Contact Info Dale McGowan - Foundation Beyond Belief Phone:[masked] Email: [address removed]
Sent on 08/31/11 [8:32:59 AM] ----------------------
Release: Secular Activists Form National Volunteer Corps for Humanists "Volunteers Beyond Belief" provides opportunities for Nontheist Volunteers
HOUSTON and ATLANTA (Aug 31, 2011) -- Two nontheist organizations have merged to create the first national volunteer corps for humanists in the U.S.
"Nontheists have always been active in their communities, but until now we've lacked the kind of large-scale framework for volunteering that religious communities have," said Dale McGowan, executive director of Foundation
Beyond Belief. "We believe there is no supernatural power to take care of us, so we're a natural fit for compassionate volunteering."
Foundation Beyond Belief is an Atlanta-based 501(c)(3) created to focus, encourage and demonstrate generosity and compassion in the nontheistic community throughout America. Since its launch in January 2010, more than 850 members have raised more than $175,000 for charities at work around the world.
This summer, the Foundation merged with the Houston-based SECULAR Center USA (SCUSA) to create "Volunteers Beyond Belief," the first national humanist volunteer corps. The SECULAR Center has worked since 2007 to mobilize secular volunteers working for the improvement of their local communities in several U.S. cities.
The new Volunteers Beyond Belief program is led by SCUSA founder and executive director Noelle George under the framework of Foundation Beyond Belief. Among other things, the program provides
a forum for groups to share volunteering ideas, gives access to volunteer resources, and coordinates national volunteer events.
There are currently eight Volunteers Beyond Belief teams, with a total pool of more than 1,500 volunteers, in the following cities: Los Angeles; San Diego; Dallas; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Charleston; Raleigh; and Cambridge, Mass. at Harvard University. The organization plans to expand to eight more cities in early 2012.
This July, Volunteers Beyond Belief organized a blood drive in Columbus, Ohio and volunteered at a food bank in Raleigh, N.C. The Harvard team plans to help prepare meals for the poor as part of a campus-wide transfaith event on 9/11, while the Los Angeles team is planning a beach cleanup and AIDS walk. Plans also call for several more food bank events in other cities.
"When organizations in the nontheist community work together, we can achieve our shared goals more quickly and
efficiently," said George. "This merger is creating a strong and united program dedicated to volunteering and will ensure that the compassion and generosity of nontheists is more organized and effective."
There are more than 30 million Americans who identify with no religion. That portion of the population includes people who identify with the labels "nontheist,""atheist,""secular,""humanist,""skeptic" and "nonbeliever."
The DC Atheist Meetup is a project of DC Region Atheists. We are an educational and philosophical group serving Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia that fosters and advances the growth of non-religious communities by providing both a social setting and forums to discuss intellectual topics pertinent to their concerns and by working with other like-minded groups. We educate and encourage critical thinking through rational and respectful dialog between our members and others.
DC Region Atheists is a chapter of the Washington Area Secular Humanists. WASH is a non-profit 501c3 organization with all contributions being tax deductible. Contributions are very much encouraged and can be made here.