from Jared S. Burkholder:
In 1944, the same year Allied forces stormed the beaches of occupied Europe, the congregation of Boston's historic Park Street Church began giving up some meals during Lent. They sent the money they would have spent on food to the War Relief Fund, an initiative created by the newly formed (1942) National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). They were not alone in their desire to alleviate the suffering in war-torn Europe. Now known as World Relief, this fund was just one of many new Christian service organizations spurred into being by the world wars.
In World War I modern industrial war disrupted trade, destroyed farms, and decimated populations of young men, all while Europe experienced harsh winters and crop failures. Throngs of people became refugees, including women and orphaned children. Prisoners of war occupied temporary camps filled with disease and lacking adequate food and basic services.
In World War II when Hitler's Final Solution became public, the plight of Jews gave Christians new reasons for activism. Though Christians often were criticized for not doing more, Catholics in Europe did take measures to rescue Jews, and American Protestants supported Roosevelt’s new War Refugee Board. In fact most of the relief agencies that continue to work globally with suffering people today had their beginnings in the years surrounding World War II: the Methodist Committee for Overseas Relief (1940), Episcopal Relief and Development (1940), Catholic Relief Services (1943), World Relief (1944), Lutheran World Relief (1945), Church World Service (1946), World Vision (1950), and Compassion International (1952).
The Christian desire to alleviate suffering was often complicated by prejudice or political realities....
Some Americans struggled to overcome antipathy toward the Russians, and Christian missionaries among the suffering Armenians were tempted to see their efforts as a means of civilizing the inferior "Turk." Prejudice sometimes marred even efforts to help Holocaust survivors.
The entire article can be read here.