by Wendy Webber, Beyond Belief Network Coordinator
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.
Let’s check in and see what the Beyond Belief Network Teams are up to as summer gets started!
The Family & Friends Humanist Crew in Mundelein, IL participated in the EmpoweRun 5K, benefiting A Safe Place, a local organization providing support services for victims of domestic abuse. Their team was able to get 16 pledges totaling $640.00. The walk/run itself was great and was held at Libertyville's Independence Grove Forest Preserve. Everyone had a great time and loved supporting this wonderful cause. Several members said they can't wait to do it again next year!
Center for Inquiry-Michigan members held their annual event at Long Lake Outdoor Center, helping prepare the campground for use this summer. After the nasty winter, much time was spent clearing downed trees, branches, and leaves from common areas. People also cleaned the craft house, washed windows in the kitchen and lodge, and conducted general cabin inspections to be sure they were ready for use. Long Lake Outdoor Center is a historical campground that can be rented by the public. CFI-Michigan holds their annual Secular Summer Retreat there in July. In May each year, they donate time and expertise for whatever priorities need to be dealt with for the campground to be ready for public use. After a terrible winter and questionable spring in terms of weather, they had a perfect day for doing outdoor work. Another great day spent giving back to the campground they have enjoyed so much over the years!
Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) volunteers worked as Housewarmers at the Columbus Ohio Ronald McDonald House again this month, and then partnered again with the Humanist Community of Central Ohio (HCCO) volunteering as servers at the Community Shelter Board (CSB) facility on Van Buren Drive in Columbus, Ohio. This month they also held their regular Bleed-N-Feed event at the Carriage Place Red Cross Donor Center in Columbus, Ohio. Folks donate whole blood or platelets, and then head over to a nearby restaurant to refuel afterwards. The next Bleed-N-Feed event is scheduled for July, so I’m sure we’ll hear from these great teams again!
The Secular Humanists of Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia adopted a local park and held their first clean up event in May. It was a great success despite the heat and humidity. Members covered a lot of ground and collected ten bags of trash. They even had a few new members show up who found out about their group through the cleanup event on Facebook!
NOSHA also created a team to fundraise for Second Harvest through the Rubber Duck Derby. They surpassed their goal by selling 117 ducks through in person and online sales, bringing in about $500 for the food bank. Two of the ducks sold by NOSHA actually won prizes!
A great month for our teams!
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.