Get to know member Julia Suggs


Julia SuggsMember Spotlight: Julia Suggs

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family:
My partner Dan and I live in Somerville, Massachusetts, with our two cats, three degus, and dozens of in-progress craft projects. I work for Harvard University as an Adaptive Technology Coordinator, where I assist students with disabilities by providing course content access and testing accommodations. Dan is a scientist at a biotech start-up.

How did you first hear about the Foundation?
I reached the point in my life where my financial situation settled down, and I no longer had to put off a bunch of personal goals in order to eat and pay bills each month. Since I then became able to take care of myself sufficiently, it was important to me as a secular humanist to also ensure that I take care of the other humans around me as well as the world we live in and resources we depend on. Politically, I was also looking to show that charity is not the exclusive domain of religion, organized or other. Luckily, the Foundation comes up almost immediately when doing an online search for secular charities.

Why are you a member?
The entire structure of FBB greatly appeals to me. I like the idea of spreading my donations out to different areas of work and parts of the world, but I was intimidated by the idea of trying to search for varied charities on my own and dig up whether or not they have religious ties. With the Foundation, that grunt work is done for me, yet I still have the opportunity to make the decision of how my money will split among the various quarterly recipients. Even if the situation ever arises where I don’t want to donate to any of the charities chosen a particular quarter, I can still apportion my money to the Foundation for that time in support of the overall mission.

Do you have some favorite cause categories?
Human Rights is consistently my favorite category. I find keeping up with world news of how humans are treating each other is often a depressing task. The charities that are featured in the Human Rights category almost always lift my mood with the work they do to counter such human-on-human abuse.

Any beneficiaries so far that particularly moved or interested you? 
I have a very personal attachment to the mission of the It Gets Better Project, the Human Rights category selection for this quarter. The meme of high school as “the best days of your life” can be traumatizing to teens dealing with abuse based on their identity, or even those who are hiding those core aspects of their identity to avoid such abuse. Reaching out to those teens with the message that better days are still ahead provides them with hope to soldier on.