On a beautiful day in July, Solebury Friends Meeting hosted a group of kids from the Summer of Freedom camp, run by the Ujima Friends Peace Center, which is located in North Philly. Solebury Friend Amy Manoff started the day off right. She explained to the kids how she came to be a fruit farmer and, before taking the kids to pick blueberries, answered all their questions. Kraig McClendon brought the kids out to the country for the day. He’s a photographer and enjoyed capturing the day with his camera.
Here are the thank you notes we received:
From Kraig McClendon —
I just wanted to reach out personally to express my thanks for an amazing day! Thank you for your flexibility in working to accommodate our needs. The space itself is beautiful and our children kept expressing how much they enjoyed the scenery. We also had the pleasure of meeting two members of the community, Bob [Holt] and his wife [Anne], who made us really feel like we were welcome in the community.
The farm visit is definitely the highlight of our summer thus far! Most of the blueberries we picked were eaten before we left. Amy was a terrific host, incredibly informative. I’m not sure if the kids will retain any of the information they were given but I learned a lot and will be bringing my own family as soon as I’m free.
I don’t want to write a book, but I really wanted to express my thanks, as well as thanks on behalf of the Ujima Friends Peace Center. I’m hoping this is an experience we are able to plan again next year.
From Dr. Ayesha Imani, co-founder of the UFPC and head of the Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School in Kensington (Philadelphia) —
I just wanted to reach out and thank the members of Solebury Meeting for hosting the Ujima Friends Peace Center Freedom School … Kraig, however, indicated that Solebury Friends extended such warm hospitality and that our children had a wonderful time. The children loved picking blueberries with Amy. In fact, one of our staff members baked blueberry cookies for the young people the next day. They were delicious!
Thank you so much for your continued support and your loving kindness. I hope you got a sense from our children and staff what good work this really is. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to share our Quaker history and faith with our children and share our children with Friends. Thank you so much for believing in the mission of Ujima Friends Peace Center and for supporting us in sharing the SPICES in our community.
Peace, Blessings, and Joy!
From Dr. Imani —
Presently our Ujima middle schoolers are reading When Life Gives You Mangoes, by Kereen Getten. Our junior high leaders are reading Ten Lives and Ten Demands by Solomon Jones and are working on gun violence as an environmental concern. They have been studying City Council’s report called 100 Shootings and are preparing to engage the author and some elected political officials in their own demands related to gun violence based on a survey they are conducting among young people all over the city.
All in all, it was a great day – for both our visitors and for our meeting.