Congratulations to Beyond Belief Network’s July Team of the Month: Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT)! This Level 3 team is based in Columbus, OH. COUNT was chosen for this honor because of their regular service event schedule and strong spirit of volunteerism. Each month, members of COUNT volunteer at two organizations in their city: Community…

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Congratulations to Beyond Belief Network’s June Team of the Month: Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT)! COUNT was chosen for this honor because of their regular service event schedule and outstanding participation in Week of Action! One of their regular events is to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in Columbus, Ohio. RMH provides housing…

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By Elizabeth Minutello, Beyond Belief Network intern

Foundation Beyond Belief’s Beyond Belief Network is a network of secular humanist groups volunteering in their communities and raising money for FBB’s featured charities and programs. Any group with a public secular humanist or atheist identity is welcome to join, regardless of experience or group size. In March, BBN’s community service theme is Community Gardens. 

 

The Humanist Community at Harvard recently organized an event called, “Faces of Homelessness: Cards and Scarves.” HCH welcomed representatives from the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance and the Massachusetts Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau to share their experiences with being homeless and to break down stereotypes. Following the speakers, HCH members made 256 fleece scarves and wrote encouraging cards for the homeless. HCH also hosted a winter clothing drive for people to donate items to the Friends of Boston’s Homeless.

 

 

Humanist Community of Central Ohio supported one of their members when she was facing a crisis. After struggling with her finances and health, this member set up an online funding page. HCCO shared the link among their membership. Although most of the donors were anonymous, some funds were donated by members of HCCO and another BBN team, Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT). The member needed $2,910 to cover six months of back rent. In six days, she raised $3,600. She continues to receive additional support from community members. HCCO also hosted a Bleed & Feed (group blood donation and dinner) event. They had eight successful blood donors at the Red Cross Donor Center. They also had non-bleeding volunteers offer moral support and encouragement. This event was covered in the Columbus Dispatch and a mention on Friendly Atheist.

Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless continued their team’s monthly service event. They collected and distributed books, snacks, clothing, and accessories to 65 members of Austin’s homeless community.                          

                                      

Upstate Atheists met at the Greer Soup Kitchen to serve the underprivileged. When they arrived, the prepared meals were still frozen. None of the staff on hand knew how to cook. Luckily, a culinary-minded member of Upstate Atheists planned a meal and delegated tasks. She helped to make enough food to feed 150 people in less than an hour! Upstate Atheists have been invited by Greer Soup Kitchen to return for a future volunteer opportunity. Upstate Atheists also had their first Adopt-A-Highway Clean Up in Greenville, SC. Although only two members were available to clean both sides of their new two-mile stretch of road, they collected four bags of trash.
 

                    

If you are a member of a secular humanist or atheist group and would like to participate in community service projects under the national umbrella of Foundation Beyond Belief, join Beyond Belief Network. We welcome all atheist groups interested in service, from groups with extensive volunteer experience to newly formed groups new to secular service. By aggregating our efforts, we demonstrate that all we really need is charity and goodness to make the world a better place.

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By Elizabeth Minutello, Beyond Belief Network intern

Foundation Beyond Belief’s Beyond Belief Network is a network of secular humanist groups volunteering in their communities and raising money for FBB’s featured charities and programs. Any group with a public secular humanist or atheist identity is welcome to join, regardless of experience or group size. In January, BBN observed National Mentoring Month and encouraged teams to forge mentoring relationships with young adults or other secular humanist groups.

Four times a year, Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry (SHL) choose a local charity as their Charity of the Quarter. After asking members for donations, SHL raised $655 for their most recent Charity of the Quarter, Charleston Animal Society. SHL also removed litter from their Adopt-a-Highway section, a two-mile stretch of Harborview Road on James Island, in mud and rain. With ten volunteers, this team collected twelve bags of trash.

Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry

One of the newest additions to Beyond Belief Network is off to a promising start. Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation Community Service collected food for local food pantries. 

