Doing good in the name of atheism.

What is Atheist Volunteers?

Atheist man gives out Christmas gifts in Guyana dressed as Santa Claus

A long time fan/member of The Rational Response Squad community wrote to me recently to tell me about a particularly fulfilling charitable event that he participates in. Jeffrick (as he goes by on RRS) married Sally 25 years ago. His wife was born and raised in Guyana. After her sister died of a heart attack 7 years ago the 6 remaining sisters set up the Forever 7 Foundation. The charity provides food hampers to needy familys and a full out Christmas party with Santa and presents for their children. The charity even pays the taxi fare for familys to attend to and from the event.

Why Guyana? The sisters are doing it for their hometown, they grew up in a wooden shack, similar to the ones you see in the video below. The cost of this charity is 100% covered by Jeffrick and his wife's family. In fact if you try to donate, Jeffrick will send the check back.

As you'll see in the video below, the atheist Santa is helping to make a small village of Guyanese children very happy. He takes particular pleasure in this moment. The children he gives the gifts to are Hindu and Muslim and they don't regard Christmas as a religious holiday. Jeffrick has particular fun in enjoying "Christmas with all the good stuff and none of the nonsense."

Kudos to you Jeffrick for your kind humanitarian nature. You remind us that atheists do good things directly under religions nose.

Jeffrick posted about his charity at RRS.

Submitted by Sapient on Wed, 2014-01-15 11:18.

Oklahoma Tornado Relief

Here are the links for fundraisers that will help Oklahoma Tornado victims without religion. Such horrible natural disasters remind us that there is no god that has the power or care to stop and that prayer is a waste of time and energy. We can do something, or we can pray, it's up to us.

Foundation Beyond Belief is fundraising:
http://foundationbeyondbelief.org/crisis

"At 3:01 pm CT on May 20, a massive F-4 tornado decimated the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, OK. Scores of severe injuries and deaths have been reported, and intense work is under way to find and rescue those trapped in the rubble.

The Humanist Crisis Response program of Foundation Beyond Belief has opened a donation drive in response to this disaster. Our staff worked through the night to assess the disaster situation and the relief organizations responding. This morning we have selected Operation USA and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to receive our donations. These organizations were chosen for their long records of outstanding work, their high ratings and transparency, and their current direct work in the disaster zone addressing the primary needs of food, shelter, and medical aid."

We are atheism is fundraising:
http://www.weareatheism.com/donate/atheist-giving-aid-oklahoma-tornado-relief

"This one hits close to home. We are headquartered in Shawnee, KS, about 4.5 hours northeast of Moore, OK. We’ve seen tornadoes. We know people that lived through the Joplin, MO tornadoes. We know people whose homes have been devastated by violent storms. What happened outside of Oklahoma City is nothing short of a natural disaster.
People have died, children gone, families ripped apart. At this time, others can pray if they want, but we want to help. These families and the citizens left there with no homes, will need help. We know the Red Cross is on hand. They serve a great purpose. However, a lot of their funds go to pay overhead. With us, your money goes right to those that need help. So, if you want to give money where you know it will go directly to someone in need, and NOT go through a religious source, then consider giving to Atheists Giving Aid. Whatever you can financially spare will allow our organization to get lives back to normal."

Submitted by Sapient on Tue, 2013-05-21 23:15.

Foundation Beyond Belief Year-End Drive

The following fundraiser supports humanistic charity: https://www.stayclassy.org/checkout/donation?cid=7162&pid=7899

Welcome to the Year-End Drive for Foundation Beyond Belief, a charitable organization of compassionate humanists working for a better world. We don't eat much -- in fact, we don't eat ANY of the donations that our humanist members designate for our featured charities. That means we have to raise the funds separately to run our charitable giving program, the Volunteers Beyond Belief network, and Humanist Crisis Response. In 2012 alone we raised over $500,000 for charities and disaster relief around the world, and our Volunteers program expanded to 23 teams. Next year we hope to double our membership, launch affiliates in Canada and Australia, and begin building a Humanist Service Corps working in several developing countries. For every $10 you contribute, you will receive an entry in a drawing for one of three signed, personalized copies of Dale McGowan's latest book VOICES OF UNBELIEF -- a hardcover anthology of atheist and agnostic documents that retails for $100. We hope you find our vision of compassionate humanism in action to be worth supporting. THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!

