A brief reminder for all BBN teams: It’s not too late to consider doing a group fundraiser for Foundation Beyond Belief’s year-end drive! This is the one time of the year that we ask for donations for our general operating expenses, so take the #HumanistsCare Challenge today! There are awesome prizes for both groups and individuals, including help planning a mini-conference. Please sign your group up as a team on our Razoo profile ASAP so that you can start receiving credit for your members' donations! For every team that participates, our Executive Director, Noelle George, or another FBB staff member of your choice will meet with your group sometime before January 1st via Skype to help plan, brainstorm strategy, answer questions, or talk to your members about FBB.
2015 was an incredible year for Beyond Belief Network! Over 100 BBN teams recorded over 280 events, and we’re at an exciting milestone of over 93,000 hours donated to date. We’ve provided teams with free logo t-shirts, grants, and assistance finding service activities and promoting events. Additionally, in June, we announced the winners of our third annual Heart of Humanism Awards (for Beyond Belief Network teams active in 2014).
Our Team of the Month awards are an encouraging reminder of how a certain team can make a positive impact in their local community. Starting off 2015 was January’s winner, Pikes Peak Atheists & Pikes Peak Atheist Families. Pikes Peak specializes in working with local organizations including Black Forest Animal Sanctuary and Urban Peak, a youth homeless shelter. February’s Team of the Month was Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless. They organize a monthly donation drive, collection and giveaway for those individuals who are poverty-stricken in Downtown Austin. Minnesota Atheists won this recognition in March. They regularly volunteer at a local shelter and food bank. Fellowship of Freethought Dallas was April’s Team of the Month. They specialize in food-related service events and organize a bi-monthly Adopt-a-Highway cleanup. In May, the winning team was Tri-State Freethinkers. This team regularly volunteers at local organizations such as the Freestore Foodbank. Corpus Christi Atheists was June’s Team of the Month. This team hosts donation drives and fundraisers for various causes as well as litter removal service projects from local sites. July’s winning team was Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) who volunteer regularly at their local Ronald McDonald House as well as work at events hosted by Columbus Coalition of Reason. COUNT is one of their member groups. August was a great month for BBN’s only international team, Humanist Alliance Philippines, International. Among HAPI’s many initiatives, one of their most successful is Feeding sa Riles, a bimonthly nutritional campaign that aims to diminish hunger, poverty and financial illiteracy in slum areas. Finally, Springfield Skeptics won in October. Springfield Skeptics’ service events have a strong focus on supporting the local LGBTQ+ community. Besides being Team of the Month winners, these nine teams have something else in common. They’ve successfully reached Beyond Belief Network Level Three, our highest team level! Congratulations! November’s Team of the Month is Atheist Community of San Jose, a Level 2 team.
It’s not too late for other teams to finish 2015 on a high note! Levels renew on an annual basis. On January 1, 2016, all teams will return to Level 0. Submitting an event report is a quick, easy process that can help your team earn perks such as t-shirts, grants, and eligibility for our monthly awards. If your team is looking for year-end service event ideas or preparing for a strong beginning in 2016, check out our guides and resources.
Thanks to continued support from members and the community at large, we will be able to assist more teams with event planning assistance and guides, award more grants and t-shirts, and recognize even more teams. We can’t wait to see what will happen in 2016! If you know a local or online atheist or humanist group who would be a good candidate to join Beyond Belief Network, please send them to our website.