At the end of summer, our teams are still bringing the heat! Let’s see what they’ve been up to!
First, we have a new team this month, Houston Freethought Oasis! Welcome to BBN!
Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) participated in several events with the Adaptive Sports Connection, which helps Central Ohio veterans, children, and adults who need adaptive equipment or instruction to participate in various sports. This month’s events included kayaking and cycling! COUNT members also volunteered as housewarmers with Ronald McDonald House Columbus. Housewarmers work with guests to provide a home-like environment— greeting, assisting with family needs, answering phones, giving tours, assisting with check-in and check-out, preparing guest rooms, cleaning, helping with laundry, restocking supplies and staffing the front desk.
COUNT and Humanist Community of Central Ohio (HCCO) paired up again, volunteering as servers at the Community Shelter Board (CSB) facility on Van Buren Drive in Columbus, Ohio. Some volunteers served dinners while others washed dishes, mopped floors, and cleaned tables. After volunteering, both teams joined the Omnipresent Atheists meetup in progress for dinner, drinks and conversation. HCCO has also adopted a local highway in Columbus, and seven team members spent an afternoon picking up trash at the 270 East/Cleveland Avenue exit ramp. The Ohio Department of Transportation has a sign in the area notifying drivers of HCCO’s adoption of this stretch of highway.
The Central Florida Freethought Community in Oviedo, Florida cleaned up local parks this month, the West Chapin Trail and Kewannee Park. They had a great turnout and picked up a lot of trash from the parks and accompanying areas! Our new team from last month, the Atheist Community of Polk County, in Polk County, Florida held two cleanup events for their adopted two-mile stretch of highway in cooperation with Keep Polk County Beautiful. One resident has complained that the county allowed an atheist organization to adopt the highway and put up a sign advertising this fact, but most folks walking by stopped to thank them, and passing drivers honk and wave in thanks as well. It sounds like a success! Keep it up!
Austin Humanists at Work (ATXHAW) in Austin, Texas held their largest kit-making event to date! Four board members, two regular volunteers, and 60 first-time volunteers made 1,500 menstrual kits, 1,600 wet wipe packets, 1,076 first aid kits, 500 cotton swab packets, and 2,000 floss pick packets. This will keep their monthly giveaways well stocked for years! The team also held the regular monthly meeting of their knitting/crocheting guild. This month a volunteer from the big kit-making event showed up to learn how to crochet! He was so proud of himself! This month, the ATXHAW Monthly Giveaway had 37 volunteers serving 232 clients. They had a very exciting donation of 40 pop-up tents! Their clients were very excited and thankful for the tents, which went fast! This month went really well, as the team has been working hard to create some new processes and procedures to make giveaways run more efficiently from setup to tear-down. BE Orlando in Orlando, Florida joined other volunteer teams at Second Harvest Food Bank to sort 9,744 pounds of produce and an additional 2,000 pounds of sweet potatoes. Volunteers sorted through fruits and vegetables and removed items that were unable to be re-purposed, packaging the usable produce for delivery to pantry sites around Central Florida. Volunteers from Humanists Doing Good in Grand Junction, Colorado, harvested plenty of cucumbers and watermelons in collaboration with the Community Alliance for Education and Hunger Relief and the Western Colorado Research Center at Orchard Mesa. The produce was later donated to help people in need in the Grand Valley of Colorado. A writer from Colorado State University also interviewed many of the volunteers for an upcoming piece in one of the university's publications. Later in the month, the team helped serve dinner at Homeward Bound of the Grand Valley. The two hours they spent serving meals flew by quickly. Everyone was extremely friendly and and plenty of smiles were served up in all directions. Pikes Peak Atheists & Pikes Peak Atheist Families in Colorado Springs, Colorado held a trash cleanup event for their adopted section of creek this month. It was a hot day but they still managed to get some of the trash picked up, and will get more done in October when they have a big cleanup for Creek Week. The team also had a sponsor’s table at the Colorado Secular Conference, where they collected donations for TESSA, a local charity supporting domestic violence victims.
Congratulations on a great wrap-up to the summer months for our teams!