Quaker Voluntary Service opened a QVS house in Philadelphia, PA in August 2013. We love welcoming new Fellows to the city of brotherly love, where there is an abundance of Quaker History, and care.
Sponsoring Quaker Meetings/Churches:
The Philadelphia QVS house is under the spiritual care of Green Street Monthly Meeting, Germantown Monthly Meeting, Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, and Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia (Arch St. Quakers), as well as being supported by the larger Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting.
Want to get involved with the local QVS program? Reach out to Melissa, our Philadelphia Coordinator.
Rachael Carter (they/them)
Philadelphia Fellows 2023-2024 (click on any picture for more information)
Emma Fee (she/her) is from outside of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and grew up attending Menallen Monthly Meeting. She recently graduated from Gettysburg College, where she was an English and Interdisciplinary studies major, a program coordinator for the Painted Turtle Farm through Center for Public Service at Gettysburg College, and tried to find time to enjoy live music, good food, and sunset walks with friends. She was also lucky enough to spend a semester abroad in Tunis, Tunisia, which was both a personally and intellectually enriching experience that encouraged her passions for religious studies, philosophy, and community organizing. She is excited to work with ACHIEVEability for the year as well as to learn from the people and communities of both QVS and Philadelphia!
Kat Kastrong (they/she) is from Silver Spring, Maryland, and considers Adelphi Friends Meeting to be her home meeting. She was a camper and counselor at Shiloh Quaker Camp, but the last two summers they have worked with The BlackQuaker Project. In 2023 they graduated from Haverford College, near Philadelphia, with a double major in Anthropology and Linguistics, and her senior thesis explored the relationship between Quaker language and the formation and communication of Quaker values.
While at Haverford she spent three years living and organizing in Quaker House, an intentional community space centered around Quaker values, and during this time, worked with the Quaker Affairs Office primarily as the liaison between the two. They are passionate about learning about new languages, and glass art, though she hasn't had the opportunity to do so in a while. In their spare time, Kat enjoys reading fantasy and science fiction novels, singing, listening to music, watching videos and hanging out with their friends. She is excited to be working with Pendle Hill in Philadelphia!
Nicola Gacy (she/her) is from Lafayette, CO right next to the Rocky Mountains. She recently graduated from Earlham College where she majored in Music Studies and minored in Art. She grew up attending Boulder Friends Meeting as well as other Quaker spaces including Intermountain Yearly Meeting - IMYM, Mountain Friends Camp, and the Quaker Fellows program at Earlham. She is passionate about music and enjoys playing any instrument she can get her hands on. Most of all, Nicola loves creating deep and loving friendships and leaning into the ridiculous. She is excited to embrace the full experience that her year of QVS will offer and is looking forward to working with MANNA (Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance) in Philadelphia.
Shay Pilot is a long-time resident of Philadelphia, and cares deeply about serving their city and neighbors. While Shay is new to Quaker life and worship, they are excited to experience life in a Quaker community. Shay studied philosophy and horticulture at Temple University, and has worked with Greensgrow Farms, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Professionally, Shay is experienced in organic produce farming, landscape management, and environmental education, and they are looking forward to using this experience toward their work placement. Shay is also an avid musician and percussionist, and enjoys nature walks, bike rides through the city, and map making in their spare time.
They will be serving with Historic Fair Hill.
2022-2023 Philadelphia Site Placements (click on any logo for more information)
ACHIEVEability is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization working to permanently break the generational cycle of poverty for low income, single parent, and homeless families through higher education, affordable housing, supportive services, community and economic development, and accountability.
Founded in 1981, ACHIEVEability strives to permanently break the generational cycle of poverty for low-income, single-parent and homeless families. In our neighborhood the poverty rate is 37%. Focusing on the Haddington and Cobbs Creek neighborhoods of West Philadelphia, ACHIEVEability provides a continuum of anti-poverty services for vulnerable, low-income individuals and families through our three core programs: ACHIEVEability Connects, Family Self-Sufficiency Program and WorkSmart West Philly. ACHIEVEability is a midsized nonprofit with 17 staff members located in two offices. Our vision is to eradicate poverty in West Philadelphia. We use our core values to guide us and we are: fired up, transformative, accountable, community-driven, gritty and compassionate. Each year, we serve over 2,500 individuals and help them to achieve economic stability.
