This November, as the Volunteers Beyond Belief program enters its second year, the next incarnation of the program begins to take shape with the addition of five new teams. We are proud to introduce three of our new teams, two of which move VBB into new communities—New Orleans and Sioux Falls, SD. The third new team is our second in North Carolina and first team with a U.S. military influence. These three new teams bring along with them an experienced volunteer crew of 700 members and join an already strong 2,000 volunteers across the country.
We look forward to the new additions spreading the values and positivity of secular humanism and joining the many Volunteers Beyond Belief teams already doing good in their community.
Welcome to these new VBB teams:
Siouxland Freethinkers is a community of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics, humanists, and skeptics. We encourage and support critical thinking skills and science-based methods of inquiry, unfettered by supernatural beliefs or dogma. We also support our secular form of government as a necessary condition for the interdependent rights of freedom of religion and freedom from religion. We conduct a variety of formal meetings, outreach, and social gatherings to foster relationships with like-minded people. SLFT also puts a special emphasis on volunteer and philanthropic events, striving to give back to our community and put a positive face on atheism and skepticism. The New Orleans Secular Humanist Association (NOSHA)/NOSHA Social Aid and Pleasure Club is a new volunteer initiative to support local charities and service organizations in the greater New Orleans area. The effort aims to increase the visibility of secular humanists in our community and exemplify how to “do good without gods.” Recent volunteer activities include working with the Save Our Cemeteries historic preservation society to restore the tomb of local historic figure Marie Laveau, staffing the local LGBT pride festival, and participating in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk as part of the Foundation Beyond Belief team.
M*A*S*H–Fort Bragg is an apolitical social organization for atheists, agnostics, secular humanist, and freethinkers in the Fort Bragg/Fayetteville, NC, area that is open to military members, veterans, and civilians. We are building an inclusive, nontheist community to end the isolation many nontheists experience. We promote the rights of our military personnel to exercise the freedom from religion that they defend, striving to foster a positive view of atheists in our community. The goals of MASH include:
To serve the vastly underrepresented nontheist military population on post. Additionally, we aim to be officially recognized and listed on the Fort Bragg Chaplain’s schedule of services that currently caters to Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and even Pagans.
Provide a safe and fun environment for community-oriented meetings, such as Book Club, Game/Movie Night, 5K Fun Runs, Family Activities, and other social gatherings.
Encourage the building of a strong activist framework to work together toward the various issues that face being a nonbeliever in the military, or in a military town. Together we can really make a difference. We can coordinate and network to effect a real change.