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.
Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) was busy! In June, two COUNT volunteers worked as Housewarmers 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. COUNT's nine Housewarmers try to volunteer at least one four-hour shift a month and have contributed 298 hours to date. In addition to their regular service events, COUNT also volunteered at two conferences! First, they participated in the Columbus Coalition of Reason's (CoR) first ever COMFEST booth June 27-29. Columbus CoR helps non-theists find groups for socializing, volunteering, education, activism and various kinds of group support (GLBT, divorce, and secular parenting). Ten Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) members tabled in the booth and another two COUNT members helped with COMFEST cleanup/security. COUNT members had previously planned the layout of the booth, organized a canopy and a “Don’t believe in God? Join the club!” banner, and constructed posters featuring photos from Week of Action events hosted by Columbus CoR groups including COUNT. Seventy COMFEST attendees signed up to receive further information about Columbus CoR groups. Next, 2 COUNT volunteers worked July 10-12 2014 at the Secular Student Alliance (SSA) East Conference. SSA conferences provide training to student activists on various aspects of organizing secular groups. COUNT volunteers recorded presentations and transported speakers/attendees to/from the airport. They were even able to sit in on some sessions and receive some training on organizing groups. Remember, BBN Teams: education and/or advocacy service events can count towards raising your team's BBN level!
After a fall left a man severely injured, volunteers from Humanists Doing Good in Grand Junction, Colorado went out to help the family dig an irrigation ditch. No small feat, considering the ditch was fifty feet in length! After completion of the new irrigation ditch, the volunteers visited with a couple of horses at the property. This event raised them to BBN Level One.
Another team that recently reached Level One was South Jersey Humanists! Volunteers from SJH have tended their community garden and delivered about twelve pounds of cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes to the southern branch of the Community FoodBank of NJ.
Lehigh Valley Humanists volunteered and donated items to The Gress Mountain Ranch. Volunteer tasks included fixing fences, clearing dead branches, yard work, and cleaning assigned areas. They also donated 276 boxes of cereal for the animals. The ranch is a permanent home for over 50 animals rescued from abuse or neglect. The animals are trained and socialized to become co-therapists for people suffering from emotional or mental trauma. Lehigh Valley Humanists are another BBN team to reach Level One this year.
Members of Freethought Dayton gathered to donate blood at Community Blood Center. After making the life-giving donations, they met at a local eatery to replenish themselves.
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.