After seeing that many residents in a local senior living center were in need of food and funds, Dogma Debate LLC started a fundraiser. Through their podcast, Dogma Debate’s call for action was heard by listeners within the community. Their efforts resulted in 471 donations totaling $3,093.33, which will feed and provide toiletries for all of the seniors for over a year. Dogma Debate is ecstatic that they were able to exceed their initial goal and promote a positive image of the atheist community.

Dogma Debate

The weather was warm and welcoming for Southern Maryland Secular Humanists when they cleaned their Adopt-a-Highway section of Route 5 in Lexington Park, MD. In four hours, they collected twelve bags of trash.

Five Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) members volunteered as housewarmers in January, working a total of 40.5 hours at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House (RMH). Last year, COUNT volunteers worked a total of 141.5 hours at RMH. RMH provides housing and meals to families with children being treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as well as other area hospitals. Housewarmers work with guests to provide a home-like environment. Among their duties, housewarmers greet, assist with a family’s needs, answer phones, give tours, assist with check-in/checkout, prepare guest rooms after checkout, clean the facility, do laundry, restock supplies, and staff the front desk. COUNT members try to volunteer as housewarmers for at least one four-hour shift a month.

Ethics in Action recently volunteered at Lydia’s House, an organization that provides housing for women and children survivors of domestic abuse for up to two years. Volunteers sorted donations received over the holidays for use by the families. They also removed unwanted materials in the basement and cleaned the laundry room.

Ethics in Action

If you are a member of a secular humanist or atheist group and would like to participate in community service projects under the national umbrella of Foundation Beyond Belief, join Beyond Belief Network. We welcome all atheist groups interested in service, from groups with extensive volunteer experience to newly formed groups new to secular service. By aggregating our efforts, we demonstrate that all we really need is charity and goodness to make the world a better place.

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By Elizabeth Dorssom

Foundation Beyond Belief’s Beyond Belief Network is a network of secular humanist groups volunteering in their communities and raising money for FBB’s featured charities and programs. Any group with a public secular humanist or atheist identity is welcome to join, regardless of experience or group size. Our teams have been hard at work in December, proudly displaying humanism at work! During December we are encouraging everyone to keep toy safety in mind when making holiday purchases for children.

Secular Hub recently sorted medical supplies for Project C.U.R.E, a nonprofit that collects medical supplies and equipment from hospitals and other medical facilities and ships them to clinics and hospitals in poor countries, where the supplies are desperately needed. Secular Hub also hosted a tea party and Bead for Life party at which they raised more than $600 to help East African women lift their families out of extreme poverty.

Secular Hub

Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) volunteered as housewarmers at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House. Ronald McDonald House provides housing and meals to families with children being treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and other local hospitals. Housewarmers work with Ronald McDonald House guests to provide a home-like environment: they greet families, assist with family needs, answer phones, give tours, assist with checking in and out, prepare guest rooms after checkout, clean the facility, do laundry, restock supplies, and staff the front desk. COUNT members volunteer as housewarmers for at least one four-hour shift a month.

Lehigh Valley Humanists (LVH) hosted a speaker who discussed the teaching of intelligent design in PA schools and had some fun playing an ID/FSM Jeopardy game. LVH hosted a Pastafarian Pasta Drive to benefit Catasauqua Food Bank. The food bank was originally affiliated with a church, but the church forced the food bank out of the building when they couldn’t afford to pay for the building’s upgrade. One of LVH’s members owns a warehouse and lets the food bank use it for free.

Lehigh Valley Humanists

Humanist Community of Central Ohio recently hosted a blood drive in their office building. They had their largest recruitment ever with 28 registrations, five walk-ins, and one volunteer. They were able to collect 21 units of blood overall, two more units than the target set by the Red Cross. This collection can help save up to 60 lives!

Siouxland Freethinkers collected toys and other items needed for a local children’s shelter, Children’s Inn. The collection was held during their monthly meeting. Members unable to attend the meeting were able to donate early. Check out the items donated to Children’s Inn below.

Siouxland Freethinkers

Humanists and Freethinkers of Cape Fear held a holiday toy drive to benefit Duke University’s clinic for children up to age 18. They also held a school supply collection to benefit school-aged children at Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard. Due to space and availability restrictions, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard wasn’t able to give out backpacks, but did hand out various school supplies.

