Beyond Belief Network recently organized a Week of Action as an opportunity to do good deeds in the week before National Day of Reason (and National Day of Prayer). Many Beyond Belief Network teams held events and encouraged hundreds of humanists across the country to #choosetoACT. These are summaries of a few of the events.
The Pathfinders, who are on a year-long service trip overseas, have been putting their humanism to work for months. They sent us some pictures of Connor teaching during their current service project with Camino Seguro (Safe Passage) in Guatemala.
Humanist Community of Central Ohio hosted a Red Cross Blood Drive in the conference room of their office building. Four volunteers took the lead planning, recruiting donors, and hosting the event. They had 23 people sign up and 20 successful donations.
Central Ohio United Non Theists (COUNT) held a Week of Action Bowling Party & Food Collection. They were able to donate 125 pounds of food plus $25 in cash/gift card donations to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Five members of COUNT also joined numerous other volunteers to participate in the Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) Big Spring tree planting at the Ohio School for the Deaf. Hundreds of trees native to Ohio were planted. Participants enjoyed a cookout after the work was done.
Members of Lehigh Valley Humanists joined several other groups and hundreds of individuals for the Great Allentown Cleanup in Allentown, PA. For their clean-up spot, they chose an urban area near where they hold their monthly meetings. The city provided the clean-up equipment. They had a great turnout, and residents expressed their thanks as LVH worked. What a positive experience! Participants enjoyed a cookout after the work was done.ng Party & Food Collection. They were able to donate 125 pounds of food plus $25 in cash/gift card donations to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Five members of COUNT also joined numerous other volunteers to participate in the Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) Big Spring tree planting at the Ohio School for the Deaf. Hundreds of trees native to Ohio were planted.
Southern Maryland Secular Humanists volunteered for Christmas in April St. Mary’s County. This organization selects local low income families and fixes up and improves over a dozen houses with hundreds of volunteers in one day. At their assigned house, the volunteers tore out a rotten floor and replaced the insulation, subfloor and flooring, built a deck and steps on the front, a landing and steps on the back and repainted virtually the entire interior including the kitchen cabinets. The weather was great and they had and lots of fun!
For FreeOK, it wasn’t just a Week of Action, it was a Week of Random Kindness! They encouraged individuals to perform simple acts of kindness and share their accomplishments on Twitter.
Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless collected donations from eight residents in Austin for their recent giveaway. Items collected included books, magazines, prepackaged snacks, clothing and toiletries. Eighteen volunteers from the BBN team distributed these basic living supplies in Downtown Austin. Roughly seventy-five homeless people joined their line. Ninety-five percent of their items were gone in twenty minutes.
St. Louis, MO hosts the second largest Earth Day celebration in the nation. Funds raised from the St. Louis Earth Day Festival support the year-round programming of the St. Louis Earth Day organization. Ten volunteers from Ethics in Action joined hundreds more in setting up for this event. Activities included moving tables/chairs, setting up barricades, moving firewood, unloading and distributing supplies, helping vendors check in and set up, dumpster diving, and driving golf carts.
Members of Humanists Doing Good hiked the Mica Mine Trail in Grand Junction, CO and removed litter along the way in recognition of Earth Day and National Week of Action. Their efforts were coordinated with the Bureau of Land Management. They collected several bags of trash from the trail and out of the adjacent stream. The weather looked rather ominous before the hike began, which understandably caused several potential volunteers to cancel. However, those who were able to attend were treated to some spectacular scenery, pleasant weather and had a great time cleaning up the local environment.
For Week of Action, Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation Community Service Committee hosted two service events! Fun was had by young and old at both events! First, they helped out at Bernie’s Book Bank. They sorted and placed Bernie’s stickers on books as well as packed bags for preschool age students. Then they made eight no-sew blankets for kids with medical conditions at Camp Simcha.
Humanist Community at Harvard has also decided to continue the success of their Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Meal Packing events by launching a permanent meal packing station at the Hub. This station will allow them to pack more than 2,000 meals every month. At their first Meal Packing event, they packed over 3,600 meals.
The Garbage Detectives were out in force, cleaning up neighborhoods in Chicago. Twins Evelyn and Sophie actually have a weekly cleanup; they go looking for trash every Tuesday evening.
Again, Beyond Belief Network would like to thank all the teams that participated and helped to make Week of Action a success. We hope to see both familiar and new BBN teams join us next year. If your team has a Week of Action event not included in this roundup, please submit a report. If you’re not yet a member of Beyond Belief Network, consider joining. Beyond Belief Network provides support and encouragement to local and online groups interested in community service projects. Teams who submit regular event reports receive free t-shirts, grants, and awards.