Volunteer teams in the Beyond Belief Network shifted gears in our first full month of quarantine, asked what the new needs were in their communities, and figured out how to help from a distance!
The Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI)— as pictured above— delivered food and PPE to hospitals and military personnel, helping to improve morale and provide much-needed supplies to those working on the front lines of this emergency.
They also provided supplies to students of the HAPI Central Humanist Day Care Center, helping to provide formula and basic commodities for the community, since no government subsidies are able to reach the area because of its location.
HAPI also worked selling produce to provide cash for mothers with infants needing formula, diapers and other supplies.
Two members of Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) in Columbus, Ohio worked as housewarmers for a total of eleven hours in April at the Columbus Ohio Ronald McDonald House (RMH). RMH provides housing and meals to families with children being treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and other area hospitals. A member of Omnipresent Atheists (a fellow affiliate group of United Coalition of Reason) collected 22 towels and washcloths which were donated to RMH as well. The team is limiting volunteer opportunities with RMH at this time to members who have previously volunteered with the facility, as it is safer to involve only volunteers who know the building and practices involved because extra precautions are required.
Northwestern Chicagoland Humanist Crew (NCHC) in Mundelein, Illinois created and participated in the You Are Not Alone (YANA) Trio challenge. The thought underpinning the event was to send supportive and appreciative notes to people in their communities. The titular "trio" consisted of a supportive note to someone you know, another to cheer up someone you don't, and a thank you note to someone. The team sent over 50 notes, some being thank you notes for staff at hospitals, some to residents in a shelter to let them know they matter, and thank yous to mail carriers. They wanted to spread some love and kindness to cheer people up during this difficult time and show appreciation to those on the front lines.
Finally, Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless (AHH) in Austin, Texas, held their monthly giveway for people experiencing homelessness, modified for the realities of COVID-19 and social distancing. The team held a pre-packing event the day before with sanitized hands, gloves, and masks. The focus this time was much more on food items, since the team got confirmation that many groups which usually provide food regularly are temporarily inactive. AHH agreed that a larger focus on food was needed for this giveaway. Along with the usual toiletries, feminine hygiene products, and toilet paper, each giveaway bag contained a combination of several granola bars, Nutri-Grain bars, Slim Jims, flavored cracker packs, no-refrigeration tuna salad kits, peanuts/peanut bars, applesauce, fruit cups and fruit snacks.
The giveaway the next day was a huge success. With clean hands, gloves and masks (provided by an amazing public servant), AHH was able to help over 150 individuals. Once the 144 pre-packed bags were gone, the team walked around distributing surplus food items. There was a huge need for food resulting in a throng of people wanting to get supplies, of which there were not enough. The team is planning to continue their giveaways each month, paying attention to safe practices and social distancing.
Keep up the great work teams! You are making a difference.
Beyond Belief Network is a collective of over 125 humanist, atheist, and other non-believing organizations putting compassionate humanism into action through community volunteering and charitable fundraising. Its just one of many examples of the work our humanist community does to make a positive impact on the world. The network wouldn't be possible without you. You can support our work in organizing this network by making a contribution to our General Fund today.