David Richie (1908-2005) came from a long line of Quaker families in the Philadelphia/southern NJ area. He was a graduate of Moorestown Friends School and Haverford College. He returned to Moorestown Friends in as a social studies teacher until 1939 before becoming executive secretary of Friends Social Order Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, a position he stayed in for 34 years. It was here that he founded Quaker Workcamps that took place in Philadelphia, around the US and in Europe. In 1946, AFSC asked him to bring this work to war-torn Poland, Finland, Germany, Italy and England. With the aid of British Friends, he helped distribute clothing, food and medical supplies. Back in Philadelphia, he established weekend Quaker Workcamps that brought thousands of volunteers to underserved communities and, as importantly, inspired many of these volunteers to a deeper life of service as well as to Quakerism. His spirit lives on in our William Penn Quaker Workcamps.
For today, consider these words from his memoirs: “For many years I have been encouraged by the thought: ‘You can count the seed in an apple, but you cannot count the apples in a seed.’”