The year 2008 was pivotal for the American Friends Service Committee in many ways. The growing unrest with the cost of the war in Iraq (both in dollars and in precious lives) led millions to the pro-peace movement, inspiring a change in leadership in the United States, as well as lifting up AFSC’s fundamental message:
War is, and always will be, far too costly.
As leaders in the peace movement, we achieved an unaccustomed time in the spotlight. But our leadership role was necessary for the nation, and as peace advocates we could do no less than to rally people to the cause of peace, justice, and compassion.
At the same time, much of our work was quiet, conducted out of the spotlight, and all the more effective for not demanding attention. So often we find that the simplest actions can have the most profound effect. Reaching out, individual to individual, brings satisfaction and positive results. The good we do, person to person, often spreads beyond what we see, creating unexpected paths to opportunity and peace.
Our capacity to build a better future lies in the chance to build friendships, and our supporters are helping to make this possible. This Annual Report shows the connections between AFSC donors and program participants. Like passing a treasure from hand to hand, we see links between far-flung peoples, and we recognize that the gifts in these exchanges flow in both directions.
As you review the connections in this 2008 Annual Report, I invite you to reflect on how supporting AFSC has affected untold lives and communities around the world.
In 2005, AFSC launched our Spirited Engagement Campaign to raise $200 million to enhance peace efforts, to ease the pains of migration and immigration, and to build AFSC’s endowment. With gratitude, I share with you that we are steadily advancing towards that goal as we enter the final phase.
At the same time, like many organizations, AFSC faces significant financial challenges in these difficult times. But we remain committed to the people we serve through our innovative, practical and successful programs. You’re invited and encouraged to walk with us in the months and years ahead. Know that you change lives for the better through AFSC.
With my thanks,
Mary Ellen McNish