BBN teams show incredible initiative as summer approaches


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. FreeOK raised $18,008.45 for the St. Baldrick's Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research. Considering their original goal was $10,000, this is an incredible achievement. 32 'shavees' volunteered to have their heads shaved in solidarity with children undergoing cancer treatment. Donations from local businesses culminated in about 30 different raffle items and 'swag bags' for shavees. Three local, live bands and local radio station KJ103 provided entertainment outside the venue. Free water, hats, sunscreen and snacks were provided by local online news outlet, The Red Dirt Report. The Flying Pig supplied free samples of barbecue to the volunteers, shavees and the audience. The Swab Squad in association with The Oklahoma Blood Institute also registered 58 new bone marrow donors on-site. FreeOK also recently worked with to create an event at a street corner in Oklahoma City. Happiness Sprinkling sent them their original signs, a custom t-shirt designed for the event, and FreeOK sprinkled some happiness during lunch hours. Members of our May Team of the Month Freethought Dayton volunteered at the Foodbank, an organization committed to relieving hunger through the acquisition and distribution of food to hungry people throughout the Miami Valley. They assembled and packed "weekend backpacks," a supply of nutritious food for food-insecure children to take home from school over the weekend. Members also met at Community Blood Center, to donate blood and afterwards enjoyed a hearty meal. They even found time recently to clean-up their adopted section of highway. The weather was beautiful, and one of their members purchased several trash pickup tools that he shared with the group to make the cleanup easier. Another member brought his amber lights for the vehicle roofs as a safety measure. They picked up over 20 bags of trash. One volunteer of Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless crocheted several washcloths to distribute at their giveaways. This moment of inspiration was so popular that an ATXAHH Splinter Group called ATXAHH Gettin' Knotty was created. It's a small group comprised of 10 women who agree to knit/crochet washcloths for their events. They will meet in public places to showcase what they're doing, complete with an ATXAHH sign. They hope to also outfit them with T-shirts to increase awareness of this group. . Humanist Community at Harvard participated in Community Cooks, which is a volunteer network offering home-cooked meals to vulnerable populations seeking assistance from human service agencies in the Greater Boston area. They held a discussion with Community Cooks Executive Director, Daniele Levine, and longtime Community Cook volunteer and HCH member, Ann McCann about food insecurity and supporting local community agencies who serve some of the most vulnerable neighbors. They also traveled off-site to two kitchens and cooked. Pikes Peak Atheists and Pikes Peak Atheist Families participated in a collection drive for TESSA, which helps victims of Domestic Violence by empowering victims and standing in solidarity with all citizens of the Pikes Peak region against family violence. They collected 37 toiletry items, 37 non-perishable food items, 10 new pillows and 16 new pillow cases, 11 new towels, 5 packs of new silverware and $140 in gift cards. Six Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) volunteers worked as Housewarmers for 30.5 hours in April 2014 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. Housewarmers work with the guests to provide a home-like environment.  Among their duties, Housewarmers greet the guests, assist with family needs, answer phones, give tours, assist with check-in/check-out, prepare guest rooms after checkout, clean the facility, do laundry, restock supplies and staff the front desk. Their nine Housewarmers try to volunteer at least one four-hour shift a month and have so far contributed 265.5 hours. Four members of Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation Community Service Committee participated in an Empower Run sponsored by A Safe Place. They raised over $1200! A Safe Place, which is a regular recipient of Kol Hadash service projects, is the only domestic violence shelter and support center in Lake County, IL. Over 200 runners and walkers participated in the second year of this event. 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.