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By Elizabeth Dorssom
Congratulations to the Beyond Belief Network’s December Team of the Month: FreeOK!
FreeOK was chosen for December because of their fantastic record of volunteering and philanthropic programming, particularly the Holiday Humanist Gifting project. FreeOK created this project in November in order to provide gifts to foster children and other needy children. Children nominated for the project provided FreeOK with wish lists, which were made available to volunteering sponsors and as Amazon wish lists. Impressively, as of December 2, 100% of the children have been adopted! However, donations are still being accepted to fully fund the Holiday Humanist Giving project. Any excess donations will be held for the 2014 season unless a crisis occurs, like the tornadoes that struck the area in May. In the event of a crisis, the excess funds will be spent on recovery and disaster relief.
FreeOK also held a blood drive in November through the Oklahoma Blood Institute, with 28 donors and a food drive to benefit the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma—100 pounds of food were collected! They regularly hold drives for food, blood, toys, and books to benefit their community. In addition, they have continued their work cleaning up areas devestated by tornadoes earlier this year. They volunteered several times in the weeks directly following the tornadoes and returned more recently to help sort supplies for the people living in temporary housing in their area.
Team of the Month recognition is a benefit to joining Beyond Belief Network and submitting reports to us about your community service activities and philanthropic efforts. In order to be considered, your group must be a Level One Beyond Belief Network team and you must submit at least one event report during the month. Team of the Month selection is based on the number, length, variety, and documentation (e.g., submitted pictures, blog posts, videos, etc.) of events.
Teams can only be Team of the Month once per calendar year. If your local group does great service work, but isn’t a member of BBN, you can join anytime! In addition to recognition, your team can qualify for free t-shirts and grants. If your local humanist group doesn’t volunteer, but you’d like to start, we’d love to help! For teams new to secular service, we offer tons of ideas, event guides, and advice.