May Beyond Belief Network Roundup

Let’s see what teams in the Beyond Belief Network got up to for Secular Week of Action and the rest of May!

2020 May 3_BBN_COUNT_Ronald McDonald House Columbus Volunteering 5.2020 2Week of Action Activities

Two members of Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) worked as housewarmers at the Columbus Ohio Ronald McDonald House. Housewarmers work with guests to provide a home-like environment, greeting, assisting with family needs, answering phones, giving tours, assisting with check-in/checkout, preparing guest rooms, cleaning, handling laundry, restocking supplies, and staffing the front desk.

Northwestern Chicagoland Humanist Crew (NCHC) in Mundelein, Illinois participated in Penguin Watch on citizen science web portal Zooniverse, helping scientists by tagging penguins in time lapse photos to help track their activity. By tracking them, scientists can detect early warning signs of threats to key ecosystems. The group had a total of six hours of penguin watching by the end of the week. It was fun for young and old alike!

2020 May 1_BBN_NCHC_SWOA Penguin Watch resized

Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless (AHH) in Austin, Texas, held their monthly giveaway and pre-packing events, receiving the most donations in a single month ever in the group's history! The number of donations from individuals was through the roof and assistance was received from groups I Support the Girls – Austin, Austin Humanists at Work, Atheist Community of Austin and the Freethinkers Association of Central Texas.

At the giveaway on Sunday, the team gave out all 200+ bags of assistance they had prepared for the Austin downtown area. With the amazing influx of donations, they were able to give away a large amount of pre-packaged food, and even buy a harness for a recipient's pet weasel, Nibbles. This event went amazingly smoothly; people were spaced out, moved in an orderly fashion, and shared about their current circumstances so the team could get a better idea of what items to focus on for June.

2020 May 3_BBN_Austin AHH_May 2020 Giveaway (2nd COVID Giveaway) - Secular Week of Action 4 (resized)

2020 May 7_BBN_Atheists United_Virtual 5K for Black Skeptics Los Angeles Emergency Relief Fund 3 (cropped)One of our newest teams, Atheists United in Los Angeles, California, held a Virtual 5K benefiting the Black Skeptics Los Angeles Emergency Relief Fund. The team raised just over $2,000 for the cause! Multiple members of the community ran 5K's around greater Los Angeles in an effort to give back to community members in need.

Finally, the Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) delivered supplies and met to plan about strategy moving forward to serve their communities.

Post-Week of Action Activities

Service didn’t stop when Week of Action ended!

HAPI delivered commodities (and bikes for the kids!) to the Bahay Pangarap Haven for Shattered Trust, a shelter for people who have experienced domestic abuse. The extended quarantine is limiting peoples' movement, so HAPI's delivery of rice and canned goods was very welcome.

COUNT also participated in the Columbus CoR Bleed-N-Feed, donating two units of blood products at the Carriage Place Red Cross Donor Center in Columbus, Ohio. The team has had to forgo the "Feed" portion of the Bleed-N-Feed (consisting of a group dinner), but wants to keep the "Bleed" portion active in order to make up for cancelled blood drives. The Red Cross helps them stay safe by checking temperatures and requiring use of hand sanitizer at the door. 

2020 May 30_BBN_ACPC_ITAV May 2020 #2 2 (cropped)The Atheist Community of Polk County, in Polk County, Florida had a busy month as well. The team has recently joined forces with other local organizations to form a new coalition called It Takes a Village (ITAV), creating a novel food pantry in the wake of COVID-19. Food and other essentials are stored at the Unitarian Universalist Church building where volunteers sort and pack boxes to be delivered by volunteers to families in Polk County who are unable to access traditional services. ACPC members participated in two deliveries this month.

ACPC also held their first Adopt-a-Road cleanup event since the stay at home orders were lifted, and have restarted their Street Warrior events, handing out meals in Lakeland, Florida to people experiencing homelessness. Street Warriors had been on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has started doing weekly meals again and will be working back up (as conditions allow) to serving meals four days per week as they were prior to the pandemic.

2020 May 23_BBN_ACPC_Street Warriors May 2020 #1 (cropped)

Photo Credit: Keith McCullough, ACPC Director

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.