If you are a member of a secular humanist or atheist group and would like to participate in community service projects under the national umbrella of Foundation Beyond Belief, join Beyond Belief Network. We welcome all atheist groups interested in service, from groups with extensive volunteer experience to newly formed groups new to secular service. By aggregating our efforts, we show the world that all we really need is charity and goodness to make the world a better place.

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By Elizabeth Dorssom

Foundation Beyond Belief’s Beyond Belief Network is a network of secular humanist groups volunteering in their communities and raising money for FBB’s featured charities and programs. Any group with a public secular humanist or atheist identity is welcome to join, regardless of experience or group size. Our teams have been hard at work in November putting their compassionate humanism to work. During November, BBN observed Hunger Awareness Month, and in December we are encouraging everyone to keep toy safety in mind when making holiday purchases for children.

November Team of the Month Fellowship of Freethought Dallas teamed up with David Smalley of Dogma Debate to host a Cocktails for a Cause event for the Seagoville Senior Center. The Senior Center provides many seniors with their only healthy meal each day and is in desperate need of funds. FoF Dallas plans to donate a $150 award from FBB to the center in addition to the $250 raised at the event. They also hosted a mini Thanksgiving meal for the teens at Youth First Texas, complete with turkey, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes. Some of the teens do not have families to go to or do not feel comfortable attending family gatherings, which makes the family-style meals even more important to them.

The Humanist Community of Ventura County volunteered with Heal the Bay as part of their monthly Beach Cleanup in Pacific Palisades, CA. Heal the Bay is a local nonprofit dedicated to making southern California’s coastal waters and watersheds safe, healthy, and clean. For two hours HCVC walked the beach with buckets and gloves picking up any and all trash they could find. HCVC was also educated about what drains from their local communities into the oceans and how dangerous that can be to the environment. Being no strangers to hard work, they also joined the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA), the Santa Monica Trails Council, and other volunteers for the 23nd Annual COSCA Trailwork Day. HCVC worked on new trails in the Conejo Canyons Open Space that are accessible because of a new bridge.

Humanist Community of Ventura County

Finally, they volunteered at Sunday Assembly of Los Angeles and modeled their brand-new BBN gear featuring our brand-new logo! Sunday Assembly of Los Angeles is a new godless community that meets monthly to hear great talks, connect for service projects, sing songs, and generally celebrate life. Assemblies are free to attend, and everyone is welcome. HCVC brought nine volunteers to help with set-up, check-in, greeting, ushering, donation collection, service project signups, food distribution, and cleanup. Sunday Assembly of Los Angeles had more than 400 people in attendance, and the event was a huge success!

Humanist Community of Ventura County

FreeOK took Hunger Awareness month to heart by collecting non-perishable food items for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma during a recent blood drive. Twenty-eight people donated blood, and 100 pounds of food were collected. The event also served as the first official drop location for Humanist Gifting Project contributions. This innovative project allowed needy children nominated from the community to make wish lists, which FreeOK staff turned into Amazon wish lists. Members were able to bring in toys, “adopt a child,” and purchase toys directly from Amazon. Kai Tancredi of FreeOK reported that as of Monday, 100% of the children in the program had been adopted by generous donors! In addition, FreeOK returned to their original work site for their Oklahoma Tornado Disaster Response project at Steelman Estates to assist with the tent city that has sprouted up since their last venture there in May. They organized overflow donations that could not be put in the limited warehouse space, sorted a 35-foot moving truck full of donated clothing, and put together care packages of clothing items to be distributed to local women’s and children’s shelters and the Muscular Dystrophy Association of OKC.

Central Ohio United Non-Theists held their 2nd Annual Flying Spaghetti Monster Benefit Dinner. The dinner topped last year, with 76 pounds of food collected at the event and more than $2,000 raised for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Volunteers from several local atheist and freethought groups entertained and fed more than 120 guests. Their fun-filled event featured a raffle and silent auction of items donated by 21 area businesses, artists, and individuals. COUNT handled project management and post-event activity, made jewelry for the silent auction and raffle, and were represented by nine volunteers at the event. COUNT only recently reached 100 members, making it a prime example of what newly formed groups are capable of!

