Peace Pilgrim started her pilgrimage journey on January 1 of 1953 and continued on the road, homeless, without accepting money or asking for food or shelter, for over 28 years. After her passing there was a memorial gathering to remember and celebrate her life and witness. Five attenders of that gathering stayed afterwards to compile her words into a book.
When the question came up about how to distribute the book, these five people made a decision that they would offer Peace Pilgrim -- Her Life and Work in Her Own Words in the spirit of Peace Pilgrim, free to those who ask. One of the five compilers donated enough money for the first printing and together they made the decision that they would distribute the book freely, without charging for it or ever soliciting donations, and that when they ran out of books if there were not enough funds for the next printing, they would cease publishing the book.
Well, that was about 35 years ago and, after offering over 2 1/2 million pieces of Peace Pilgrim literature: books, booklets VHS video tapes, DVDs, audiocassettes etc. there has always been enough money for the next printing.
The non-profit foundation that these five compilers of the Peace Pilgrim book formed is an all volunteer organization and to this day, we operate without a paid staff or ever soliciting donations. How do we manage to pull that off? The Friends of Peace Pilgrim Foundation and its operations and efforts is one of the three areas to be covered by this blog. The other two are: Peace Pilgrim, her life, pilgrimage and witness, and what people are doing who are inspired by Peace Pilgrim.
We will leave you with a photograph of two people who can in a sense be considered the founders of Friends of Peace Pilgrim, John and Ann Rush, a Quaker couple. For years after the book came out, Friends of Peace Pilgrim operated out of their home, first in Whittier and later in Hemet, California and finally in Somerset, California. Their extraordinary life is a subject in itself. More about them in future posts in this blog.