Humanity at Work · Compassionate Humanists supporting charities worldwide

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Austin Humanists at Work (ATXHAW) has received a 501(c)(3) designation, officially establishing it as a nonprofit organization. The group is an extremely active, Beyond Belief Network team and have received grants from Foundation Beyond Belief (FBB). FBB will continue to support them and their mission and are excited by this development that will allow them to better serve their community. 

Since 2014, ATXHAW has collected donations of personal care items to help people in Central Austin who are experiencing homelessness or who have limited means. With the 501(c)(3) status, ATXHAW can accept nonprofit monetary donations to fund the most-needed items for clients. Additionally, monetary and in-kind donations are tax-deductible.

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Foundation Beyond Belief (FBB) is proud to announce that we have chosen Proyecto Matria as our first beneficiary in the Humanist Disaster Recovery Drive to aid the people of Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria. More than $25,000 was raised to aid Puerto Rico in hurricane recovery and Poyecto Matria will receive the majority of the funds. Details are still being worked out for the remainder of the funds and that announcement will be made at a later time.

Hurricane Maria, a category 4 storm, hit Puerto Rico on September 20 with 150 mph winds and rainfall that measured in feet in some areas. The island was already suffering from damage that occurred when Hurricane Irma clipped the island on September 7. Of the 1 million people Irma had left without power on the island, 60,000 were still without electricity when Maria hit two weeks later. As Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said the Monday after Maria hit,  “Make no mistake — this is a humanitarian disaster involving 3.4 million US citizens.” Sadly, the US government response to the crisis, which left the island without electricity or access to clean drinking water, was slow and desperately inadequate.

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By FBB

We are happy to announce our September Beyond Belief Network (BBN) Picture of the Month and Team of the Month winners. This month, we would also like to welcome our Picture of the Month winner, Long Island Atheists, to our network. This photo is from one of their first events as a BBN team. They have adopted a trail near the Little League of the Islips and will have cleaning events every two months. At this event, they collected over 20 bags of trash and recyclables and even had people who were playing at the park help them clean. Great job, Long Island Atheists!

A welcome is also necessary for our September’s Team of the Month winner. Secular Student Alliance at Ohio State University has restarted their service this semester. In September, six of their members volunteered for half a day at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. That’s a great way to get back into the swing of things. Welcome back SSA at OSU!

By FBB

Women’s Global Education Project (WGEP) was founded by Amy Maglio after she witnessed the many obstacles to attending school that girls in Senegal faced while she was a Peace Corps volunteer. She also saw first-hand how impactful girls attending school can be for a whole community. She founded WGEP to help rural girls go to school and they are now working in 65 villages Senegal and Kenya. WGEP’s approach is multi-tiered: addressing the problem at the economic, cultural, and social levels and working with the girls, their families, and the community to empower the not just the girls, but the whole community.

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By FBB

Throughout my life, this one question has always been at the forefront of my mind when trying something new. As I have moved from place to place, joined new teams and organizations this question would always format itself in one of two ways. How will I make friends? What if I don’t make friends? Naturally, after I accepted the position to be a part of the Humanist Service Corps family and live in Ghana, I began to wonder how my life would look living in a place and adapting to a culture I knew almost nothing about. I would stay awake trying to picture everything about what my new life would entail. Of course, my favorite question had a huge presence during this time. But this time the question took a slightly different form. I wondered how my friendships would differ from those I’ve made working in Philadelphia and Los Angeles or if they would differ at all.

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By Hannah Austin, HSC: Ghana Volunteer

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