August Service Team Roundup!By GO Humanity
Teams in our Food Security Project (FSP) reported 33 events in August, serving 13,032 individual beneficiaries and giving out 13,032 meals! Additional GO Humanity Service Teams (GO Teams) held 14 more service events.
We just added two new teams to our Food Security Project: Susquehanna Valley Ethical Society and Atheists Helping the Homeless, DC!
Photo of the Month (above) goes to North Orlando Oasis from their event addressing water access and heat relief! They teamed with multiple central Florida organizations to sew insulated sleeves for reusable water bottles for unhoused and under-housed people to keep their beverages cool. So far, they’ve sewn around 75 and had their first batch ready for distribution (along with with the other heat relief items) thanks to their grant through our Food Security Project. The team says they’ll keep making these as long as there is a demand.
Team of the Month goes to Humanist Alliance Philippines International. They held multiple unique events:
- An HIV/AIDS Awareness Campaign (pictured above) that included testing and education countering disinformation. The team says the surprisingly high number of people who were willing to be tested was very promising!
- A feeding program where volunteers provided 100 packed meals to hospital patients
- A “Plastic Free” event where they partnered with individuals and offices to reduce plastic waste production
- Fundraising, volunteering, and making a delivery for a non-profit that provides support for people living with HIV/AIDS. Donated goods included canned food, noodles, flu medicine, plus equipment and ingredients to help housemates sell steamed cakes for survival income. Volunteers also made 10 breakfast meals and 24 pieces of cheese rolls (bread) for housemates!
Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix (HSGP)
HSGP kept up with a smattering of projects, including:
- Opening a Little Free Pantry stocked with water, food, and other summer necessities.
- Using their Food Security Project grants to buy a community mini fridge, stocked with water and non-perishables for anyone in need. The fridge was put on their porch and signs were posted in English and Spanish letting people know they’re welcome to what’s inside.
- Educating their community on how to get involved in service through their monthly “Good for Nothing” program
- Maintaining and doing repairs on their Little Free Library. The team says books (especially children’s books) are moving out regularly, along with colored paper, markers, pads, and composition books.
- Crocheting plastic sleeping mats for people living on the streets.
- Donating goods Human Services Campus including one sleeping mat, 80 cooling bandanas, 10 bus passes, 24 razors, tampons, and personal toiletries.
- A Back to School Supplies Drive. Volunteers donated $175 each to two schools near HSGP’s community center.
- Holding a bimonthly distribution of clothing and other items to 150-200 unsheltered adults. HSGP volunteers acted as shoppers’ helpers, helping clients select the items they want/need. Goods available included socks, underwear, hats, a few backpacks, shoes, sunglasses, reading glasses, belts, toiletries, period products, condoms, and bags of snacks!
One volunteer wrote about what they learned at the last event:
“With a $100 budget, I made 36 bags with lots of snacks. Well, they had 100+ clients come through, and after a while, they opened the bags and put the snacks on the table for people to choose what they wanted. They went much further that way. And Project Humanities will reuse the baggies. The people really appreciated the snacks. Next time I’d organize and display the snacks so that folks can pick out what they want. I would definitely want to do it again.”
Humanists of Polk County
This Florida team met once to pack bags of groceries for elderly neighbors, and twice to provide weekend food supplies to food-insecure elementary school students!
This Los Angeles team met for their monthly food distribution, where volunteers packed 133 food kits for families consisting of 457 individuals. They also provided menstrual products to 75 individuals and pet food to 59 animal owners!
North Orlando Oasis
North Orlando Oasis’s August programming included:
- A Mutual Aid Pet Food Bank in collaboration with partner organizations. Through this ongoing project, the team has provided pet food to families and staff at a Title 1 school via a popup event; delivered pet food to multiple individuals; and collected regular donations of money and pet care items. They have pet food collection bins at several businesses, and they’re working to expand their popup events to serve more families.
- A Rent Fund collection serving individuals and families struggling to meet rent. They stopped two evictions; helped a person cover rent while they awaited their first paycheck; paid for move-in costs not otherwise covered by Section 8; provided emergency housing for a family waiting for a caseworker; and added accessibility accommodations to a Section 8 apartment for a wheelchair user.
- Heat Relief distributions, where the team used grants from GO Humanity to buy umbrellas, a gallon of aloe (distributed in 60 small bottles), reusable water bottles, and cooling towels—all for people experiencing homelessness. They maximized what they could accomplish through careful budgeting, guided by a needs assessment from a local service provider. They researched and bought the lowest-cost options.
- A water bottle sleeve sewing project with partner orgs (including GO Teams Humanists of Polk County and Central Florida Freethought Community). Volunteers made insulated sleeves for reusable water bottles to help unhoused and under-housed people beat the extreme heat. So far, they’ve have sewn around 75.
