Between the holidays and FBB’s Annual Appeal, we’ve had a lot on our hands the last couple months. So have volunteers in the Beyond Belief Network! We just finished compiling November’s volunteer reports. Please join us celebrating what teams did for their communities during the kickoff of holiday season!
Northwestern Chicagoland Humanist Crew
November’s Team of the Month is Northwestern Chicagoland Humanist Crew (NCHC)!
NCHC ran a Virtual Craft Fair fundraiser to raise money for the Chicago Zoological Society and Lake County Haven, a local shelter for women and children experiencing homelessness. Members made and sold over 100 items to raise $548 dollars! Afterward, the team met up at Brookfield Zoo to participate in a tree trim event used to raise more donations. Since NCHC exceeded their first fundraising goal, members also agreed to extend the event for a few more weeks so they could sponsor Lake County Haven a second night! The team reports lots of enthusiasm and a successful event overall which represented humanist values to their community.
Atheist Community of Polk County
Picture of the Month (above) goes to Atheist Community of Polk County’s (ACPC), which held five events delivering meals to people experiencing homelessness in Winter Haven, FL. Volunteers packed 190 bags of food serving an estimated 105 people throughout the month! The events were part of ACPC’s cooperation with Street Warriors, a faith-based program helping alleviate local hunger. ACPC also got a tip from one of the people they served about another location where they can help and are looking at adding it to their schedule.
ACPC also helped care for a nature preserve that protects the highly endangered Lakela’s Mint plant. Volunteers trimmed, mowed, cleared overgrowth, and removed invasive plant species. (Check out their short video about their work below!)
Finally, ACPC partnered with another faith-based organization helping alleviate hunger at a local elementary school. ACPC bought bulk food, meeting weekly to pack food kits and deliver them to the school. There, the kits are distributed to students who face food insecurity while the school cafeteria is closed over the weekends.
Atheists United (AU) continued an ongoing partnership with LA Food Bank to sort, stack and shelve food later distributed to people in Los Angeles experiencing hunger.
They also encouraged remote volunteering by organizing a virtual meetup with Audio Information Network of Colorado: an organization that records readings of printed materials for people with visual impairments. AU reported November was a difficult month to find volunteers, but those who showed up worked hard!
Central Ohio United Non-Theists
Central Ohio United Nontheists (COUNT) continued volunteering as housewarmers for the Ronald McDonald House (RMH). RMH provides housing and meals to families with children being treated at local hospitals. Housewarmers greet, assist with family needs, answer phones, give tours, assist with checkin/checkout, prepare guest rooms, clean, do laundry, restock supplies and staff the front desk. COUNT volunteers have contributed 1,642 hours from the start of their involvement with RMH in 2013.
COUNT also kept up with their monthly “Bleed-N-Feed” blood donation event. Donors made appointments or walked into their local Red Cross to give blood, platelets, plasma, and cells. Lots of attention was paid to pandemic safety including staying socially distant and forgoing a dinner they usually have afterward. So far, CoR members have spent 121 hours donating 173 units for Bleed-N-Feed events since January 2017.
Humanist Alliance Philippines, International
Finally, Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) participated in a few different events:
- Cagayan Relief Operation: a HAPI initiative that aims to uplift the lives of families affected by massive typhoons in the province of Cagayan. HAPI was able help about 75 families by handing our relief kits containing rice, canned noodles, instant noodles, and mineral water.
- HAPI Bicol Relief drive: another food distribution event for families most affected by typhoons Rolly and Ulysses. Team members gave out 60 food packs to 60 families, many of which have lost their roofs and farm harvests.
- Project ULIKID: a joint project run by HAPI and local partners which addresses the needs of remote communities left behind during COVID-19. This project aims to give school supplies and educational resources to communities that lack wi-fi and internet, so that they can produce comprehensive learning modules during the pandemic.
Incredible work, teams!
This is just a sample of the hard work of BBN teams put in every month to repair damages caused by inequality and environmental neglect. But we want you to imagine how much more they could accomplish with the right resources. Starting in 2021, we want to turbo-charge BBN teams, helping them expand their impact and organize against the causes of inequities in their communities. It’s an ambitious goal, and we’re counting on you to make it happen. When you have a moment, please chip in a little to our Annual Appeal here.