Children In Need (CIN) was started in 1950 by the Assistant Director of the Department of Public Welfare for the County of San Diego. She wrote to a New York businessman, asking if he would be willing to contribute to this cause. He responded to her request and donated funds for a number of years.

She formed a committee to determine how the funds should be used. The committee, consisting mainly of social workers, felt that many children were unable to participate in activities, because they lived in foster or group homes, and funds were limited. Another reason was becasue the childrens' parents were unable to afford anything above the basic necessities. It was decided that CIN would help with enrichment activites for children in San Diego County.

Each time the New York businessman made a donation, the founder of CIN reported back how the money was being used. She identified the needs that were met without revealing the identity of the children.

CIN became incorporated in 1968 and received its non-profit status. By-laws were written and a Board of Directors created to administer the program. Today, the Board elects the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, the Secretary is voluntary, and the agency's fiscal department appoints the Treasuser and Cashier.

Because CIN is run entirely by employees of Health and Human Services, there are no administrative costs. The members volunteer to be part of CIN and 100% of the donations are used for the children.