Submitted by Sapient on Wed, 2012-12-05 22:31.

List of Secular charitable organizations

A number of secular, non-religious aid organizations are active when natural disasters strike in the US. They do not incorporate a religious message in their operations, nor do they proselytize to those in need.

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICES COMMITTEE
AMERICAN HUMANIST ASSOCIATION
AMERICAN NATIONAL RED CROSS (Founded by Deist-Unitarian Clara Barton)
AMERICARES
HANDS ON HUMANITY is a project of the Universist Movement. It is operated by Atheists and other secularists, and is concentrating on the Birmingham, Ala. area. It has applied for non-profit status.
FOUNDATION BEYOND BELIEF
The MASONIC SERVICES ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA has established a Katrina Hurricane Relief fund and accepts on-line donations.
MERCYCORPS
NETWORK FOR GOOD (has numerous listings for helping groups, both religious and secular)
OXFAM AMERICA
SECOND HARVEST
UNITED WAY OF AMERICA
HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES (Our winged and four-legged friends need help, too!)
PETSMART CHARITIES

Submitted by Sapient on Wed, 2012-12-05 12:03.

Indoctrinated home schooled girl refuses life in the kitchen and seeks education

The atheist community is firmly united in assisting a young girl who was brought up in a religious home that seeks to keep women uneducated and in the kitchen. Despite her parents refusing to help in any way she has dedicated herself to getting an education and saving her siblings from the same fate. Please "vote" for her essay about this to help her get a scholarship. As of my writing of this blog post she has twice as many votes as the second place entry, let's keep it up!

In her essay she states:

Then, I would love to create a safe-house where children of religious homeschooling families can come to improve their lives and future and have hope.
From struggling with poverty, to being unable to get a job without a resume or employment history, and often a substandard education; the children of the Quiverfull movement have extreme challenges to overcome. A home like this would be a safe platform for them to transition into the world without being abandoned to struggle. Many of their parents wish this difficulty for their children, saying it will cause them to return and be content with the party line. I want to create a buffer for the pain parents cause when they shun and disinherit their children for religious reasons.
Because there are more of us every day, and so much pain and heartache.

Repost from Brian Sapient

Submitted by Sapient on Mon, 2012-11-12 12:22.

Hurricane Sandy relief from Freethought Society

The Freethought Society, a group of freethinkers founded by Margaret Downey near Philadelphia, Pa has started an effort to provide relief to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

If you need assistance because you were impacted by Hurricane Sandy, you can request help with the Freehtought Society here.

If you would like to contribute to help Sandy victims, click here.

What’s going on?

Hurricane Sandy has wreaked havoc from the Caribbean to Canada. Many people are in urgent need of aid. The Freethought Society is partnering with the Texas Freethought Convention, the United Coalition of Reason and Volunteers Beyond Belief to collect and distribute money to help where needed. These groups each have representatives on the Hurricane Sandy Emergency Relief Fund Committee, who are all working as volunteers to get financial assistance to victims as quickly as possible.

The legal info:

The Freethought Society (FS) is a registered charitable organization, legally authorized to collect and distribute funds for charity. All contributions to specific charity funds are tax-deductible to the full extent permitted by the law. View our Certificate here: RegisteredCharityPA

For updates on the fund please visit the fund’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/HurricaneSandyEmergencyReliefFund

Please visit the website for more information, and to donate! http://www.ftsociety.org/2012/10/30/hurricane-sandy-emergency-relief-fund/

Submitted by Sapient on Mon, 2012-11-05 08:45.

Atheists come to the aid of a young girl who had the courage to speak up.

