In the early parts of any new year, many people make resolutions. Our Beyond Belief Network (BBN) teams were already amazing in 2017, but it seems they've resolved to do even more good work in 2018. Let's take a look at how they've already made a big difference in their communities this first quarter of 2018.
The Humanist Community of Central Ohio (HCCO) and the Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) teamed up as the Columbus Coalition of Reason (CoR) once again to work at the Community Shelter Board (CSB,) volunteering over 50 combined hours in January, February and March! The Community Shelter Board provides housing and meals to homeless families and individual men and women in Central Ohio. Some volunteers serve dinners while others wash dishes, mop floors, file forms and clean tables. To date, Columbus CoR volunteers have worked 831 hours in 39 events with the CSB to date. Volunteers wear COUNT/HCCO branded name tags to raise awareness that they are non-theists doing charity.
COUNT volunteers also worked as Housewarmers at the Columbus Ohio Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in January, February, and March. RMH provides housing and meals to families with children being treated at Nationwide Children's Hospital and other area hospitals. Housewarmers work with our guests to provide a home-like environment – greet, assist with family needs, answer phones, give tours, assist with checkin/checkout, prepare guest rooms after checkout, clean facility, laundry, restock supplies and staff the front desk. COUNT volunteers have contributed over 50 hours since January and over 1143 hours from the start of their involvement with RMH in 2013 through the end of March 2018.
CoR also sponsored a Charity Fundraiser Happy Hour at Land Grant Brewing Company in the Franklinton area of downtown Columbus to benefit the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Volunteers from multiple Columbus CoR groups showed up to support the local charity and raised over $50 while collecting an estimated 72 pounds of food. This fun event again paired great conversations with some of the best local craft beer in Central Ohio. COUNT members arranged the event for Columbus CoR and various member groups advertised it building on the annual Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) Benefit Dinner’s success in helping the foodbank. Columbus CoR has now raised $14,197.22 and collected 1,846 lbs of food for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank since 2012. Great work, teams!
Ohio volunteers held their Eighth Columbus CoR Bleed-N-Feed since the Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) helped to expand the longstanding Humanist Community of Central Ohio (HCCO) event. Volunteers donated 10 hours of their time, giving a total of 10 units at the Carriage Place Red Cross Donor Center in Columbus, Ohio. Some donors make appointments and give 1 unit of whole blood while others do apheresis donating up to 3 units of platelets or 2 units of red blood cells. Donors become diners as they head to a nearby restaurant after to replenish. Columbus CoR members spent 56 hours donating 49 units for Bleed-N-Feed events since January 2017.
Down in Florida, BBN team Brevard Area Atheists also kicked off the year in high gear. They held a road cleanup in January during which they picked up 11 bags of trash totaling 83 pounds. It was very cold, but they had enough energy to make it manageable and covered a lot of ground. In February, they were able to pick up 12 bags of trash totaling over 60 pounds!
Over in Texas, the Austin Humanists at Work had a meeting of their Gettin' Knotty guild. Members meet to knit and crochet hats and scarves, which they hand out in cold-weather months. They also make cotton washcloths, which are handed out year-round.
Austin Humanists at Work also held donation drives and giveaways this quarter. They gathered under a bridge in downtown Austin to hand out basic living items to those in need our community. We had a long line of tables and plenty of donations to put on them. They were able to serve over 290 people. They also hosted a book drive and put together first aid kits this quarter. This Austin BBN team is always busy doing good!
South Texas Atheists for Reason (STAR) teamed up with Habitat for Humanity this quarter, assisting with house building duties as assigned, using power tools to help homeowners in the program complete their homes. They installed closet bracings, cabinets, siding, window frames, and J-channels for the soffits. STAR also continued their Gardening for Good program with the San Antonio Food Bank, planting gardens that help local citizens who need fresh vegetables.
STAR also continues providing a Humanist Chaplain at Lackland Airforce base. They generally have between 800 and 950 attendees and discuss various topics, such as: Humanism as an introductory course, Grief & Stress, and Separation of Church and State.
The Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry picked up 375 pounds of litter along their designated highway with the South Carolina Adopt-a-Highway program, despite the cold temperatures!
The Humanist Alliance of the Phillipines, International (HAPI) held an event called Kids NutriCamp this quarter. It's their feeding program with the school and out-of-school kids of Ilaya Street in Muntinlupa City as regular beneficiaries. The program began with some storytelling and values education by parent volunteers, followed by dance numbers and a musical recital prepared by the kids and dinner made with vegetables and herbs. This feeding program was organized in preparation for the involvement of a nutritionist from the city health office going forward.
Sandhills Secular Society held their first street clean up. They had to get a few of the logistics worked out deciding how best to split up, but they cleaned a 2-mile stretch of road and had a great turnout! They're ready for their event to be flawless! Good start, Sandhills, and welcome to the team! (Featured Image)
The Humanists Doing Good crew of Grand Junction, Colorado volunteeed at Eureka! McConnell Science Museum during their grand opening. Volunteers carried out a variety of tasks ranging from directing traffic to moving construction equipment. The grand opening was a big success and the new museum will be a great opportunity for children's education in the community. Everyone had a great time, and volunteers were able to see all the exhibits. They built some new connections in the community, too.
BBN team Springfield Skeptics cleaned up their stretch of adopted highway cramming several dozen pounds of trash into 7 trash bags and for MODOT to pick up. It went off without a hitch, as always. Good work, y'all!
Foundation Beyond Belief is so proud of our many BBN teams and all the good you do. Thanks for being humanism at work!