The Foundation Beyond Belief (which I’m on the board of) has begun a new program designed to help local atheist/Humanist groups find opportunities to help other people on a regular basis. We’re calling it Volunteers Beyond Belief:
The Volunteers Beyond Belief program launched in July 2011 with chapters in eight U.S. cities and plans to expand to 16 chapters by the end of 2011.
The national organization assists local chapters in finding volunteer opportunities and in committing to a regular schedule of volunteer events, making hands-on volunteering a major part of their groups’ activity and identity.
The Triangle Freethought Society in Raleigh, North Carolina completed their first event — sorting good and bad potatoes for a local food bank in order to help feed over 6,000 people — and Volunteer Amy wrote about her experience:
Despite the hot conditions and the less-than-desirable potato task, I feel sure that all of us were very glad to have taken part. Our enthusiasm and humor remained high, and rubbed off on the others we worked with. I was so proud to be there as a member of a secular organization working to bring about good for goodness’ sake. It is vital that nonbelievers participate in the community in order to work towards destroying the misguided perception that we are unethical and amoral. As a humanist, I also believe it is so important that we do everything we can to leave the world a better place than when we came into it.
How awesome is that? And this is only the beginning. There’s no reason our charitable output can’t match that of any church’s.
If your group is interested in becoming a VBB chapter, you can fill out the application here.