Foundation Beyond Belief is proud of the many individuals and local groups who made extraordinary contributions to compassionate humanism in 2018. The tireless work of these individuals and organizations has improved countless lives of many communities throughout the world. Our Heart of Humanism awards recognizes some of these dedicated volunteers and groups and we are thrilled to announce the 2018 winners.
Our biggest Heart of Humanism award is Humanism at Work, which goes to the team with the most volunteer hours. This year our winner is Austin Humanists at Work with an incredible 4,299 total hours. For this award, the team will receive a grant of $250. Those 4,299 volunteer hours were donated at 46 events, the most 2018 events of any BBN team. That means Austin Humanists at Work also takes home our Eat. Sleep. Volunteer. Repeat award. This award brings the team another grant of $100.
This year's Rookie of the Year award goes to New Orleans Secular Humanist Association. They may have been new to our Beyond Belief Network, but they came in ready to work. Even though they joined in the fall of 2018, they still had five service events! They will receive a grant of $50.00.
The Gimme Food and Shelter award, which recognizes the team with outstanding contributions to causes related to homelessness and food insecurity, goes to Atheists Community of Colorado Springs. The had an incredible 34 events addressing homelessness and food insecurity in 2018! We know they will put their award grant of $100 to good use.
Our Best Photo award goes to Jefferson Humanists in Golden, Colorado. This photo (below) was taken during their jacket and coat collection drive during which they collected 50 items for people experiencing homelessness and low income residents in Jefferson County, Colorado.
The Backbone Volunteers award goes to a team that played a consistent and reliable role in a local organization. This year our winner is Humanist Community of Central Ohio (HCCO), who held monthly events at to Community Shelter Board (CSB), which provides housing and meals to families and individuals experiencing homelessness. Volunteers served meals and cleaned up after at each event. The team will receive a grant of $100 for future service events.
Now that we've acknowledged our Beyond Belief Network team recipients, we are excited to announce our individual Heart of Humanism awards.
Our Outstanding Leader award recognizes an outstanding Beyond Belief Network team leader. This year we are proud to award this honor to Tee Rogers, the outstanding leader of Florida’s BE. Orlando.
BE. Orlando is community of compassionate atheists, humanists, freethinkers, and people of other non-religious identities, as well as allies of faith. They believe in making the world a better place and overcoming stereotypes about non-religious people through service and education. In 2018, BE. Orlando was a Gold Level BBN team with 2018 events including mattress recycling at a furniture and clothing bank, an annual Pi(e) day event (which included STEM games and a pie buffet for at risk youth), and an event in which they braved an alligator-infested lake to plant shoreline grass and stabilize a wake-impacted habitat area. BE. Orlando organizes a wide range of events while returning to community partners with reliable commitments. They are making effective, compassionate impacts in their communities. That is humanism at work.
The Heart of Humanism, our highest award, for outstanding contributions to compassionate humanism, goes to Phil Session of Beyond Belief Network teams Freethinkers Association of Central Texas (FACT) in San Antonio and Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless (Austin AHH).
Phil works tirelessly to support and promote humanist values in his communities. He coordinates multiple monthly volunteer events in two cities! Phil is the Volunteer Coordinator for FACT. In San Antonio he’s organized FACT projects to build ramps for veterans living with disabilities, service events at food banks, and volunteer projects with organizations that provide holistic support to people experiencing homelessness. Phil is also Coordinator for Austin AHH, which spends every first Sunday of the month under an overpass in downtown Austin distributing food, toiletries, clothing, sanitary supplies, and other necessities like flashlights and pet food to people experiencing homelessness. In addition to all the service he is coordinating and doing, he is one of the rotating co-hosts for the webcast Atheist Experience and is on the board of the Atheist Community of Austin.
The Heart of Humanism awards will be presented in person to the awardees who are present at the American Humanist Association's 78th Annual Conference at the Houston location on the June 7th.
Thank you to all of our outstanding teams and leaders. We can't wait to see what you accomplish this in 2019!