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.

Melissa McLaughlin (she/her)

Melissa McLaughlin (she/her)

Philadelphia Coordinator

2021-2022 Philadelphia Site Placements (click on any logo for more information)

Bread & Roses Community Fund

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!

Germantown Friends School

Germantown Friends School is dedicated to reaching that of God in every person. Their mission is to seek truth, challenge the intellect, honor differences, embrace the city, and nurture each student’s mind, body and spirit. They are a Friends school, under the care of Germantown Monthly Meeting, founded on the belief that there is that of God in everyone. Together, love and respect for each individual provide the premise for all that we do. We regard education not as training for a particular way of life, but as part of a lifelong process, and as we guide and encourage our students in their personal growth, we try to cultivate and support in them principles that Friends have long considered to have lasting value. Among these are truthfulness, simplicity and self-discipline, the resolution of differences without violence, and respect for diverse heritages and experiences.

Assistant Teacher

The QVS Fellow will take on the responsibilities of a Lower School Assistant Teacher. We expect everyone working in the Lower School to support the mission of our school, including its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and our Quaker identity. Fellows should enjoy engaging with curious, thoughtful children and collaborating with creative and intellectual colleagues. At GFS, to help guide us, students and faculty use the acronym “SPICES” to remember the individual testimonies of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Stewardship.

In this role, the QVS Fellow will support students one-on-one in the classroom during learning, lead small group lessons as appropriate, supervise recess and lunch, prepare classroom materials, and fully participate in the school community. Additional duties may include support during arrival, dismissal, and escorting students on campus. The QVS Fellow will participate as an observer in the Quaker Life Committee and the Lower School Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committees, and attend relevant grade-level, division-wide, and all-school meetings as relevant. The hours are 7:30am-3:00pm Monday-Friday; recognizing the Fellow will be involved in immersive QVS training every other Friday. This position is for on-campus instruction and may also involve remote instruction. The QVS fellow will adhere to the tenets of the Social Compact for our Covid-19 safety practices and uphold all protocols for risk mitigation. We welcome QVS fellows who share our enthusiasm for teaching and learning within a collaborative environment that is inspired by our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Summer Program:
The QVS Fellow will continue in this placement through June and July in a supporting role to the GFS Summer Program. Responsibilities may include working with children or otherwise supporting the general summer camp program at Germantown Friends.

Historic Fair Hill

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.

Program Fellow

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.

Pendle Hill

Pendle Hill was established in 1930 as a Quaker study center designed to prepare its adult students for service both in the Religious Society of Friends and in the world. Pendle Hill was meant to be different from existing Quaker schools or colleges, which were mainly academic. Its mission was both educational and religious: Pendle Hill was to be a school, rooted in Quaker community life, where students and staff would live according to Quaker principles and practices and where learning would be experiential as well as intellectual.

The founders of Pendle Hill included well-known Quaker spiritual leaders, teachers, and business people such as Rufus Jones of Haverford, Henry Cadbury of Bryn Mawr, William and Hannah Clothier Hull of Swarthmore, George Walton of George School and his brother, J. Barnard Walton, Agnes Tierney of Coulter Street Meeting, Germantown, and D. Robert Yarnall, who was to clerk the Board for 24 years. The first director was Henry Hodgkin, a respected British Quaker who played a large role in naming Pendle Hill after the hill climbed by George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, in 1652, from which he saw “a great people to be gathered.” Henry Hodgkin wrote: “The name of Pendle Hill symbolizes the call to climb to spiritual heights through hard thinking and self-discipline…to see deeper into the meaning of life and farther out into the great world, and to come down, as did Fox from Pendle Hill, with a fresh zest for the service which reaches to ‘that of God’ in all…”

Central to the vision of the Pendle Hill community and the influence that it seeks to exert in the larger world are: peace, truth-speaking and integrity, equality, simplicity, and reaching out to that of God in every one. Further, Pendle Hill seeks to uphold education, sustainability, and social action and justice as key values and practices for and within our work.

At this moment our organization have a reduced staff of 19 people but we serve more that 5,000 people at year in our different programs and through our conference service. We are committed to radical hospitality as a testimony of simplicity and inclusion.

