Alice Vedova, who established a gift annuity with AFSC with her late husband, Harold, is a member of a family that has been invested in the American Friends Service Committee since the very beginning of the organization. Alice's father, Charles S. Beal, applied to the Service Committee to participate in the Friends Reconstruction Unit in 1918. He was only 18 years old.
In his application Charles expressed sentiments that his family echoes today: "I would like to offer my service to the American Friends Service Committee. My heart is with the Friends in this work."
His daughter Alice was exposed to the power of love at an early age. In the years leading up to World War II, she remembers the "phone ringing off the hook" as her dad, who continued his involvement with the Service Committee and eventually opened the first AFSC office in Chicago, helped desperate German refugees. Over the years the Beal home was host to war refugees, young people fleeing Japanese American internment camps, and countless Service Committee volunteers.
Both Alice and her late husband, Harold, care deeply about the involvement of young people in the Service Committee. Harold became a Quaker after participating in an AFSC work camp in Germany. He was struck by both the experience itself and the diversity of the participants—none of whom were Quaker—all brought together by a common desire to work. Alice knew she belonged to Quakers and the work of Quaker organizations after participating as one of 50 young adults in the Friends World Committee for Consultation World Conference of Young Friends in 1952 in Reading, England. For ten days, 900 world Quaker representatives met for business in Oxford, England. These experiences opened her eyes to what could be accomplished when people worked together.
Alice and Harold Vedova had decided to invest in the Service Committee in a new way-through a gift annuity. "We have been contributing for years," said Alice. "After all, I grew up with the Service Committee. Over the years I have seen that AFSC does work that a lot of other groups don't do. I know that my funds will be invested to make the world more peaceful for the children growing up today."
And Harold's reason for making a larger than usual contribution to the Service Committee? "I think the American Friends Service Committee is one of the best nonprofit organizations in the world, and that's why I support it—it's wonderful."