The Isaac Harvey Fund (IHF) is supported by donations from local Quakers or “Friends,” and is managed by a committee of Quakers from Wilmington College. The intent of the Fund is to help Wilmington College students, faculty, and staff gain greater exposure to Quakerism and its values/commitments, as well as to support those working for a more peaceful and just world. While the activities/events/projects are primarily sponsored by Quaker organizations, often programs from other Historic Peace Churches (such as the Mennonites and Church of the Brethren) or other organizations that share the Quaker commitments to peace, justice, simplicity, integrity, and community are eligible.
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The William Penn House is a home away from home for thousands in the most in uential city of our nation. In the 50 years of it’s existence the William Penn House has been home to Black Panthers, American Indian Movement marchers, and many more agents of change.
Thanks to the Isaac Harvey Fund, I was able to make my 5th trip to Belize this spring to do what I love. (I’ve been going since I was in high school.) Traveling to Belize is something I look forward to every year, and the country has slowly but surely crept its way into my heart. The first two trips I was still a bit unsure about it, but over the years it’s become something I am very passionate about, and want to share with everyone, and without the Isaac Harvey Fund I’m not sure I could have afforded to go each time, and without going I’m not sure I would be where I am today.
On May 10th, 2015, which also happened to be mothers day I decided to leave the corn and bean fields of Ohio behind and move to the tall white buildings of Washington, D.C., the Nation’s Capital! Never living in a city I was unsure of how this would turn out, but I was excited for the new experience. Just a few months prior to this date, I was in Washington, D.C with Wilmington College lobbying against climate change, where I was asked to come work at the William Penn House, a Quaker facility.
After three long months in Washington, D.C. my internship has finally come to a close. However, the time that I spent there has had a profound effect on my life at home. During my time at the William Penn House, I spent 40 hours a week indulging in hospitality and programming. My duties on a hospitality shift included cleaning of the hostel, making and canceling reservations; I checked in multiple guests and groups while also acting as an interior designer for the house. This was my primary front desk position. Programming, on the other hand, had me out in the community installing garden boxes in the yards of people’s homes. By promoting urban farming, we were able to get fresh fruits and vegetables into the food deserts surrounding mainstream D.C.
When I heard I had the approval from the Isaac Harvey Fund for money, as long as I showed that I spent that money towards my trip, I was extremely excited to pursue my efforts for the Pine Ridge Work Camp 2015. I was not just excited to get extra aid towards my trip, who doesn’t appreciate and love help especially when it involves getting free money? For me it was something else and honestly at that moment, I did not fully know how much that would mean to me. When receiving this grant I realized that I can actually do this work camp, without the fund, I would not have experienced Pine Ridge. I thank the Isaac Harvey Fund for the once in a lifetime experience.
The Isaac Harvey Fund has assisted Wilmington College students and faculty in traveling abroad and within the U.S. on trips related to the concerns of Quakers – peace and social justice. Participants do not need to be Quaker and the money with which the IHF assists students will cover only part of the expenses.
The Fund has assisted literally hundreds of students and several faculty, most of whom have participated in the annual Spring Lobby Weekend in Washington, DC. Elsewhere in the U.S., the Isaac Harvey Fund has assisted in sending them to Philadelphia, Kansas, a chapter of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico and the Sioux Nation in North Dakota, to name a few.
Internationally, they have gone to Ethiopia, North Ireland, Peru, Nicaragua, Palestine and Israel, Japan and Switzerland. Other potential opportunities might include Africa (Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, and Rwanda) and several countries in Latin America (most of latter would require fluency in Spanish. The committee is open to considering other locations that would include a peace and social justice focus.