- A weekly Mutual Aid Food Pantry Collection, where Orlando Oasis and partners collected shelf-stable food items to distribute unconditionally to people experiencing food insecurity. They had flexible pickup and dropoff times to ensure that working people, unhoused people, undocumented people, and those with legal entanglements had access. This month, they received approximately 120 pounds of food, and worked on building stronger infrastructure for food requests and distribution.
- A Farm Produce for Shelters project with Connecting Care Kitchens, where volunteers buy produce from local organic farms for delivery to shelters. In August, they bought 200 pounds of food and delivered 200 meals.
Southeastern Virginia Atheists Skeptics and Humanists
This team serviced and stocked their two free pantries with 565 pounds of food costing roughly $534—covered in part by their grant from GO Humanity.
Humanists of Tallahassee
This team met for weekly Hygiene and Snack Pack Assembly events! Volunteers assembled and distributed packs consisting of a granola bar, water, applesauce, Vienna sausages, candy, chips and crackers, a washcloth, soap, shampoo, deodorant, razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand warmers, and socks. They did this alongside their usual partners from a church, but are also now branching into their very own program as well.
Atheists Helping the Homeless DC
These volunteers gave out 100 care packages containing shaving cream, lotion, razors, towelettes, toothbrushes, tooth paste, breakfast bars, nonperishable chicken pouches, and—most importantly, per their clients—socks. They also gave out 48 bottles of water and boxed up lollipops, masks, shoes, baseball caps, and durable shopping bags for upcoming distributions.
They advertised for volunteers on the phone app NextDoor and found it to be very useful!
The team thanks donors to GO Humanity’s Food Security Project, as the grant helped them afford food for the care packages—not something they are always able to include.
Atheists Helping the Homeless Phoenix
This new team held their bi-monthly “Toiletries on the Park” giveaway for unsheltered people. They also provided basic clothing items and seasonal items like insect repellent, sun screen, gloves, and caps!
Susquehanna Valley Ethical Society
This Lewisburg, PA team volunteered for The Food Hub, which collects and delivers food to local pantries! They were down a few volunteers because of COVID, but those who showed up packed 25 boxes of food for 25 beneficiaries.
They also tabled at a Pride event, accepting donations to help buy grocery gift cards for people in need. They used this and their grant through the Food Security Project to buy nine $25 cards altogether.
Central Ohio United Non-Theists
This Columbus, OH team volunteered for a local shelter, at the Ronald McDonald House, and with charity Adaptive Sports Connection!
Northwestern Chicagoland Humanist Crew
This team created and donated artwork for United We Arts, which was sold at an art fair raising $4,000 for Ukranian children’s charities!
Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless
Austin AHH sorted through boxes of toiletries and food, packed it all into care packages, and gave them out at locales where unsheltered people live.
As part of their work through our Heat Crisis Response, they also gave out 75 gallon jugs of water, 10 gallons of cold Kool-Aid, and micro-fiber towels (used for wetting down or blocking the sun).
They even handed out a few 31-day bus passes. A client who received one said it would change his life, as it would allow him to avoid getting kicked out of a GED class with strict attendance rules. The team writes: “Even as small as we are, being able to have an impact and see the hope that it can bring to someone’s life is without equal.”
Kenya Humanist Alliance
Kenya Humanist Alliance used grants through our Food Security Project to supply meals to impoverished elderly widows and orphans. They distributed wheat flour, Irish potatoes, rice, sugar, tea leaves, and matches. The team writes: “We send our sincerest appreciation to GO Humanity donors and management. Thank you so much for touching lives.”
Food Rescue Alliance Teams
Four of affiliates of our major grantee Food Rescue Alliance are among the volunteer teams receiving grants in the Food Security Project. Here’s what they’ve been up to:
The Food Drive
The Food Drive continued delivering a rainbow of local produce to pantries and low-income housing facilities. With prices still rising, fresh fruits and vegetables can be prohibitively expensive and in short supply at pantries and soup kitchens. The Food Drive carefully matches nutritious rescued food to meet the needs of recipients. They carried out 137 food rescues in August!
CAFE Food Rescue
In August, CAFE rescued 1,500 pounds of food and applied for grants from their towns and county. They started a relationship with an equity specialist that supports applicants for state COVID relief funds. They also prepared for the Mountain Towns Climate Summit to get the word out they’re accepting food donations.
Pictured are two items that were delivered to a local cafe mistakenly: containers of soy sauce and dry milk powder. There were also 20 pounds of chicken fajita meat misidentified as brownies on the shipping label. This happens a lot, and delivery companies often can’t or won’t take the misdelivered items back. CAFE Food Rescue is planning to get in contact with all of the delivery companies in their county so they can be contacted when a misdelivery takes place and the client cannot use the item.
This team met four times for their Food Insecurity Meal Service program. They provided 125 nutritious meals at each service in partnership with three other local organizations.
CORMII Community Development Corporation
This team in Rockingham County, North Carolina met every Thursday in August to hold a curbside food distribution!
Sponsor one of these hard-working teams by setting up a recurring donation of $100 per month.