BBN teams light up communities with service events


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.

CCA3CCA5Corpus Christi Atheists is not only a Level 2 team, they’re our June Team of the Month. The team has officially "adopted" Oak Park, a local park, through the Adopt-a-Park program and they recently held their first group cleanup. This location was selected due to both its popular use and local articles about garbage being a problem. Eleven members spent an afternoon cleaning the park. Last month, nine members of Corpus Christi Atheists volunteered with the city to clean, mulch and paint columns at the Agnes/Laredo overpass. Not only did they make the city look a little better but the team also saved a baby grackle who had fallen from its nest. The bird is now in the care of the Sea Lab at the Texas State Aquarium.

Three Beyond Belief Network teams have reached Level 3. They are Minnesota Atheists,

Pikes Peak Atheists and Pikes Peak Atheist Families, and Central Ohio United Non-Theists.

MA5This month, twelve members of Minnesota Atheists purchased ingredients and prepared a delicious taco dinner with punch, cookies and fresh fruit at The Family Place, a homeless shelter. They fed 11 homeless adults and children. In a separate event, seven members of Minnesota Atheists packed 420 2 pound bags of pinto beans at The Food Group in two hours. That's enough to feed 1,680 people!

PP2Pikes Peak Atheists and Pikes Peak Atheist Families recently completed a successful drive for Harbor House, a non-profit program for homeless people with drug and/or alcohol issues. Overall, they collected 374 items, including 277 clothing items, kitchen items and a bit of bedding and miscellaneous.

Six Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) volunteers worked as servers earlier this month at the Community Shelter Board (CSB) facility in Columbus, Ohio. CSB provides housing and meals to homeless families and individual men and women in Central Ohio. Some volunteers served dinners while others washed dishes, mopped floors and cleaned tables. In a separate event, three Central Ohio United Non-Theist (COUNT) volunteers worked as Housewarmers a total of 16.4 hours in May 2015 at the Columbus Ohio Ronald McDonald House (RMH). RMH provides housing and meals to families with children being treated at Nationwide Childrens Hospital and other area hospitals. COUNT's ten Housewarmers have contributed 557.9 hours to date.

CC3CC2Thanks in part to Boscov's in Moorestown, NJ and individuals at Light The Night, Camden County Humanists were able set up a fundraiser to raise money for their team for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Several members and their family prepared baked goods (cookies, cakes, brownies) for the team to sell. With tremendous effort and determination, the team was able to raise $181 in just under 5 hours. Camden County Humanists also submitted our June Picture of the Month.

AA6AA4Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless (ATXAHH) had another successful donation drive and giveaway. ATXAHH volunteers collected 1705 items to distribute to the homeless population.

Six ATXAHH Gettin' Knotty members knitted and crocheted washcloths for the June 2015 giveaway. Since May's giveaway, members have created 20 washcloths, as well as 4 hats for winter. The Gettin' Knotty members also began cutting and winding plastic bags in order to make plarn (plastic yarn), which will be later crocheted into water- & bug-resistant sleeping mats.

On June 14th, 25 volunteers from ATXAHH gathered in downtown Austin to hand out clothes, shoes, toiletries, and snacks to the homeless population. Even with light rain, they served 151 people in about an hour! In addition to the usual items, the team also gave away 144 boxes of Girl Scout cookies that were collected & donated by the Springwoods Service Unit of the Girl Scouts of Central Texas. ATXAHH were also glad to have their friends from St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church join them again.

Fellowship of Freethought Dallas (FoFD) prepared their monthly meal for the Supper Club program of AIDS Services of Dallas. AIDS Services of Dallas is a 501(c)3 organization that provides medically supportive housing to low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS. The Supper Club program provides residents with a hot, nutritious, home-cooked meal every night.

Lehigh Valley Humanists (LVH), a Level 1 team, participated in their second event at the apartment they adopted at 6th Street Shelter in Allentown PA. The shelter houses working families until they can find permanent housing. When a family moves on, the team cleans, stocks and updates the apartment for the next family. Families can take anything they need from the apartment, so the team relies on their members to donate items and funds. The team also participated in their first Adopt-A-Highway. They've adopted a one-mile stretch of Fish Hatchery Road in Allentown, PA. Eighteen members removed trash on this road which includes a park and an American Indian Cultural museum. It is an area regularly visited by the public, so Lehigh Valley Humanists are hopeful that their efforts will be noticed by a wide audience.

Pennsylvania Nonbelievers in Harrisburg, PA cleaned a local domestic violence shelter. In a separate event, ten volunteers from the team removed litter from one side of a 1 1/2 mile section of Route 30.

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.