BBN teams spread cheer through service


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.

A brief reminder for all Beyond Belief Network teams. If your team has completed a service event in 2015, but not submitted an event report about it, it’s not too late! Taking a few minutes to fill out our brief, online form can help your team earn perks such as t-shirts and grants. Remember, levels renew on an annual basis. On January 1, 2016, all teams will return to Level 0. So, whether your team is on the edge of reaching the next BBN level or you have an inspiring service event to share, submit your 2015 event reports today!

Beyond Belief Network would like to welcome four new teams: Last Frontier Freethinkers, Mid Ohio Atheists Inc., Yale Humanist Community and South East Texas Atheists Helping the Homeless. BBN can’t wait to hear about each team’s service events!

Beyond Belief Network is also proud to announce our November Team of the Month: Atheist Community of San Jose (ACSJ)! This Level 2 team is located in San Jose, CA.

MN2For the second year, members of Minnesota Atheists attended the Walk to End Hunger, an event that raises money for various hunger relief agencies. The team raised $375 for Keystone Community. Team members volunteer each month at The Food Group, a hunger relief nonprofit. In November, ten members of Minnesota Atheists repackaged 42 boxes of produce. That's enough to help feed 169 people! They also repacked 3,630 lbs. of donated food into 410 boxes which were sent to food banks in the Twin Cities area. The Level 3 team also regularly volunteers at the Family Place homeless shelter in St. Paul, MN. Last month, Minnesota Atheists partnered with Black Freethinkers, another humanist group, to purchase ingredients for a healthy taco meal. The eleven volunteers prepared and served the meal for 26 individuals, including 18 children. The volunteers also dined with the guests and cleaned up afterwards. The picture they submitted with their event report won November Picture of the Month.

Another Level 3 team was also busy in November. Eleven members of Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) volunteered as servers 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, filed forms and cleaned tables. Earlier that month, fourteen COUNT members worked at the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) Benefit Dinner. The fourth annual FSM Benefit Dinner raised $2,385.01 and collected 391 lbs of food donations for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Some volunteers cooked and served dinners while others collected donations, ran the bake sale, silent auction and raffle. COUNT applied their $100 Foundation Beyond Belief grant won as part of the Backbone Award for 2014 towards the costs of ingredients for this event.

In November, Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry prepared and served food for the homeless and poor in a park in Charleston, SC. There was a hot cooked meal and salad to eat at the park. Other healthy food, including wrapped sandwiches and fresh fruit, were provided as "take-out" options. In a separate service event, Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry removed trash along their adopted stretch of road. The team currently stands at Level 1.

CCH1Recently, three members of Camden County Humanists, along with other volunteers from various organizations, helped serve meals to over 100 people at The Cathedral Kitchen in Camden, NJ.

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.