Light the Night updates and a personal goal


LLS LTNThis post comes to us from Brittany Shoots-Reinhard, Foundation Beyond Belief’s director of special projects, who shares some updates about our Light the Night teams as well as her personal reasons for participating.

The Foundation Beyond Belief international team for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night walks recently reached two pretty incredible milestones. First, we have signed up more than 1,100 walkers on more than 140 teams! Second, we have recently topped $100,000 in donations. With matching funds generously provided by Todd Stiefel and his family, the freethought movement will be contributing $200k to LLS even if we don’t raise another dime. But we have a little less than $400,000 to go in the next several months to reach our fundraising goal for our first year. Please join our efforts. If you can’t walk, consider donating.

It’s rare to find an opportunity to get such a bang for your charity bucks. In addition to the fact that every dollar we raise is being matched up to the first $500,000, effectively doubling your donation, LLS itself is a great charity. I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of the LTN team from the beginning. In my interactions with the LLS staff and research on their organization, I’ve been so impressed with them. They’ve done so much to help our movement by working with us to set up an international team, linking local teams and walkers to our team page, allowing us to have a virtual team, and providing prizes and incentives for our promotions. Plus, they do so much for patients and families. Money we raise will help fund lifesaving cancer research, educational resources, and support groups and peer-to-peer counseling. They are an amazing resource for people affected by blood cancers.

Charles ShootsAs nonbelievers, we can find ourselves in opposition to believers. While we often share the same values, our beliefs are at odds. Sometimes our mere existence is cause for controversy. While charity is always important, public good works by atheists have additional benefits in dispelling some of the myths about atheists (e.g., we worship Satan, we’re evil, bad people, we’re not charitable, etc.). Cancer is something that nonbelievers and believers alike can agree on, and LTN is a chance for us to do something BIG as a movement and to honor our friends and family members who’ve been afflicted.

Most everyone has a friend or family member who is currently a cancer patient or who died of cancer. Leukemia took my grandfather right after I was born, so I never got to know him. It’s with him in mind that I’m doing my best to raise money for LLS. In addition, if I meet my fundraising goal (I’m less than $100 away!), I am going to donate 11 inches of my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths to be made into wigs for patients undergoing chemotherapy. You can help me reach this goal by donating to my page. If I make it to $500, I’ll also get blue highlights for the LTN walk. It takes about six pony tails to make one wig, so if your own hair is at least eight inches long, consider changing your style and helping someone else change theirs.