As the weather cools down, Beyond Belief Network teams are heating things up! We just finished compiling October’s volunteer reports. We’re pleased to say that teams are continuing to build momentum as they learn how to adapt to the global pandemic. Please join us celebrating what they did for their communities last month.
October’s Team of the Month New Orleans Secular Humanist Association (NOSHA) participated in a socially-distanced tree planting event (above) with Sustaining Our Urban Landscape (SOUL). SOUL drives a resilient and environmentally equitable New Orleans by reforesting its urban landscape. NOSHA was part of an initiative that planted over 375 trees — a quarter of SOUL’s goal of 1,500 for the season. Many of these trees required extra care after Hurricane Zeta passed through the area. We can dig it, NOSHA!
The Photo of the Month (left) goes to Pikes Peak Atheists & Pikes Peak Atheist Families (PPA), who joined an annual “Creek Week” cleanup event organized by the Fountain Creek Watershed District & Trails and Open Spaces Coalition of Colorado. The group gathered volunteers to beautify a one-mile stretch of Colorado’s Sand Creek, pulling out various types of trash, clothing, and fencing. The team coordinated with a nearby elementary school to utilize their dumpsters for the final drop-off. COVID-19 precautions added more work than usual, but overall the team reported a very successful event. Way to take out the trash, PPA!
Atheist Community of Polk County (ACPC) continued an ongoing partnership with a faith-based organization called Street Warriors, which prepares and distributes meals for folks experiencing homelessness in Lakeland, FL. The team got together with Street Warriors twice, and launched a spinoff program feeding folks in the town of Winter Haven. This new program was crafted by ACPC after as their passionate new Director noticed that various local church programs had their food kitchens open every day except Sunday. So ACPC stepped in to fill the gap, and now they have big ambitions for helping house this community as well! We look forward to supporting ACPC in this laudable goal.
Atheists United (AU) kept up with an ongoing commitment recording readings of flyers for people with visual disabilities. AU has been getting together monthly with Audio Information Network of Colorado, reading flyers for four stores. The process — which includes finding the material, recording, and editing — takes 2.5 hours each week. The final product gets uploaded to a Monday podcast for the community.
AU also just announced plans to expand a food distribution program they’ve been running, which has been feeding hundreds of Los Angeles area families. Their goal is to ensure families get a full meal for the holidays, and they’re asking you to toss them a little support to reach it! Please chip in a little here if you can.
Central Ohio United Nontheists (COUNT) kept up with their ongoing smorgasbord of monthly commitments, including:
- Cooking, cleaning, and providing a home-like environment for guests at Ronald McDonald House
- Working with Adaptive Sports Connection, which helps veterans, children, and adults with disabilities participate in outdoor sports. (Volunteers helped with site cleanup after a fundraiser event they were planning on working got cancelled.)
- Washing dishes and preparing meal kits at the Van Buren Center, a shelter which gives aid families and women experiencing homelessness.
As usual, volunteers wore COUNT-branded clothes to score some visibility for our community.
So far this brings COUNT’s tally to 1,632 hours donated to Ronald McDonald House; 225.5 hours to ASC; and 1,194.75 hours to Van Buren Center. Nice stats!
Humanist Alliance Philippines International (HAPI) participated in a huge slate of activities in October, including:
- Kick-starting Indigenous People’s Month with three-days of educational activities for native communities.
- Coordinating with community elders to make government education programs accessible to parents who cannot read or write.
- Providing school supplies and masks for high school students.
- Fulfilling requests for hygiene kits, art supplies, and snacks for the Bahay Pangarap Mental Stress Relief Mission.
- Leading an activity that helps children manage quarantine-related stress through poem, song, and dance.
- Participating in the three-day launch of Sustainable Future Through Planting, a tree-planting and sustainability initiative supported by multiple humanist organizations.
- Reading poems and performing dances for a culture week, telling the story of their ancestors’ earliest lives.
- Teaching children of the neglected Aeta tribe traditional songs and how to wear traditional garments.
- Participating in a “Conversations and Communication” project helping Indigenous elders pass customs to their children through dance, song, and clothing
- Delivering meals, shoes, and uniforms to new students in an Indigenous literacy program.
HAPI also announced they are planning a cultural exposure trip for Indigenous students who have never ventured far beyond their communities. They’re going to need a little help pulling it off, which is why we’re asking humanists like you to chip in to their fundraising campaign here.
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.