In 2010, Hazele Goodridge, member of Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia (MMFP) at Arch Street Meeting House and longtime Philadelphia resident, felt the call to serve her community and joined Philabundance’s Community Food Center Choice Food Pantry as a volunteer. During those days, Philabundance’s food pantry drew an estimated 300 people daily seeking assistance and support. Hazele differentiates the benefits of a choice food pantry versus a traditional food bank as one allows people in need and struggling with food insecurity to shop for what they needed instead of simply accepting what was given that may or may not serve either their dietary restrictions or an immediate need. [Read more…] about A Friend’s Love for Extreme Couponing Turns Into an Old City Food Pantry
As Friends around the globe gathered to celebrate World Quaker Day, PYM Friends joined in on the festivities, attending and even volunteering at events throughout the Delaware Valley and Upper Susquehanna regions hosted by monthly and quarterly meetings. There was truly something for everyone! So, how did you celebrate World Quaker Day this year?
“The whole eco system is connected and we are a part of it!”
— Patricia Finley, co-clerk of the Eco-Justice Collaborative
Q: Why was the Eco-Justice Collaborative formed?
The Eco-Justice Collaborative (EJC) has been in many forms since 1988. It began as the Environmental Working Group (EWG); in 1993, there was a renewed desire and commitment to elevate the EWG after a young person, during Annual Sessions, shared their experience of having nightmares about the future of our planet. A husband-and-wife team, Ed Dreby and Margaret Mansfield, foundational in creating EJC, doubled their efforts in visiting 50+ meetings encouraging other Quakers to get involved. Then in 2009, the Environmental Working Group became the Eco-Justice Collaborative which focused on lifting leaders with environmental expertise and interest to support each other’s projects. [Read more…] about Eco-Justice Collaborative Spotlight Q&A With Patricia Finley
Since 2019, members of the Ujima Friends Peace Center have partnered with Sankofa Artisan Guild to make reusable, environmentally friendly menstrual pads, pouches, and under garments for African girls’ whose educations are compromised due to “period poverty.” The group, now known as the PanAfrican Sisterhood Health Initiative (PASHI), is led by a group of Black Women elders most of who are community workers, keepers of the culture, educators, activists, counselors and lovers of the arts. The Friends Foundation on Aging supports funding for the project. [Read more…] about Ujima Friends Sewing for Africa
A small but enthusiastic contingent of Young Friends helped make the Bucks Quarter Peace Fair, on September 17, a great success. The Peace Fair brings dozens of nonprofits doing work aligned with Quaker values to a wider audience, along with craft vendors, live music, a book sale, kids’ games and a range of food offerings. Starting the day bright and early, before the opening of the Fair, the Young Friends helped set up vendor booths, unloading the vendors’ materials and putting up tents to keep things moving swiftly. [Read more…] about Young Friends Support the Peace Fair
In the Fall of 2020, as children returned to school online and many meetings settled into hosting worship on Zoom, the question of how to support religious education programs and community for children and families in meetings was on many minds. Local meetings did amazing things in the depth of the pandemic — care packages, calls and notes to young Friends and their families, outdoor programs when possible — even online Christmas pageants! The PYM Children & Families program was also experimenting, and Giant Children’s Meeting was born from both necessity and hope. Now we’re ready to discern what’s next for creating children and their families in our wider PYM community. [Read more…] about Giant Children’s Meeting: What’s Next?
click – click – soy – rice … click – click – soy – rice … click – click – soy – rice …
This chant helped the assembly line move smoothly and efficiently, as volunteers from Plumstead Friends Meeting filled bags with rice, powdered soy, dehydrated vegetables and vitamin powder, that, when cooked, will provide complete nourishment for a hungry child. These particular bags are destined for the children of Ukraine, who have been suffering since Russia declared war on the Ukrainian people back in February 2022
Throughout the month of June, Pride celebrations have happened across our PYM region. As the month comes to a close we can carry on that spirit of affirmation and inclusion. In this year when religious groups and government legislation are fighting to repress queer youth and their families, PYM celebrates the importance of our LGBTQ+ community. The Youth Programs Advisory Committee recently approved a minute of support for the LGBTQ+ youth, staff, families, and volunteers in our Youth Programs, which was accepted in June by the Quaker Life Council. There is more work to do! Shared here is the YPAC minute in full, along with resources and reflections on how we can continue to educate and celebrate belonging for all in our local meetings and yearly meeting community. [Read more…] about Celebrating & Nurturing Support for Queer Youth
Ujima Friends Peace Center is a worshipping Quaker community of people of African Descent who have committed themselves to the village with residents of North Philadelphia to decrease various forms of violence that arise from systems of oppression. The Center can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Below is a story about their summer plans.
Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) was founded in 2011 and though young in years, QVS sees itself as “a modern expression of a long-standing tradition of Spirit-grounded service and witness in the Quaker tradition.” The first QVS house was piloted in 2012 in Atlanta, GA. It was soon followed by others in Philadelphia and Portland, OR, Boston, and finally Minneapolis. [Read more…] about Quaker Voluntary Service – Reflecting on a Life Changing Work Experience