Ethics in Action recently helped Voices for Children in setting up a giving tree for the upcoming holidays in their local Whole Foods market. Voices for Children advocates for abused and neglected children and youth in St. Louis by representing their best interests in court and in the community. Volunteers spent most of their time preparing the ornaments, which double as gift wish tags. Shoppers collect tags and later return to Whole Foods with gifts for the children. The initiative has helped make the holidays brighter for nearly 600 kids in foster care over the past decade.

Ethics in Action

Secular Hub sorted medical supplies for Project C.U.R.E. in their first month of BBN membership. Project C.U.R.E. collects medical supplies and equipment from hospitals and other medical facilities and ships them to clinics and hospitals in poor countries, where the supplies are desperately needed.

Secular Hub

Northern Arizona University’s Secular Student Alliance recently volunteered for Habitat for Humanity. NAU SSA members assisted with cleaning and painting the home of a local resident.

Northern Arizona University's Secular Student Alliance

North Florida Atheists volunteered at Dignity U Wear to fold clothes that help out less fortunate families and kids. Dignity U Wear gives new clothing to schools and nonprofit agencies to serve those in need. Every North Florida Atheists member in attendance also brought canned goods to support their local Second Harvest Food Bank.

If you are a member of a secular humanist or atheist group and would like to participate in community service projects under the national umbrella of Foundation Beyond Belief, join Beyond Belief Network. We welcome all atheist groups interested in service, from groups with extensive volunteer experience to newly formed groups new to secular service. By aggregating our efforts, we show the world that all we really need is charity and goodness to make the world a better place.

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Beyond Belief Network

By Elizabeth Dorssom

Foundation Beyond Belief’s Beyond Belief Network is a network of secular humanist groups interested in volunteering (Volunteers Beyond Belief) and raising money for FBB and our beneficiaries (Foundation Partners Program).

November is upon us, and our Beyond Belief Network teams are already busy expressing their thanks this season by volunteering in their communities!

Flagstaff Freethinkers, Beyond Belief Network’s October Team of the Month, hosted a Family Dance Party fundraiser in collaboration with the Flagstaff Latin Dance Collective to benefit One New Education. One New Education is a group that provides educational opportunities for women in developing countries. Flagstaff Freethinkers raised $960 and brought a lot of the greater Flagstaff community together around a great cause, with the freethinkers at the heart of it.

Flagstaff Freethinkers

Ethics in Action organized the library at the St. Louis LGBT Center. The LGBT Center of St Louis is run entirely by volunteers. This important service to the local community wouldn’t be able to open its doors without volunteers like Ethics in Action. One of the resources provided by the center is its library, an impressive collection of books on LGBT history, law, theory, self-improvement, and fiction. Ethics in Action members sorted all the books in the fiction section into an orderly alphabetical arrangement on the shelves—sounds simple, but it was quite a task! Next up: Nonfiction. The volunteers are pictured in their brand-new Humanism at Work shirts that they received for reaching Level One of Beyond Belief Network!

Ethics in Action

North Florida Atheists recently volunteered with Dignity U Wear. Dignity U Wear distributes dignity in the form of brand new clothing. Their goal is to distribute clothing in a way that maximizes the impact that clothing has on lives. They collaborate with other great social service agencies on projects and programs so that the clothing is given to people at the right time—the first day of school, in coordination with medical care, or before a job interview, for example.

Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry has been collecting money for a different local charity every quarter since 2007. Their first Charity of the Quarter for 2012 was “Begin with Books,” which distributes new free books to kids in need every month. SHL raised $1,092 and were honored as the sponsor of the month in August 2013, which means that their group name was on the book plate placed into each book distributed. They challenged their members to donate blood at two local Red Cross donor centers during the week of October 14-19 in their group’s name. SHL also picked up litter along two miles of road in Charleston, SC, through the South Carolina Department of Transportation Adopt a Highway program and have a road sign indicating they have adopted that highway portion.

