[saymaListserv] Fw: [Quaker-L] re: charities - FDS

Julia Ewen jewen at bellsouth.net
Sat Nov 12 14:02:37 JEST 2005

I just received this from one of the Quaker newsgroups. For those of us who
are underwhelmed about AFSC's
presence (or lack thereof) in recent humanitarian relief needs, Friends
Disaster Service sounds like a very attractive alternative. Can we discuss
this in our various Monthly Meetings, with the possibility of bringing it
forward to Yearly Meeting?

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Gwen Giffen" <ggiffen at 1st.net>
To: <Quaker-L at quakerlists.org>
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2005 8:30 PM
Subject: [Quaker-L] re: charities - FDS

> Julia,
> You are in Atlanta? Do you go to Atlanta Friends Meeting? I have some good
> friends who moved down there a year ago this month from Pittsburgh, and I
> think they've been to meeting in Atlanta once or twice.
> Friends Disaster Service (FDS) is a mission of Evangelical Friends, but
> have welcomed help from ALL groups of Friends. I have never been to a work
> crew site with them, but most of the men, and some of the women in
> Stillwater Meeting who are active members have been along helping numerous
> times. Vic Peacock, my painting and shop teacher at Olney, has helped
> many disasters, and used to tell us stories about tornados he'd helped
> up after, during painting class when I was a student there.
> My parents grew up knowing Dean Johnson, one of the main backbones who
> helped start the whole thing. Sam Clark is someone I know well who has
> quite a lot of work with FDS. He and I were engaged a few years ago, but
> have long since broken up and gone our seperate ways. He went to Honduras
> after ...was it Hurricane Mitch? ...and helped rebuild a bridge that was
> necessary for a community there to function. He helped dig mud out of
> for months along the Mississippi when it flooded. I'm sure he is still
> helping FDS. After a disastrous flash flood locally where several people
> lost their lives in Shadyside, OH, (they call it "The Flood of Tears"
> my oldest brother, Larry Giffen, worked with FDS rebuilding someone's
> that had basically washed away.
> They welcome laborer volunteers both to go in and clean up the mess,
> with the Red Cross, and they go back after the mess is cleaned up and help
> rebuild. The money donated by churches and individuals I believe is spent
> the materials and travel. All the laborers' work for free (and meals).
> take sleeping bags and stay in local homes, churches, and sometimes cheap
> hotels. They also help people within their own communities. They once sent
> me some of their surplus canned food after my divorce when the kids were
> small.
> FDS sets up kitchens in churches. People donate lots of food, and they
> a lot of the people in a community in which a disaster has hit immediately
> post-disaster. The people working don't do a lot of preaching in my
> experience. Their ministry is their service. That they have all branches
> Friends working together is amazing in itself. I heard a rumor that they
> were going to help with the recent tornadoes in Indiana and Kentucky, but
> hasn't been confirmed. They often list their most recent projects on their
> website:
> http://www.friendsdisasterservice.org/
> I know for a fact that the projects listed here are not all-inclusive,
> because I think I remember a few that aren't on it. They also have
> on there of who to send money to; and I believe that of all organizations
> I've known of, theirs is well-spent.
> Gwen Giffen
> Black Walnut Springs Farm
> ggiffen at 1st.net
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