ACHIEVEability (ACHa), located in the Haddington/Cobbs Creek neighborhood of West Philadelphia, is looking for an enthusiastic, community focused individual interested in helping us to achieve our mission of breaking the cycle of poverty and promoting economic mobility among our residents. Our community faces high poverty (37%) and various barriers to achieving economic mobility. ACHa is committed to addressing the systematic challenges faced by our community by providing direct services and advocating for policy change. We are looking for an energetic and creative problem solver eager to help ACHa support individuals and families of all ages and abilities in reaching their full potential.
The ACHa Fellow will support our core programs: ACHa Connects, Family Self-Sufficiency Program and WorkSmart West Philly. Reporting to the Executive Director, the fellow will have an opportunity to provide direct services, manage projects, implement volunteer projects and help build infrastructure for the organization. The fellow will also learn about nonprofit fundraising, leadership, stakeholder engagement, policy research and advocacy. Qualified candidates should be comfortable working in an urban and nonprofit environment that requires flexibility, good communication skills and the ability to work individually and as part of a team. General computer skills, including word processing, excel, internet and email are a plus.
Bread & Roses Community Fund (BRCF) is a unique partnership of donors and activists who share a vision for a just society in which power and resources are distributed equitably. Bread & Roses was originally founded in 1970 as the People’s Fund – a radical anti-establishment social justice fund – and was re-established in 1977 as Bread & Roses Community Fund. Bread & Roses raises money from individual donors in the community to provide grants, technical assistance, and leadership development to constituent-led, grassroots, social change organizations in the Philadelphia region. The grants BRCF gives are raised and distributed by a cross-race, cross-class, inter-generational group of community members. Bread & Roses centers all of its work around its motto: change, not charity.
Program Associate Position 1- Giving Project Team
The Program Associate reports to the Director of Donor Organizing and will provide administrative support for the Giving Project team. In this role, the Fellow will be a part of all planning sessions for Giving Project meetings. This includes developing logistics agendas, arranging for childcare, and ordering supplies and food for each Giving Project meeting. The Fellow will attend all Giving Project meetings, lead in room set-up/clean-up, while maintaining a high level of hospitality during Giving Project meetings. In addition to supporting the facilitation team, the Fellow will be responsible for taking photos at Giving Project meetings, taking notes during decision-making processes, and responding to any emerging needs of participants and/or the facilitation team.
The Program Associate will take the lead in managing logistics for Meet the Changemakers, a special event in which Giving Project participants meet with grassroots organizers that have received a grant from Bread & Roses. The Program Associate will be responsible for contacting and confirming groups, creating outreach materials, ordering food and supplies and handling on-site logistics for the event. Working closely with the Giving Project facilitation team, the Program Associate will also coordinate with the other staff to schedule interviews with applicant groups and Giving Project participants.
As part of the Giving Project team, the Fellow will have a variety of opportunities to learn about PoC-centered strategies for group facilitation and curriculum building in a highly collaborative environment.
Program Associate Position 2- Under Grant making Director
The position will include: researching and interacting with grassroots community organizers and other local leaders; reviewing and cataloging grant proposals from a wide array of community organizations; and coordinating events for the wider Bread & Roses community.
As the first point of contact for grassroots community organizers within the organization, the QVS Fellow will be responsible for aiding and supporting organizations as they complete their applications. Throughout the year, the QVS Fellow will be responsible for scheduling interviews and site visits with these same organizers. By following actions, movements, and victories around the city, the Fellow will contribute to the Bread & Roses newsletter and internal knowledge of the organization’s grantees.
The QVS Fellow will serve as project manager for our annual Jonathan Lax Scholarship for Gay Men Reception. The reception marks the culmination of the Lax scholarship application process that the Fellow will have managed over the course of their year. The reception happens in the second half of the QVS year, when the Fellow has gained enough experience to take the reins.
There is no typical day in the life of a Bread & Roses Community Fund QVS Fellow, and we like to think that’s what makes it so exciting!
The mission of Fleisher Art Memorial is to make art accessible to everyone, regardless of economic means, background, or artistic experience.
Fleisher nurtures creativity in our community, engaging children and adults of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences in immersive experiences that build bridges and deepen community bonds over a common curiosity in art-making and learning. We work to dismantle barriers to arts access, whether geographic, psychological, or economic. Our vision is to foster a diverse and just world where everyone can access art.
Located in South Philadelphia, Fleisher is recognized as the nation’s oldest community school of the arts. It was founded by Samuel Fleisher in 1898 as a place where anyone, especially those that otherwise lacked access to creative enrichment, could enroll in an art class. Fleisher has 25 staff members and 75 teaching artists.
