Olive and Service Work

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    scan0028.jpgOlive Goodykoontz, a lifelong Quaker, spent many years doing relief work with the AFSC(American Friends Service Committee)both in America and overseas. Over the years she was promoted several times, evetually holding a job in the home office in Philadelphia for several years. Although she would return to her role as a teacher in Chandler off and on throughout her life, she saw her work with the AFSC as her true calling.

    Originally inspired by her mother's work in Mexico, Olive began her travels by spending a few summers in the 1930s and 40s at a Quaker Work Camp near the Tennessee/Kentucky border, first as a worker and then as camp co-director. The camp was in a very rural area with no electricity or running water. The camp was organized to rebuild the local schoolhouse, among other things.

    After World War II, Olive was reassigned to Germany where the Quakers were helping families while the country was rebuilding. The AFSC Foreign Relief Service groups accomplished a lot while Germany was in transistion including feeding and clothing families, bringing in vaccinations for the sick, assessing the state of the education system, taking census of the parent-less children, and so on. Olive would spend the rest of her life traveling back and forth between the United States and Germany, continuing her work with the AFSC into the 1970s. 

    When Olive wasn't living and working in Germany, she spent a great deal of time working in the AFSC home office and traveling across the country as a lecturer on International Relations. Her travels took her to various schools, churches, and Kiwanis groups where she would lecture to classes of various sizes and encourage students to travel for relief work or join exchange programs. She also sought to get various schools across the country affiliated with schools back in Germany.

    In between her first trip to Germany and her second (terms of service as a relief worker were about 2 years long with the AFSC) she lived briefly in the Northwest. She worked for the Oregon office of the AFSC and traveled to all of the schools in the area to discuss international relations with the students. These schools were often in very remote areas and Olive's visits were important in bringing information about the global stage to these small communities. When Olive's second term was up in Germany, she already had plans to return to the Oregon chapter before the head office in Philadelphia made her an offer.


    Olive and the American Friends Service Committee Olive in Deutschland (and the rest of Europe)


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