wesely

The global CARE family remembers longtime friend and leader, Ed Wesely, who passed away Feb. 15 at his New York City home. So much of what we do through CARE today is possible because Ed’s heart and hands helped shape the organization in many ways over many years.  In a forward nod to the long-term poverty-fighting organization CARE was already becoming, Ed said nearly 30 years ago that, “The hard part of dealing with poverty is empowering the poor to grasp how their own resources can be brought to bear in resolving their most important needs. Without this self-recognition, outside help becomes a bandage and not a cure.” Today, CARE seeks to be that “cure” in full partnership with the people we serve, who we know now, as Ed knew then, are a solution unto themselves, not a problem to solve.

“Externally, it is CARE providing tools, advice, materials and money,” he said. “Internally, it is a shift in how the poor see the future — the confidence that today’s work is creating a better tomorrow for themselves, for their children and families, and for their neighbors.”

A graduate of Cornell University and Columbia Law School, he was committed to justice, legal justice, to be sure, as he chaired numerous legal committees and received high commendation for his work in that field, but social justice, too. A well-traveled man, Ed saw firsthand the daily struggles poor families wage across the globe, and he devoted much of his life balancing the scales on their behalf. He served on a number of nonprofit boards, including the International Rescue Committee for more than 40 years, but it was from his dedicated leadership at CARE that all of us share in his legacy. He co-founded CARE International and served as its president in the mid-1980s. He also served CARE USA as a board member in 1964, as volunteer president from 1987-89 and twice as board chair from 1978-87 and again from 1989-90. His is a humanitarian legacy we all can embrace, from those of us who loved him and knew him well to others of us who have only now learned of him and his many contributions.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to CARE.
You can donate in Ed’s memory here.


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