September Service with a Smile!

September has been a busy month for our Teams!  Some marked the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 with a Day of Service and Remembrance, and others have continued their regular events.  Here’s what they’ve been up to in their local communities!
The Valley Skeptics in the Park cleaned up Will Rogers State Beach on Saturday, September 17th as part of the Heal the Bay initiative. They picked up trash along the beach, to protect wildlife and preserve the beautiful area.  This was a great kid-friendly event and this Los Angeles, California based VBB Team is sure to plan many more fun volunteer events that will serve the dual function of teaching kids to help others!  Isn’t this little volunteer a cutie?
The Harvard Humanists helped organize a major interfaith community service event that took place Sunday, September 11th. In conjunction with a diverse group of Harvard faculty, staff, and student groups, as well as local congregations and organizations, the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard packaged 9,110 nutritious meals to be distributed to food-insecure children in the Boston area. 
Over 200 volunteers attended to write letters to legislators in support of hunger relief and formed 4 assembly lines to package the meals.  The extremely successful event was featured on Boston’s Channel 7 News.   
Humanity on Call was at the San Diego Food Bank on Tuesday, September 13th. They sorted and packaged food to be distributed to the homeless, homebound, seniors, and others.
The San Diego Food Bank provides food to people in need, advocates for the hungry and educates the public about hunger-related issues. 
Fellowship of Freethought Dallas cleaned up White Rock Lake on Saturday, September 10th as part of the Shoreline Cleanup project. The second Saturday of every month, FOF Dallas cares for this section of shoreline to help preserve White Rock Lake and protect local wildlife.
FOF Dallas also contributed to the AIDS Service of Dallas Ewing House Supper Club on Thursday, September 22nd. On the fourth Thursday of every month, FOF Dallas prepares nutritious meals for residents of the home who are living with HIV/AIDS. The residents especially enjoy the variety of meals and thoughtfulness of FOF Dallas. So far they have grilled and made stir fry, BBQ and gyros. For the September event, they made pies. Delicious pies. 
Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry cleaned up a two-mile stretch of Harbor View Road in Charleston on Saturday, September 10th. This is a regular event that SHL participates in four times a year through the Adopt-a-Highway program. 
The Humanist Community of Central Ohio hosted a Bleed and Feed event on Thursday, September 15th. Freethinkers gather to have dinner and donate blood to the American Red Cross. This has been a regular event for this Columbus-based Team for over two years, and they have so far raised over 81 units for the Red Cross.  At this last Bleed and Feed, HCCO live Tweeted through the Volunteers Beyond Belief Twitter account – it was like being there in person!  
This has been an excellent month for our Volunteers Beyond Belief Teams! They’re doing lots of good work and setting a great example for the rest of us. Want to get involved? You can go to websites like Volunteer Match and Do Something! to search for volunteer opportunities in your area. Or, consider contacting your local branch of the Red Cross and helping out with a blood drive.
There are lots of ways to give something back to your community, and as our Teams have shown you can have a lot of fun while doing it!  Many exciting events are sure to come, as well as the much-anticipated expansion of the Volunteers Beyond Belief program.  Stay tuned for the announcement later this week of which new Teams will be joining Volunteers Beyond Belief!