August Beyond Belief Network Roundup!

We just finished rounding up reports of what teams in our volunteer network did for their communities in August!

Recognitions

 

A big welcome to BBN goes out to North Orlando Oasis!

Team of the Month goes to Humanists of Tallahassee, which collaborated twice with a local progressive church on giveaways to unhoused people! Beneficiaries got packs of essentials consisting of nutritious snacks plus hygiene items like soap, razors, sock, and menstrual products!

Photo of the Month (above) goes to Northwest Chicagoland Humanist Crew, which ran a bra drive for Free the Girls: an organization helping women rescued from sex trafficking to reintegrate into communities. NCHC collected 31 bras (and some cash), which will go into an inventory held by Free the Girls. Beneficiaries can acquire bras from this inventory to sell them and bring in income for themselves and their families!

Food Security Project

 

Here are the quick stats on the five BBN teams receiving grants as part of our Food Security Project:

  • Total events held: 8
  • Total individual beneficiaries served: 725
  • Total families/households served: 185
  • Total meals/kits distributed: 907
  • Total pounds of food: 3,600

Here’s how that breaks down…

Austin Humanists At Work:

This team held their monthly giveaway to people experiencing homelessness. The big event consists of setting up tables and accepting/distributing donated items such as food, underwear, books, bedding, and warmth items. They also usually connect people with other resources they may need at the time. ATXHAW serves 50-100 people per month this way, though attendance has been down due to Austin’s recent camping ban. They’re currently working with other organizations to find a new location where they can serve more people.

Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix (HSGP):

HSGP joined an organization called Project Roots, which educates communities about growing food, feeds food insecure people from local community gardens, helps at farmer’s markets, and makes juices and soups for people in need!

HSGP members toured Project Roots’ community garden and kitchen, did some harvesting, and contributed 500 soup containers to benefit as many individuals. They’re also working on getting volunteers food handler’s cards so they can be part of more Project Roots initiatives.

HSGP also met up later to crochet sleeping mats, each made out of 500-700 repurposed plastic bags! Finished mats will be given to people experiencing homelessness. The team reported this has been a great way for volunteers to contribute from home as they re-implement COVID safety measures.

Atheists United (AU):

This SoCal team held their big monthly food giveaway, handing out thousands of pounds of free food from their parking lot. Volunteers placed over a hundred flyers in the area ahead of the event. Everyone and anyone was welcome to get food, no stipulations!

AU also volunteered for Tree People: a nonprofit that restores urban trees in southern Los Angeles. 20 volunteers nursed about 50 trees in an inner-city neighborhood, a task consisting of checking on trees, hauling water, building berms, and picking up trash.

Finally, team members kept up with a monthly commitment to read printed materials for people experiencing visual impairments through Audio Information Network of Colorado.

Atheist Community of Polk County:

These central Florida volunteers kept up with a slate of commitments, including:

  • Distributing food and hygiene kits as part of a local initiative called Street Warriors
  • Holding a “Weekends Without Hunger Program” during which they distribute food and supplies to food insecure students at a local elementary school
  • Picking up six bags of trash, four tires, and other debris from their 2.2 mile stretch of adopted highway!

Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless (Austin AHH):

Despite a hot summer day, an uptick in COVID-19, and hardships created by the city’s sweeps of unsheltered people, this team pressed on with their big monthly giveaway. They served three locales while re-implementing pandemic safety measures, forgoing their usual tabled giveaway for one in which they hand-delivered bags of essentials.

BBN At Large

 

Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT):

COUNT donated 8 volunteer hours preparing and serving food at the Van Buren Center shelter. 109 COUNT volunteers have worked 1237.25 hours in 79 events to date at this location, wearing  branded aprons to raise awareness that they are non-religious people doing service.

Volunteers also worked three times with Adaptive Sports Connection, an organization that helps adaptive athletes participate in outdoor sports. This month was all about kayaking!

Atheists of Florida:

This team raised funds for — and fully funded! —an education project that will help 88 students in 4th grade to understand the health of local ecosystems. Kids will investigate the predation and consumption patterns of owls by systematically analyzing the content of local owl pellets.

Staunton Oasis:

This team sorted food at their local food bank. (‘Nough said!)