A strong reputation attracts art-makers from throughout the region, but we focus our engagement efforts on our surrounding South Philadelphia neighborhoods, a diverse and changing area that has historically been the arrival point for many immigrant families. Applying strategies to make our campus and programs more welcoming, accessible, and relevant to new audiences not only helps us attract participants, but also leads to a deeper level of engagement with our current students, neighbors, and visitors.
Primary duties include:
- Assisting the development and implementation of community engagement strategies that make educational programs for adults and children/youth more engaging and relevant to diverse audiences
- Planning classes/workshops/lectures/events in collaboration with program staff and community partners, including:
- Tuition-free and low-cost classes for adults
- Art for the Ages creative aging program for older Latinx immigrants
- Saturday Young Artists program
- Community Partnerships in the Arts in-school, arts-integrated residencies
- Creative Labs after-school, on-site program for children/youth
- Found in Translation humanities seminars
- Coordinating meetings with Education Department staff, teaching faculty, and guest artists
- Supporting administration efforts in registration, enrollment, and tuition, for all programs
- Additional administrative and operative support for the Director of Education as needed
The Fellow will work with audiences of all ages in South Philadelphia, historically the arrival point for many immigrant and refugee families. Fleisher is at the geographic center of these diverse and vibrant communities. To Fleisher’s south are more economically-challenged neighborhoods, home to Mexican, Chinese, Cambodian, Nepalese, Laotian, Bhutanese, Indonesian, Venezuelan, and Vietnamese immigrant populations.
The Education Fellow should be committed to working with diverse community members to help them find and keep a sense of place in a rapidly-changing South Philadelphia, using the power of art, creativity, and culture. The Fellow should have excellent communication skills, the ability to work both collaboratively and independently, and a strong interest in the impact of community-driven art, and the enriching impact of the arts in education.
Historic Fair Hill's mission is to preserve our historic Quaker burial ground, and assure that its history and the ideals of the people interred there continue to speak to the world, and act as a collaborative partner in the revitalization of the Fairhill community.
Historic Fair Hill was founded in 1994 to restore the 4.5 acre burial ground of Lucretia and James Mott, Robert and Harriet Purvis and other abolitionists and early women's rights activists and to carry forward their work for justice and equality. For the next 27 years it has expanded its program to serve families in the neighborhood in public schools, gardens, and community events.
Our program supports gardening, school partnership, and community initiatives. The program fellow will assist in a variety of tasks related to these areas. These include: working to re-open school libraries, leading field trips, helping develop participation in community gardens, co-planning and facilitating community gatherings, helping to deepen education program with attention to equity work., assist with various administrative tasks.
Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA) uses nutrition to improve health for people with serious illnesses who need nourishment to heal. By providing medically tailored meals and nutrition education, we empower people to improve their health and quality of life.
MANNA has been serving our vulnerable neighbors for more than 31 years. Founded by a small group of individuals comforting their neighbors suffering from HIV/AIDS, MANNA is now a leading provider of medical nutrition services in the Greater Philadelphia area, and a prominent advocate for the Food is Medicine movement nationwide. Deeply embedded in the local health community, we provide comprehensive medical nutrition to people facing life-threatening illnesses regardless of diagnosis. MANNA is medical nutrition powerhouse, delivering more than 1.5 million meals to over 5,100 people annually in the Greater Philadelphia area.
In the last year we helped to treat as many as 100 different diagnoses, with the most common being cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and renal disease. MANNA’s eligibility criteria focus on the intersection of critical illness with an acute, or serious, nutritional need. Our two-pronged approach combines medically tailored meals with professional nutrition counseling services to help individuals facing critical diseases better understand their dietary needs and maintain healthy habits once they leave our program.
Backed by evidence-based practices, we are dedicated to responding to ever-changing needs and adapting to better solutions for our clients. MANNA has a long history serving the Greater Philadelphia community, and while our mission has deepened and expanded, we have never lost our core identity of neighbors nourishing neighbors.
Fellow Position: Development Fellow
The Development Fellow will assist with the innerworkings of the fundraising and development department – a critical role within any nonprofit organization. This position will balance clerical and administrative duties with special projects to further MANNA’s mission of providing medically tailored nutrition to people with serious illnesses. In addition, the Fellow will have the opportunity to engage in MANNA’s direct services by helping to prepare and deliver meals to our clients.
