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A message of good deeds

Rebecca Janey Timbres Clark, 1896-1999

Photo: AFSC

When Rebecca Timbres arrived in Warsaw in the winter of 1921, 21 years old and recently trained as a nurse, she found a city struggling under the weight of a million tragedies. She mourned for the thousands of orphaned children: “They had scurvy sores, rickety legs, and swollen abdomens. . . . little bodies, large heads, wise faces. . . Poor little undernourished mites. . ..” Her first impressions of the Quaker Mission were almost as grim. The housing was cramped, heating was almost non-existent, and the food was terrible. But Rebecca knew her duty. 

The Quaker Mission oversaw The Cottonseed Meal Project, or Krople Mleke as it was known in Polish, in 12 cities. Rebecca was assigned to visit the orphanages and institutions in each of the cities and report on the numbers of children so that milk would go to the places where the need was greatest.  

After working for AFSC after World War I, in India with the renowned Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and later in the Soviet Union, Rebecca traveled the world, creating peace between nations through her dedication to providing health care to those most in need. She died at the age of 103.

Read the full article on Rebecca written by her biographer, Lyndon S. Back.

Read about more women change-makers from AFSC's history.

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