Volunteers in the Beyond Belief Network are keeping humanist service alive in their communities during this hot and difficult summer. We’ve rounded up the activities teams reported to us in August. Let’s check it out!
Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) is August's Team of the Month award winner, with an extraordinatry nine service events last month!
First, COUNT volunteers assembled lunch kits at a shelter in Columbus, Ohio that provides housing and meals to families and women. The team wore COUNT-branded aprons and name tags to raise awareness that non-theists care about the community.
The group also worked seven times this month with Adaptive Sports Connection (ASC), which helps Central Ohio veterans, children, and adults who need adaptive equipment or instruction to participate in sports like skiing, kayaking and cycling. This month, COUNT celebrated having put in over 500 hours since starting to volunteer with ASC two years ago!
August’s activities with ASC consisted of working their “Get Out And Kayak” program, a COVID-19-safe service helping people of all abilities get on the water and have fun while raising funds for ASC. Volunteers set up and sanitized gear, served as on-water safety monitors, and assisted kayakers in choosing and adjusting equipment. One volunteer also put in some extra hours to participate in a marine radio training and certification in order to qualify as a safety monitor.
Finally, COUNT volunteers worked as Housewarmers at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH), providing over twelve hours helping to provide housing and meals to families with children being treated at area hospitals. Housewarmers provide a home-like environment by greeting guests, assisting with family needs, answering phones, giving tours, checking people in and out, preparing rooms, cleaning, restocking, and staffing the front desk. COUNT volunteers have contributed 1,608 hours from the start of their involvement with RMH in 2013!
Atheists United (AU) in Los Angeles, California kept similarly busy. First off, over 20 members and supporters came together for a food distribution event near AU’s offices — their third such event so far. Volunteers picked up, organized, packed, and gave away over 1,000 pounds of food to over 75 families. They also registered people to vote and helped people fill out the census!
AU also sponsors the cleanup of a two-mile stretch of freeway just north of downtown Los Angeles. In August, nine volunteers showed up on a warm morning to perform their first cleanup since the pandemic began. All necessary gear was provided and sanitized beforehand, including vests, helmets, face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and water. Volunteers were trained in safe cleanup procedures and maintained social distancing the whole time. Organizers report it lifted everyone’s spirits to see their friends in person for a short while doing something for the community outdoors.
This activity is the source of August's BBN Picture of the Month, below!
Finally, AU continued their partnership with nonprofit Audio Information Network of Colorado (AINColorado): a broadcast service that provides audio versions of printed material to Coloradans experiencing blindness, visual impairment, and print disability. Volunteers recorded readings of advertisements for four stores each week of the month — a 2.5 hour process each session which includes finding, reading, editing, verifying, and uploading a recording for a Monday podcast.
Great job teams. We can’t wait to hear from you next month!
Beyond Belief Network is a collective of over 125 humanist, atheist, and other non-believing organizations putting compassionate humanism into action through community volunteering and charitable fundraising. Its just one of many examples of the work our humanist community does to make a positive impact on the world. The network wouldn't be possible without you. You can support our work in organizing this network by making a contribution to our General Fund today.