Week of Compassion

In 1950, Week Of Compassion, begun in 1944 by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), joined eight other Protestant bodies in One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS), a program initiated by Church World Service. Although the various denominations had pooled their resources to enact relief programs for several years, OGHS allowed American Protestants to combine their fundraising efforts for the first time. Like Week Of Compassion (WOC), the name OGHS stuck even after it expanded from its inception as an hour-long radio broadcast to a more extended system of promotions. Because the popularity of WOC had already been established among Disciples, they maintained this distinctive name, but began using the appeal materials developed in conjunction with the other churches, who adopted the name OGHS. Both the name and the popularity of WOC remain strong after sixty years, in spite of many changes in the structure of the denomination.

WOC’s success has always depended on its relationships, both with congregations and with the partners who implement the projects it funds. No programs are initiated by WOC itself. Instead, it connects Disciples resources to churches seeking to address local needs, whether in Lake Charles, Louisiana, or Sarajevo, Bosnia.