January Team of the Month: Pikes Peak Atheists & Pikes Peak Atheist Families
08 Jan 2015
Congratulations to Beyond Belief Network’s January Team of the Month: Pikes Peak Atheists & Pikes Peak Atheist Families! This team, based in Colorado Springs, CO, finished 2014 as a Level Three BBN team. Pikes Peak Atheists & Pikes Peak Atheist Families were chosen for Team of the Month recognition because of their successful donation drives and their volunteer efforts within their local community.
Pikes Peak Atheists and Pikes Peak Atheist Families collect donations for a number of local organizations. One of these is a local Colorado Springs shelter for women (and their children) escaping domestic abuse situations called TESSA. For the month of August 2014, they promoted a school supply donation campaign on social media and collected enough school supplies to fill a car. Later in the year, when TESSA requested new toys, kid’s clothes, and items for guardians for their holiday drive, PPA & PPAF answered the call. The team not only promoted the event, but they also registered for and started collecting donations on Make a Difference Day (October 25, 2014). They ran this collection drive through Thanksgiving (November 27, 2014). PPA & PPAF also accepted donated items for TESSA’s regular wish list such as magazines and household items. All in all, the team collected about 300 items plus gift cards and cash!
One of their favorite organizations to volunteer with is Black Forest Animal Sanctuary. In July 2014, they had their first volunteer day at the sanctuary and they're were happy to report that it was a great success! With 32 volunteers, they accomplished many tasks! They built / repaired 3 fences, reorganized the food and supply warehouse area, mucked out the stalls of horses, ponies, goats, alpaca and assorted fowl. They also socialized with the cats, walked all of the dogs, and the kids brushed a new addition to BFS, a pony named Sinatra. Pikes Peak also gave additional donations of dog and cat food, kitty litter and gave a monetary donation of $20. There have also been additional online donations for this cause during the month. Some of the members of Pikes Peak even adopted a cat! One of their pictures of this event won August 2014 Picture of the Month. They later returned for another Volunteer Day event with equal success.
In September 2014, Pikes Peak Atheists and Pikes Peak Atheist Families participated in a painting studio benefit for Black Forest Animal Sanctuary. They got eleven of the seats paid for by their group members for $35, and supported a great cause. They had a lot of fun learning to paint a horse. PPA and PPAF also helped the sanctuary when unusually frigid cold weather hit in November 2014. In extreme temperatures, horses can eat twice as much in a day due to them expending when shivering. The sanctuary was also running heaters in the barns which increased costs. The current market price of a bale of hay is $15. PPA and PPAF ran a drive to encourage people to donate $15 to help them with the cost of horse feed. They succeeded in collecting $75 that the team were able to contribute toward the purchase of 5 bales of hay. They promoted this collection for a few weeks.
Urban Peak, a youth homeless shelter servicing youths between the ages of 15-20, is another local organization for which Pikes Peak Atheists & Pikes Peak Atheist Families collects donations. In June 2014, the team collected 164 items, including toiletries, school supplies and clothes. They also held a corn hole tournament and a poker event. They raised $68 in donations. In November, the region experienced an unusually early bout of frigid cold. Urban Peak made an urgent request for warm clothing and blankets. PPA & PPAF spread the word and collected donations at their Open Mic Night. The team dropped off about 50 items, including coats and jackets, fatigues and general teen boys clothes, multiple pairs of gloves, hats and four blankets, and two comforters.
Pikes Peak Atheists and Pikes Peak Atheist Families also support each other. In September, they participated in Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis on behalf of one of their organizers, who suffers from Crohn's Disease. Twenty-one members came to the event to support their fellow team member. Sixteen members walked. The group raised $840. In December, one of their team’s community members requested items of clothing. This member works with people who are in a corrections environment. This is a place where people who have been incarcerated are in the process of reintegrating into regular society. Many of these individuals come with only the clothes on their backs. They have to walk to work release or job searches and the dining hall, etc. in the cold Colorado winter, often with no coats or warm clothes. In all, PPA & PPAF collected about 100 items, including coats, gloves, hats and scarves, plus quite a few nice work clothes for women
The team also launched a program in late 2014 to help those in need in their community. Some of their successes include helping a low-income family and their roommate move, helping a woman get donated furniture for her unfurnished apartment and running a clothing drive on behalf of a single mother.
Beyond Belief Network is proud to support Pikes Peak Atheists and Pikes Peak Atheist Families and wishes them continued success in 2015.
Team of the Month recognition is a benefit provided by Foundation Beyond Belief to our Beyond Belief Network teams. In order to be considered, your group must be a Level One Beyond Belief Network team and you must submit at least one event report during the month. Team of the Month selection is based on the number, length, variety, and documentation (e.g., submitted pictures, blog posts, videos, etc.) of events.
Teams can only be Team of the Month once per calendar year. If your local group does great service work, but isn’t a member of BBN, you can join anytime! In addition to recognition, your team can qualify for free t-shirts and grants. If your local humanist group doesn’t volunteer, but you’d like to start, we’d love to help! For teams new to secular service, we offer tons of ideas, event guides, and advice.