Education Program Assistant

The Education Program Assistant, under supervision of the Director of Education, would manage tech support for 10 different Pendle Hill online programs, ranging in topic from Quaker Clerking to Reparations and Mindfulness. The Fellow will work collaboratively with the Education Coordinator to recruit speakers and envision content for First Monday Lectures in December, March, and May, as well as for the annual Young Adult Friend conference, Continuing Revolution, in early June. The Fellow would spend 30% of their time supporting on-campus programs (as COVID safety permits following statewide public health rules) through welcoming leaders, orienting groups, and managing the collection of evaluations. The Education Program Assistant would manage social media posts for upcoming programs and general advertising, and work collaboratively with the Education Coordinator on program evaluation and grant reporting. This work, both online and in-person, would bring the Fellow in regular contact with Pendle Hill’s guests and public audience, which skews over 50 and white, but includes people of diverse ages and backgrounds from the region and (online) internationally. Our guests come in three primary ways: Pendle Hill coordinated educational programs; retreats as a part of other organizations and groups; self-guided, personal sojourns. This position will primarily work in the first realm but relate closely to other departments welcoming guests. Qualifications include strong organizational skills including the ability to simultaneously attend to immediate needs and long-range planning; excellent communication and writing skills; experience and comfort in creating content for professional social media posts; familiarity with the Religious Society of Friends.

Pennsylvania Health Access Network

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.

SEAMAAC

SEAMAAC's mission is to support and serve immigrants and refugees and other politically, socially and economically marginalized communities as they seek to advance the condition of their lives in the United States. SEAMAAC envisions a strong and unified society, where immigrants and refugees work alongside other Americans to build shared political, economic and social power. We envision a community where the contributions of each generation of Americans, whether native to this land, immigrant, or brought against their will, are equally acknowledged, valued and embraced, and where all people live whole, healthy lives with joy and dignity.

SEAMAAC (founded in 1984, as the Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition) is one of the oldest and largest refugee-founded agencies in the region. The founding vision was to unite Philadelphia’s Southeast Asian organizations into a dynamic refugee-led coalition. This allowed small ethnic communities to share resources, and created a unified voice for the city’s Southeast Asian community. Over time, SEAMAAC’s scope of work expanded; our services now engage immigrants from 5 continents as well as US-born Philadelphians of every ethnicity.

Today, SEAMAAC has two South Philadelphia offices and one youth program site. Immigrant/refugee family wellness services include: support groups; art therapy; basic needs; intimate partner violence/domestic violence services; health education and access to care; elders programs; public benefits enrollment; health insurance enrollment; employment support; ESL classes, digital literacy; family literacy; citizenship application assistance; and community development. SEAMAAC’s Education Department works with racially diverse children, youth, and their families in West, Southwest, and Lower Northeast Philadelphia. SEAMAAC’s “Hip Hop Heritage” afterschool and summer program engages youth in hip hop arts activities. SEAMAAC also coordinates a nonpartisan voter registration/mobilization effort for Asian American-serving organizations in PA.

Health & Wellness Program Fellow

The Health & Wellness Program Fellow will play a key role in the planning and facilitation of SEAMAAC’s community health & wellness services for immigrants and refugees. The Fellow primarily will work with low-income Asian, African, and Latinx immigrants and refugees of all ages (children, adults, and elders).

The Health & Wellness Program Fellow will assist with planning and executing various initiatives based out of the Hansjorg Wyss Wellness Center in South Philadelphia. The Fellow will work with SEAMAAC’s Program Coordinators as they plan and implement virtual and/or in-person activities such as ESL/health literacy, health education & digital literacy classes, public benefits workshops, pop-up clinics (naturalization, tax prep, nutrition, etc.), fitness groups, art groups, special events, and or Elders groups. The Fellow will help with implementing activities, coordinating use of shared community rooms, interacting with program clients and program partners, interpretation/translation, outreach, data collection, and administrative duties. The Fellow also will work one-on-one with medical patients who use the Wellness Center. This includes assisting with front desk/reception duties, intake, patient navigation, and community health-related tasks including health education, navigating resources, and referrals to other providers. The Fellow will participate in team meetings, professional development trainings, and site visits

Philadelphia Fellows (click on any picture for more information)

Anna Hill

Anna Hill (she/her) grew up in Alexandria, Virginia and Princeton, New Jersey. She recently graduated from Colorado College with a B.A. in English Literature. While there, she worked as an editor for Cipher, a magazine specializing in long-form creative nonfiction, where she loved working with writers developing their pieces and ideas. In her free time, she loves to watch and talk about movies, go camping and swimming, and play board games with friends. Raised in Presbyterian churches, Anna is new to Quakerism but looking forward to beginning an exploration of Quaker values with QVS. She is excited to be working as the Education Program Assistant at Pendle Hill in the coming year!

Grace Stanfield

Grace Stanfield (she/her) is from in and around Boston. She grew up in a Presbyterian church in Southie, where she got to witness the embodied practice of service and mutual care while cultivating her own relationship to spirituality. She looks forward to learning how her Presbyterian upbringing might intertwine with the Quaker traditions at the root of this fellowship. In December, she graduated from Wesleyan University with a double major in Psychology and Science in Society. At Wesleyan, she got involved in reproductive justice work through furthering sexual health education as a sex educator and uplifting comprehensive, radical health care as an abortion doula. Grace is thrilled to continue this work of amplifying health equity and justice with the Pennsylvania Health Access Network.

