I was a Staff Member

Alba Kuchman Witkin's personal memory of the American Friends Service Committee started in the early 1940's. After having received her graduate degree from Stanford University in June 1942, Alba began working with the AFSC to help get college-age Japanese Americans out of internment camps and into colleges east of the Mississippi River, in the Midwest and the East. Alba worked with the AFSC at 1830 Sutter Street in San Francisco, in the vacated Japantown YWCA. She remembered starting each day quietly, as is the Quaker custom, in the front room of the first floor. She then worked on her duties in the large theater room.

In order to get a Japanese American student released from an internment camp to college, it was necessary to obtain seven different clearances, including a college acceptance, community acceptance, church sponsorship, and War Relocation Authority approval. It was difficult work, but it had a profound influence on Alba - she was introduced to the concepts of Quakerism, conscientious objection, peace, and the brotherhood of men.

Alba continued to support the AFSC after taking another position in Sacramento in January 1943, and she sent a financial donation annually until her death in late 2014. 70 years! Alba's total giving to AFSC between 1984 and 2014 was $1,147,500.