Siouxland Freethinkers volunteered at the Kirby Science Center’s “Spooky Science” event. Spooky Science is a non-scary Halloween event. There are stations set up throughout the science center where kids can perform science experiments, learn about science, and make crafts. Siouxland Freethinkers members ran different experiment stations, such as one that taught kids about Newton’s laws of motion, one that experimented with static electricity, one that taught about buoyancy, and one where the kids learned about holograms. Siouxland Freethinkers also recently hosted a blood drive and participated in “Tree the Town,” during which volunteers planted trees at the homes of the elderly and the disabled in order to help replace trees that were lost during an ice storm earlier this year.

Siouxland Freethinkers

Southern Maryland Secular Humanists also got in the Halloween spirit by running a booth at the 14th-annual Halloween event for the Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center. Nearly 6,000 kids and parents enjoyed the gorgeous weather. Eighty company booths handed out candy along with SMSH. This perfectly spook-tacular event raised money for the Holiday Food Basket Program, Annmarie Scholarship Fund, and a St. Mary’s County Charity to be named by the Ann’s Circle Board of Directors.

Southern Maryland Secular Humanists

Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) worked as housewarmers at the Columbus, Ohio, Ronald McDonald House (RMH). RMH provides housing and meals to families with children being treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and other area hospitals. Housewarmers work with RMH guests to provide a home-like environment by greeting, assisting with family needs, answering phones, giving tours, assisting with checking in and out, preparing guest rooms after checkout, cleaning the facility, laundry, restocking supplies, and staffing the front desk.

In November, Beyond Belief Network will observe Hunger Awareness Month by encouraging BBN teams to help local food banks and soup kitchens. If you are a member of a secular humanist or atheist group and would like to participate in community service projects under the national umbrella of Foundation Beyond Belief, join Beyond Belief Network. We welcome all atheist groups interested in service, from groups with extensive volunteer experience to newly formed groups new to secular service. By aggregating our efforts, we show the world that all we really need is charity and goodness to make the world a better place.

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By Elizabeth Dorssom

Foundation Beyond Belief’s Beyond Belief Network is a network of secular humanist groups interested in volunteering (Volunteers Beyond Belief) and raising money for FBB and our beneficiaries (Foundation Partners Program). Fall is here, and our volunteer groups are sending summer out with a blast and displaying humanity at work.

Flagstaff Freethinkers volunteered at the Flagstaff Family Food Center, a secular food pantry. They helped with food preparation, serving, and clean-up.

Flagstaff Freethinkers

Humanists of Rhode Island volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes for the needy. The Humanists of Rhode Island have volunteered for Habitat for Humanity for more than two years and have been able to frame, shingle, paint, detail, insulate, and landscape houses. The Humanists of Rhode Island also attended a peace rally in which they collected money for Foundation Beyond Belief beneficiary International Rescue Committee to support Syrian refugee relief.

Humanists of Rhode Island

Fellowship of Freethought Dallas created a pasta bar for youth and volunteers at Youth First Texas. Previously, the group created a taco bar and prepared a Cajun meal for the youth. Youth First Texas provides a safe space for LGBTQ youth and their allied friends. Every Friday night they have a family-style meal that, for many, is the only nourishing meal they get during the week.

The Humanist Community of Ventura County became the first community group to ever volunteer in the California Lutheran University (CLU) Community Garden. They pulled weeds, watered plants, and picked ripe vegetables. The CLU Community Garden provides direct opportunities for students to learn about CLU’s sustainability principles and to participate in the nationwide movement of growing and purchasing local produce.

Humanist Community of Ventura County

This summer, Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) volunteered as house-warmers for their local Ronald McDonald House (RMH). As house-warmers, COUNT worked with RMH guests to provide a home-like environment by greeting families, assisting with family needs, answering phones, giving tours, assisting with check-in and check-out, and preparing guest rooms after check-out. COUNT volunteers also assisted with cleaning facilities, laundry, restocking supplies, and staffing the front desk.

Are you a member of a secular humanist group and want to help your community, raise awareness of nonbelievers doing good deeds, and connect with other service-oriented groups? Ask your team to join Beyond Belief Network. BBN staff can help you achieve your service goals and, as you submit event reports, your team will qualify for free t-shirts and the opportunity to apply for grants.

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