The development department is made up of six employees responsible for events, communications, fundraising, grants, institutional gifts, and sponsorships respectively. This position will report to the Institutional Relations Manager and primarily support work in the grants, institutional gifts, and individual giving areas, but will also support work with events, communications and sponsorships based on interest and need.
Activities for this position include, but are not limited to: grant writing; research; project management; content creation; calendar maintenance; and relationship building as well as gift processing and database management. Qualifications include basic computer skills in a Microsoft Office environment, and strong writing and communication skills as well as the ability to work independently with strong attention to detail. In addition, interest in nutrition, food justice, and healthcare is important.
Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) is a consumer focused organization working to expand access and improve the quality of the Commonwealth's health coverage options. Since 2007, PHAN has brought consumer voices into discussions of health equity, reaching vulnerable populations in underserved communities.
PHAN has brought together health care consumers and community organizations to advocate for expanded access to health care in Pennsylvania since 2007. PHAN blends coalition-building and policy advocacy with our unique model of community health organizing that focuses on supporting and empowering consumers to get the treatment they need and become advocates for better healthcare in their local communities and statewide. PHAN has a long history of successful campaigns, including expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania; protecting seniors’ access to care in Western PA; mobilizing Pennsylvanians to defend the Affordable Care Act, and building a group of housing and health advocates to push for needed housing services available through Medicaid.
Regardless of the policy issue, PHAN prioritizes bringing consumer voices and stories to the forefront of the debate and has a deep, successful history of engaging vulnerable populations in discussions that will ultimately impact their access to care and build a more equitable health system. PHAN also provides technical assistance and policy and communications expertise to its 550+ diverse community partners, who participate in PHAN-led coalitions on such issues as: opposing Medicaid work requirements, ending surprise medical billing, and supportive housing services. PHAN’s advocacy work is built on the organization’s direct connections with communities – both rural and urban- throughout Pennsylvania. As a federally-certified healthcare navigator organization, PHAN’s staff enrolls people in Medicaid, CHIP, and marketplace coverage. Over the past five years, PHAN has enrolled over 9,500 in healthcare coverage and fielded tens of thousands more calls through our statewide helpline.
Community Health Organizer
The OVS Fellow is integral to PHAN running its statewide helpline, which provides phone assistance to people from all over Pennsylvania who wouldn't otherwise have help. While much of the work is done over the phone, people are often calling PHAN out of frustration or even desperation, because they have not been able to get health insurance or have struggled with problems with their health plan. These people often need a reassuring voice and someone willing to go beyond what a normal "call center" would do to provide real solutions and hope when they need it the most. We do this in a way that feels friendly, open, and supportive. All of this work we do to uncover the hidden problems in our health system and elevate it for advocacy to change the system.
This is a critical part of our advocacy process, and involves a lot of details. The Fellow answers phone calls, helps identify the problem or issue, and works with callers to directly resolve that problem or issue by referring them to resources, enrolling them in health insurance coverage, filing a complaint or appeal, or helping the consumer call another entity, like a health plan, doctor, hospital, or state agency. The Fellow screens uninsured individuals and educates them about health insurance options, helps people make informed decisions in an impartial way, listens to a consumer's needs and explains options to them, and often provides intensive support and follow up. All along the way, the fellow documents the process and interactions.
Ultimately, the Fellow is engaged in other forms of advocacy and engaged in broader community outreach. The Fellow also helps collect people's stories and prepares them to speak publicly about their healthcare experiences. When possible, the Fellow can help PHAN develop community members as leaders to include furthering meaningful community dialogue around health issues, barriers, and people-focused solutions.
Most Recent Blog Posts from Philadelphia
Photo: The incoming QVS Fellows (from left to right): Nicole, Salem, Emma, Roy, Imani, Karla, Sonam, Shay, Kat, Tas and Naren _____________________ We’re so excited to introduce you to the 2023-2024 QVS Fellows! We have over 11 young adults eager to begin their year...
Photo: Alissa (she/they) and Kate (she/her) in front of a lake in Promised Land Park in Greentown, PA where they went on their final QVS retreat. They are the authors of this Epistle _____________________ This was a difficult year for the Philadelphia house; we...
This autumn QVS Philadelphia Coordinator and Alumni Rachael Carter shares with us their reflections on transitions and community. They received this message on a train.I have had the amazing opportunity to transition in QVS from being a Fellow and Coordinator in...