Beyond Belief Network January roundup


We've already announced that the South Texas Atheists for Reason and the Tri-State Freethinkers were our Picture and Team of the Month winners for January. Here's what the rest of the teams were up doing in January.

Four times a year, Springfield Skeptics muster up their resources and prepare a meal for the LGBT+ youth at the local support center. In January, the group organized a taco night, and the youth at the center loved them! Springfield Skeptics also hiked through the trails of the Busiek State Forest, cleaning up bottles, cans, and all sorts of other trash.

Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry sponsored the food and labor for a weekly pot-luck in Conway Park for the homeless. The pot-luck is organized by Occupy Charleston, who provides tables and trays. Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry prepared enough food to feed about 30 people and even sent everyone home with more. This was the group's fourth time providing food for the pot-luck in the past two years.

Fellowship of Freethought – Dallas prepared and served another successful meal as part of the "Supper Club" program for the residents of the Ewing Center, a facility that provides medically supportive housing to low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS. The Supper Club ensures that residents get hot, nutritious meals as well as social interaction.

Humanists of Houston sorted items at the Houston Food Bank.

In 2016 BE. Orlando cooked up a fun-themed monthly dinner for SafeHouse residents. The group is honored that SafeHouse renewed its agreement to serve the dinner on the 2nd Wednesday of every month and has a year of fun themes planned. For January BE. Orlando hosted a Taco Bar & Mexican themed dinner during which volunteers prepared traditional and unique taco toppings, meats, veggies, nachos, desserts, salads, and sides. BE. Orlando hosts a volunteer event every year for the Martin Luther King "A Day On, Not A Day Off" national service initiative. This year BE. Orlando sponsored and hosted lunch at the Ronald McDonald House of Central Florida. Volunteers prepared a beautiful, fun, and healthy lunch buffet for the RMH residents. 

Sunday Assembly Los Angeles sorted clothing, toys, and essential items at the Baby2Baby warehouse for kids living in poverty. Over the course of a few months clothing, sleeping bags, toiletries, and other essential items were collected at Sunday Assemblies on behalf of Safe Place for Youth, a charity that provides street outreach, drop-in services, case management, education, and employment programs for homeless youth. These items were dropped off in January. Sunday Assembly Los Angeles volunteers also worked at the LA Kitchen to prepare reclaimed fruits and vegetables that will be transformed into nutritious meals and snacks for charitable partners serving LA's aging, low-income, and homeless populations.

13 Pikes Peak Atheists and Pikes Peak Atheist Families volunteers got together in January to help one of the families in their community make a difficult move across town.

The Humanist Community of Central Ohio and the Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) collaborated on their 14th meal serve event at the Community Shelter Board. The two groups also worked together to expand HCCO's longstanding "Bleed and Feed" blood donation drive. The two Columbus Coalition of Reason (CoR) groups have planned future blood drives for the third Thursdays in January, March, May, July, September, and November. 

COUNT volunteers also worked as house warmers at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House, and they hosted a fundraiser for the Mid-Ohio Food Bank at the Land Grant Brewing Company. Seventeen people from multiple Columbus CoR groups showed up to support the local charity and local brewery and raised $150. The fun event paired great conversations with great hand-crafted, local beer. Columbus CoR has now raised $11,236.37 and collected 1,510 lbs of food for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank since 2012. Columbus CoR is working with other local breweries to do similar events, so stay tuned for another fundraising happy hour in March!

11 Minnesota Atheists (MNA) prepared a meal for guests at the Family Place Homeless Shelter and dined alongside them. The volunteers purchased ingredients to make Tater Tot Hotdish, breadsticks and fruit salad for the 20 guests at the shelter. Seven MNA volunteers repacked 529 lbs of rotini noodles at the Food Group. Month in and month out, MNA gets a reliable turnout at these two important community service events.

The Atheist Community of Colorado Springs knitted and crocheted two more sleeping mats out of plastic bags for the homeless. This biweekly crafting event keeps thousands of plastic bags out of the landfill and supports Street Supplies Inc, a local charity.

Between the December and January giveaways, Austin Humanists at Work (ATXHAW) volunteers collected a total of 2,668 items for needy residents. 896 items were on-site donations at the January giveaway. The generous residents of Wells Branch, a neighborhood in north Austin, donated over 300 items during their quarterly Extreme Clean event. Extreme Cleans are events run by the neighborhood association during which residents can recycle electronics, dispose of hazardous materials, recycle styrofoam, and donate unneeded items to charities. ATXHAW's Gettin' Knotty group created 59 warm hats and 8 cotton washcloths since the giveaway in December. These, and all of the collected items, were given away by 50 ATXHAW volunteers to 132 community members in need. The group did its first Facebook live video at the event!

Brevard Area Atheists cleaned up 72.5 lbs of trash along its adopted stretch of highway. The group has started carrying small luggage scales to measure the trash bags when they drop them off, and they are aiming for a big number by the end of the year!

The Northern Ohio Freethought Society teamed up with Queer Without God (QWOG), a local LGBT group, to volunteer at the Homeless Stand Down. Hosted by HandsOn Northeast Ohio, the Homeless Stand Down is a one-day event providing access to resources for individuals and families facing poverty and homelessness. An estimated 1,500 community members benefited from access to social service providers, haircuts, medical screenings, live entertainment, professional portraits, breakfast and lunch, and free winter clothing, personal care kits, bus passes and much more.