Hemant Mehta has started a college fund donation drive for Jessica Ahlquist. Kudos to Hemant!

Here is what Hemant had to say about Jessica:

And if you saw Jessica’s speech at the 2011 Secular Student Alliance conference like I did, you’d understand why we need more student activists just like her. Once again, I’m asking for your support. I think we owe it to Jessica to make sure she can go to a wonderful college — one that respects her in a way that many of the people in her high school don’t — without having to worry about tuition.

I spoke with Roy Speckhardt at the American Humanist Association to see if they would consider holding onto the money in a trust fund (as part of the Humanist Foundation of the AHA) and he gave me an enthusiastic “Yes.”

Let’s show Jessica that we appreciate what she’s done and let’s encourage other students to do the same thing


PLEASE DONATE



_____________

Jessica Ahlquist won her lawsuit against the Cranston school district in Rhode Island.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The high school student who sought the removal of a prayer mural from the auditorium at Cranston High School West has won her suit in federal court. U.S. District Court Judge Ronald R. Lagueux, in a 40-page ruling issued Wednesday on the lawsuit filed by Jessica Ahlquist's father, Mark Ahlquist, has ordered the "immediate" removal of the prayer mural, although he has given Cranston school officials 10 days to respond.

Throughout the lawsuit Jessica has had to deal with the effects of a community that fought back against her.

For me, the insults and feeling of ostracism began at the very beginning, when I attended my first subcommittee meeting back in November of 2010. One event that stands out in my mind was this one day at school when Mayor Fung came in to give a talk about minorities for “Diversity Week.” At the end of his talk, there was a Q & A in which a student asked for his opinion on the school prayer. He pointed to the prayer and declared in front of hundreds of students that he wanted to see the prayer stay where it was and that it was perfectly legal. Almost everyone in the auditorium stood and applauded him, cheering him on. This was hurtful and extremely upsetting, especially after the mayor had just given a speech about how important acceptance of minorities is. - Jessica Ahlquist interview at a Bright Blog

She has had quite a few physical threats sent her way, people have made sure she knows they want to hurt her.

Throughout all of it she has maintained a strong attitude, and a strong will to get through it because she knows what is right. She has a very sound philosophical footing. She is on the path to greatness, and the online community has gotten together to show her just how awesome we think she is.

Submitted by Sapient on Mon, 2012-01-16 18:17.

Kudos to the Reddit atheism community

The Reddit atheism community has become quite a force over the last few years. They've recently added an atheist faq, and they always have great atheist content to peruse, make sure to check them out.

REDDIT ATHEISTS DONATE OVER $60,383 TO DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS

The atheists on Reddit have managed to hit their goal and raise over $60,000 for Doctors Without Borders! They have moved their goal because giving is so much fun, why stop? The new goal is $75,000!

It's nice to see the folks at reddit.com/r/atheism do this in a way where their goodness can be seen by theists. Atheists are often questioned as to whether they are capable of being good people without religion. The charitable and kind atheists of one community have banded together and decided to show just how good atheists are. Not only will we have the benefits of countless people in need being helped, but we are helping to change a stereotype. Some theists have been told so adamantly that atheists can do no good, that it's important for us to show what atheists already know about each other. Atheists know that it's important for us to do good because we would want people to do good for us. We know that we are responsible for our own actions. We know there is no other force that can power goodness in the world other than our own desire to be good.

Doctors without Borders is a charity that Atheist Volunteers has previously supported.

Doctors Without Borders Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is an international independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, and exclusion from health care in more than 60 countries. A private, nonprofit organization, Doctors Without Borders was founded in 1971 as the first non-governmental organization to both provide emergency medical assistance and bear witness publicly to the plight of people it assists. They do not require you to convert to Christianity (or any other religion) in order to receive medical care! A secular charity worthy of our support and we have the fine folks of Reddit

UPDATE: This article was published this morning and donations were around $53,000. At the time of this update reddit atheists managed to surpass their goal and raise $60,383. By my count they raised about $7,000 in 10 hours.

