Young Adult Friends take on many roles in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting – worshiping in our local meetings, clerking committees, running programs for teens and children, leading workshops at Annual and Continuing Sessions, hosting events for Young Adult Friends, organizing opportunities for witness. More than ever (or at least than I’ve seen in my lifetime) younger Friends are an integral part of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. And it felt like the time was right to encourage more of our community to make that commitment financial as well.
While talking about money can be challenging, especially when some young adults are at places in their lives when there’s not a lot of money to spare, the YAF community approached this challenge with love and care, and with the understanding that there are many ways to contribute to a community. We weren’t ever focused on getting to a particular monetary value, but we did want everyone to feel invited to give.
While we didn’t make our goal of 50, we more than doubled the number of donors in 2015 – jumping from 17 in 2014 to 39 in 2015. 25 of these were from YAFs who had never given to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting before! And 8 young adult Friends are now giving recurring gifts (which can be a great way to spread your gift out over the year and have it fit in your budget!)
I’m energized by this response and optimistic that young adult Friends will continue to include financial giving as one of the meaningful ways they participate in the life of our Yearly Meeting community. Because PYM is us!
– Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt, Young Adult Friends Coordinator
Here’s what a few young adult Friends said about why they gave:
No matter how long I’ve been away, when I return, there are Friends who greet me with hugs, love, and support. And, the least I can do is give some of those things back, and at this point that includes not just spiritually, but financially as well. – Mary Crauderueff
While I am not currently active with Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, I still hold friendships and experiences from the Young Friends program very close to my heart. I give to PYM with the hope that the Young Friends program continues to thrive and to ensure that other people will be able to have similar life-changing experiences, as I did back in high school. I know that I am not the only one who had a powerful experience with the Young Friends program. I hope that others who shared that connection with Young Friends will join me in giving to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Every little bit helps! – Lauren Baumann Frisco
In the five years I have been part of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, there are numerous times I have been part of how we should spend money[…] It felt strange to be part of these conversations if I was not invested in it personally and so I have started a recurring contribution to PYM so that a portion of each paycheck will be given. Even if you can only give a dollar, you have thrown your money in the pot. It changes your frame of mind to give by increasing your commitment to your community because you want to see how that dollar will be used. – Liz Martin
I donated to PYM because I see my gift as another way to support and contribute to this community that means so much to me. The broader Quaker community, of which PYM Young Adult Friends is a part, helps strengthen the values I hold dear – values that guide both my own way in the world, and the Society of Friends as a whole. – Damian Morden-Snipper
Thank you to all the young adult Friends who gave to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting! A special thanks also goes to Joey Hartmann-Dow for designing the print (shown above) that went out to all the YAFs who gave, to Enform Graphic Productions for donating the printing, and to Wendy Kane and Signe Wilkinson for their support and advice in underwriting this campaign!