Ezra Burstein

Ezra Burstein (they/them) has wanted to be a teacher for as long as they can remember. Having grown up in a progressive Jewish community that emphasizes social justice as a spiritual practice, as well as having studied Buddhism at the Burmese Vihar in Bodh Gaya, India, Ezra is interested in the role empathy plays in leading individuals to work toward collective and personal growth—something they're excited to explore more deeply throughout their QVS year. They see education as a site where this goal is possible and aspire to one day teach high school English. Ezra believes that interacting with literature, a process that engages larger ethical questions and social issues, is a great way to foster empathy and critical thought. They have tutored middle school students and taught Sex Education to high school students in the local public schools around Wesleyan University, where they majored in English literature. They have also taught personal essay writing to students in the Young Achievers Foundation Ghana scholarship program. In their free time, Ezra likes to read, care for houseplants, watch anime, write poetry, and listen to pop music. They are excited to be working with Germantown Friends School during their QVS year.

Ike Pickett

Ike Pickett (they/them) grew up in southern Indiana and is a recent graduate of Purdue University. While pursuing an undergraduate degree, Ike played in several bands and toured up and down the East Coast, playing primarily in working-class music venues often located in residential basements and living rooms. While attending Purdue, Ike worked at the local bookstore and interned with the Rare Books Project, a research project focused on cataloguing features of damaged and eviscerated books from the 16th-18th century. Ike is passionate about the arts and plans to eventually pursue a MFA in Poetry. After growing up in the Pentecostal Church, Ike now attends the Lafayette Friends Meeting in West Lafayette, Indiana. Beyond graduate school, they are interested in cultivating cooperative living spaces centered around sustainability and artistic expression. Ike's hobbies include woodland walks, memorizing poems, keeping a fish tank, crocheting, and covering Patsy Cline. They are very excited to work in early literacy, community building, advocacy-based history, and urban greening at Historic Fair Hill in North Philadelphia.

Jordan Keller

Jordan Keller (she/they) is a recent graduate of Guilford College with a degree in Religious Studies and a minor in Community and Justice Studies. As a member of Guilford’s Quaker Leadership Scholars Program, she attended and sometimes planned monthly student-led worships, designed and led a module titled “Membership and Boundaries of Belonging in Quaker Communities,” and worked in a variety of service sites around the city of Greensboro.

A highlight of her sophomore year was a trip to Kyoto, Japan, with her “Mindfulness and Social Action” course, where she was able to practice her previous study of Japanese. In her final year of college, she served as a TA for “Contextual Theology” and “Religion, Dreams, and the Dreaming,” where she developed and taught content on New Media Theology and dreams in Abrahamic traditions, respectively.

Jordan grew up in the city of Richmond, about a mile from downtown. A lifelong Quaker, she grew personally and theologically under the care of Richmond Friends Meeting and Shiloh Quaker Camp, where she currently works as a cabin counselor and backcountry trip leader. Outside of study and work, Jordan loves making digital and material collages, re-watching Star Trek, and winning Dutch Blitz.

Jordan is grateful and excited to work with Bread and Roses Community Fund in Philadelphia during the 2021-2022 QVS year.

Zara Shah

Zafreen Zara Shah (she/her) is from Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is a recent graduate from Earlham College, where she majored in Economics and minored in Chinese Studies and Languages. During her time at Earlham, Zara acted as the editor-in-chief of the student-led news publication, The Earlham Word, and was a member of the Earlham Student Government’s biennial Constitutional Review Committee. She also participated in events led by Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine, Chinese lunar new year festivals, the Earlham Epic Grand Challenge, and Interfaith events. These experiences instilled a fierce passion for social justice, which she now hopes to combine with her interests in developmental/environmental Economics. In her free time, Zara reads voraciously, enjoys exploring foreign cuisines and cinema, learning more about photography, or plans a spontaneous trip with friends. Zara is excited to work with ACHIEVEability and learn more about how disparities in generational incomes and urban resources often impact the lives of racial minorities. She is equally as thrilled to learn about Quaker spirituality and explore the city of Philadelphia!

Most Recent Blog Posts from Philadelphia

Recapping Our 2nd Annual QVS Supporters’ Briefing

Recapping Our 2nd Annual QVS Supporters’ Briefing

On June 17, 2021, QVS hosted our 2nd Annual Supporters' Briefing. We held our first ever Supporters' Briefing in summer 2020 to offer Friends an inside look into programmatic and financial shifts due to COVID-19. This year, in addition to a report and recap from the...

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