Meet your beneficiaries for 3rd quarter 2011By Administrator
As of July 1, 2011, our 830 humanist members have donated over $160,000 to charities working to improve this world and this life.
Individual members choose which of our featured charities to support with their donations and in what amounts. Let’s meet our third slate of beneficiaries for 2011.
This quarter’s beneficiary in ANIMAL PROTECTION is the Wildlife Conservation Network. WCN is dedicated to protecting endangered species and preserving their natural habitats, supporting innovative strategies for people and wildlife to co-exist and thrive.
Returning this quarter by an overwhelming vote of the membership is Uganda Humanist Schools Trust in the EDUCATION category. UHST supports several Ugandan schools in which students are taught to respect evidence and to appreciate the need for shared human values. In order to foster a spirit of understanding, students are introduced both to religion (as required by the national curriculum) and to secular humanist philosophy.
Another ENCORE beneficiary this quarter is in the ENVIRONMENT category: The Center for Biological Diversity. The Center’s innovation was to systematically and ambitiously use biological data, legal expertise, and the citizen petition provision of the powerful Endangered Species Act to obtain sweeping, legally binding new protections for animals, plants, and their habitat — first in New Mexico, then throughout the Southwest, next through all 11 western US states and into other key areas across the country.
Our third CHALLENGE THE GAP beneficiary is International Assistance Mission. IAM is a non-profit Christian organization serving the people of Afghanistan through capacity building in the sectors of Health and Economic Development. Active in Afghanistan since 1966, IAM is prohibited by Afghan law from proselytizing in any form, a position they have rigorously maintained for 45 years. In August of last year, IAM sustained an unthinkable tragedy when ten of their medical field team members were murdered. Our hearts are with the families of those individuals as the first anniversary of the tragedy approaches.
(Why is a humanist foundation supporting a religious organization?)
In the CHILDREN category, by member acclaim, we are proud to renew our support for Camp Quest, the first residential summer camp in the United States for the children of Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists, Brights, or whatever other terms might be applied to those who hold to a naturalistic, not supernatural world view. Last year CQ used our $2,470 donation as a camp starting grant for Camp Quest Chesapeake. This quarter’s funding will support the founding of another new camp, Camp Quest South Carolina.
In HEALTH we are proud to feature our first beneficiary devoted to a mental/emotional health issue. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leading U.S. national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.
This quarter marks the third time since our launch that FBB is supporting an organization at work in the central civil rights issue of our time — equal rights for LGBT people. Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), this quarter’s HUMAN RIGHTS beneficiary, supports LGBT people, their families and friends locally and nationally by providing PFLAG chapter helplines, support group meetings and resources. PFLAG also educates families and communities on sexual orientation, gender identity and LGBT issues.
Our featured charity in the PEACE category is Peace Direct. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, wherever there is conflict, there are local people building peace. They are disarming rebels, resettling refugees, protecting the vulnerable, uniting communities and restarting economies. Peace Direct works not by imposing solutions from the outside, but by empowering and funding local solutions, which have proven more effective and long-lasting.
In the POVERTY category this quarter, we have a unique opportunity. Responsible Charity is a young, secular charity working among the desperately poor in Calcutta. Their approach is markedly different from the religious charities in that city, and we’ll bring you that story as the quarter progresses.
So what’s the unique opportunity? Responsible Charity is a new charity. Though they’ve already begun doing great work in Calcutta, they are still waiting on their 501(c)(3) approval, which is expected within weeks. FBB’s own 501(c)(3) precludes us from funding a charity without that status. But by raising funds for Responsible Charity now, we will be able to double their resources in a single stroke right when they need it most. (In the unlikely event that they are not approved by the IRS, a vote of the membership will determine which of our past Poverty beneficiaries receives this quarter’s funds.)
Our tenth category as always is Foundation Beyond Belief itself. Participation in our charitable giving program is absolutely free. If this service is important to you as a member, we hope you’ll choose to designate a percentage of your monthly donation to support the work of the Foundation.
For more details, click on Current Beneficiaries.
Members: See an organization that especially moves you — or one you’d rather not support? Remember that you can change the distribution of your monthly donation at any time. Simply click on Manage Donation in the sidebar (while logged in).
Not yet a member? Join today at the giving level of your choice. As a token of our thanks for your support, for every $20 of your membership level in July, you’ll receive one entry in a drawing for an iPad2.