UPDATE 2: Denny-Crane on reddit atheism said "it stood at around $49,600 at 9am EST and is around $60,300 around 9:40pm EST"

Submitted by Sapient on Fri, 2011-11-18 12:26.

Congratulations to Michael Park

Michael Park is an atheist who wanted to make a difference. What started as a thing of fantasy became reality for Michael as he raised $1,000 for the Special Olympics and had a great time doing it.

On October 1st he posted the following on on his facebook profile

We've all seen the classic Superman rescue, whether in the movies, cartoons, or comic books. He leaps out of a window, swoops down to catch a person, and gently touches down on the pavement below. I never thought that was that big a deal. He flies - it's what he does. To me, the really cool characters were the ones like Daredevil or Batman & Robin - launching off of rooftops relying only on their skills and a little bit of rope.

So when my employer offered the opportunity to support Special Olympics by rappelling down a 30 story building, there was no way I could say no. I get to swing down the side of a building AND help people?!? This is about as close to being Batman as I'm ever going to get. If I can meet my fundraising goal of $1000 before October 20th, I will get to rappel down the Mohegan Sun Casino Hotel.

So whether you want to support a great cause that helps thousands of kids, help me fulfill a childhood fantasy, or just like the idea of me being pushed off a really tall building, please donate whatever you can spare. Every little bit helps. And even if you can't donate today, please pass this along to as many friends as you can. - Michael Park

Congratulations Michael Park. You help show misguided theists what we already know, that atheists do good deeds.

A story from Ken about atheists doing good deeds...

May of 2009, FLASH member Matt Kirsch had an idea to make packages with food, toiletries and lists of clinics and shelters in the area. He brought them to socials and gave them to members to carry with them and hand out to someone needy. It's a very good gesture and I informally named it "two hands working" from the Ben Franklin Quote "two hands working do more than a million clasped in prayer".

This week we had very low temperatures for South Florida (35 degrees). Being South Florida, we are not used to cold and the homeless find open areas to bed down, mostly without any shielding from the elements. The shelters fill up fast here in cool weather and with a cold front bearing down on us, FLASH made a plea on Facebook for donations to buy blankets, sleeping bags, socks and food. In less than 24 hours we had $340. Sports authority made us a great deal and I bought all the polar fleece blankets they had (30) and from thrift stores we found sleeping bags, blankets and coats, We also bought packages of socks and gloves. We added some food to hand out a meal with each set-up. We had enough stuff to help 45 people.

Three of our members, Jarek Loovali, Susan Stoff and Ray Loukinen volunteered to look for people that did not get into the shelters. Unfortunately, they weren't that hard to find. I would have much rather they brought the stuff back because there were enough shelters. But they found them, many with very little to keep warm. The people were very grateful and appreciative. It was also very good for these volunteers. It is hard to do good for another and not feel good yourself. Ray Loukinen said "We only had about six "god bless you"s , I explained that "we are atheists, but what's important is that you don't freeze tonight"

FLASH members want to expand our efforts and we will field new ideas. While it is not our mission to cure homelessness, poverty and other social ills, we are humanists and can't resist the needs of others. FLASH also donates equipment and supplies to local schools in lower income areas. Our purposes are state/ /church issues, religion in schools, public image of non-believers and forming communities for them. Performing random acts of kindness is an idea that many atheists around the world support.

Raising money is always tough, many times I rely on "begging" FLASH member's to support these efforts. I realize that homelessness is everywhere but if you can help other south Floridians become aware of our efforts, that would be a great plus. Also, FLASH likes to meet atheists from everywhere, so if you are visiting here, please contact us and attend one of our socials... it's fun.

LINKS:

donations to local schools -
http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=220888
http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=250135
http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=237117

To donate to flash use the paypal "donate" button at the bottom of this page http://www.freethoughtflorida.com/join.html

Ken Loukinen
President, FLorida Atheists and Secular Humanists
South Florida Regional Director, American Atheists

Submitted by RationalRespons... on Tue, 2011-04-05 20:11.