Counting, and Comforting, Disadvantaged Children

  • Prosperity
  • 1948

Jim Casey and his siblings lost their father when they were young, and were raised on very little income by their mother. To contribute to the family’s support, Jim launched a delivery service in Seattle in 1907. It grew into one of the largest companies in the nation—UPS. With some of his eventual proceeds, he created the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 1948, named for his mother, and aimed at helping kids weather difficult times, both through direct help and by advocating for expansion of public social-welfare programs.

Jim kept enlarging the foundation, and when he died in 1983 left a major bequest. One of Casey’s signature efforts has been Kids Count, a center for dispensing detailed data on child and family well-being to help policymakers and organizations identify needs, track trends, and measure successes. The foundation has also become involved in debates about crime, race, health-care programs, economic development, welfare spending, and other topics.

Today it is one of the largest private foundations in America, with assets of $2.9 billion in 2013. It provided $184 million in grants that year, in pursuit of its mission of “fostering public policies, human services, and community supports that more effectively meet the needs