Beyond Belief Network teams demonstrate communal support, big and small
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.
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.
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.
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.