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Bay Area Atheists/Agnostics/Humanists/Freethinkers/Skeptics Message Board › Support Atheists in the Philippines.

Support Atheists in the Philippines.

William B.
user 28021162
Lacey, WA
Post #: 21
A Call for Donations and a Secular Solution.­
“Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer”.

As some of you may know, I am the liaison officer in the USA for the Philippine Atheist Agnostic Society (PATAS). This is the largest atheist organization in the Philippines and to my knowledge the only organization of that kind doing relief efforts. If you have ever said why are atheists organizations not out there doing something, then now is the time to support one that is.

In the past six months the Philippines has been hit with almost every form of natural disaster. First it was a volcanic eruption that took a few lives, and then it was mass floods from monsoon season. Just a few weeks ago there was a massive 7.4 earthquake causing major damage. Yet all of that only adds to the devastation of the worst typhoon recorded that hit just days ago. When you see people you don’t know suffer it is saddening, when you see people you know suffer it is horrific, but when you see people you love suffer it is devastating.

These are my friends and family. I was there volunteering this past June for the whole month, and during that time they conducted the first atheist humanist convention in Cebu. That is one Island hit by the earthquake. It is a deeply catholic country so you know the type of propaganda they are saying against us. I have been working tirelessly trying to raise as much funds for them as possible. We have been in the process of starting a chapter in California, and the The Atheist Charitable Network (Los Angeles Branch) was the first to reach out to use.

All the money will go directly to relief operations. Some have gone to the earthquake:­ this effort was just days after. Our headquarters is located in Cebu but was not damaged. There are now short term and long term plans. The damage is bad. I wont use emotional manipulation. if you want to support an Philippine Atheist Humanist organization making a difference then this is the only one. They are also my close friends and I want to help them

As a liaison office I can answer any questions or put you in contact if you can go there to volunteer. I desperately tried to get time off to go back again, but my Catholic employer would not let me go as I was just there in June. Raising funds is all I can do now. i am collecting money and will send to financial officer the first of December. Or you can donate directly on the website.­

If you donate please let us know so we can give you or your organization recognition, as well as keep our records accurate. They have estimated that every $500 dollars can cover about

Thank you so much,

William Barnes

Basic project information
*Project will focus on Hilotongan Island in Bantayan. PATAS will operate independently apart from religious charities. We will not connect to any government official for the project because we have news that those officials are not giving them to the people but to limited to only members of their family.

* We will do the same as we did in bohol. To accommodate the population of the island of 2,000 we need a big budget. Our meeting last night targeted only 400 families with the budget of 50,000 pesos. That is about $1,200 us dollars per 400 people or $6,000 for the 2,000 people.

*The rebuilding of the huts will also be our primary project after our relief operation so we have long term effect to the community. The short term projects will involve providing basic aid, and non religious emotional comfort.

Please help. It’s not cliché that every single dollar will help. There are no bureaucratic hurdles with this group and all are volunteers truly dedicated in an overtly religious country.
Regina S.
Walnut Creek, CA
Post #: 37
I have received your email through the mailer. You invited us to donate to the victims of the Philippine Hurricane. In this email you wrote "Donations given through the Richard Dawkins Foundation will be passed on to Doctors Without Borders. Doctors Without Borders relies on private donations for 90% of their funding. All donations that the Richard Dawkins Foundation receives via Non-Believers Giving Aid will be donated to Doctors Without Borders - nothing is removed for overhead. Please help us with whatever you are able to give."

Is there some way how we can contribute to the relief effort more directly? What I mean is that instead of our donations going through "Doctors without Borders", can we donate our money through an Atheist 503(k)? I think that we as atheists should not chose some other indirect venue for our charity, but contribute directly as Atheists, and make our humanitarian compassion be recognized as such.
William B.
user 28021162
Lacey, WA
Post #: 27
Hi, just wanted to make sure people know PATAS is the Philippine atheist agnostic society. It isbthe largest and only established group of its kind in the philipines. Any donation given to them can go directly to their relief projects.

We have been getting a good responce. One donation was $15,000 from american humanist association.
William B.
user 28021162
Lacey, WA
Post #: 28
http://humanistcharit...­ UPDATE 11/15/13: In just one day, Humanist Charities raised $25,611 for the Philippine Typhoon Relief Fund. Thank you, our members, for your generosity and support!
user 9892369
San Ramon, CA
Post #: 550
Is there some way how we can contribute to the relief effort more directly? What I mean is that instead of our donations going through "Doctors without Borders", can we donate our money through an Atheist 503(k)? I think that we as atheists should not chose some other indirect venue for our charity, but contribute directly as Atheists, and make our humanitarian compassion be recognized as such.
Actually, I think contributing to the Dawkins Foundation as a front door and than having the $$ spent by experienced professionals at MSF (Doctors Without Borders) is the best of both worlds. Contributions will be known, at least at some point in the process, to have come from a secular source (yes! atheists are caring and compassionate, too!); but, more important, the money will be spent by an organization that knows how to get the biggest bang for the buck in emergency situations, rather than a scattering of well-intentioned local groups who may not be plugged in to the best deals for sourcing supplies and services. And making each dollar deliver as much benefit as possible is, in the end, the most important goal. For the past few years, every interview I've heard with panels of disaster-relief experts and other delivering emergency aid (including local food banks) consistently emphasizes that well-meaning individuals on their own cannot accomplish what a well-staffed, thoroughly trained professional relief organization can. On the other hand, I am not a fan of the Red Cross and some of the other "usual suspects" (e.g., United Way) -- not only because of the overhead costs that William has mentioned, but also, in the case of the Red Cross, their generally unknown practice of presenting aid recipients with a bill for the services rendered. So, that said, I applaud the efforts of William and others and believe his activism is helping to keep the issue alive and meaningful. But my donation is going to go to the Dawkins Foundation or else directly to Doctors Without Borders.
David D.
user 14112952
Berkeley, CA
Post #: 10
I agree with what Wendy has said in this exchange. This is not a criticism of PATAS, but Doctors without Borders is long established and have done excellent work, gotten plaudits, showed that funds gathered go to the needy, not to administration. They are also often in place, in many places, including the Philippines. I suspect that the Dawkins Foundation selected them for carefully considered reasons. Long term charities are fine, but emergency assistance works best with vetted organizations. The point in this situation is not simply to support atheists but that atheists support the desperate needy just as any worthy charity should do. It is nice to get credit and show atheists care, and we will be noted, but the goal is to aid the needy.
William B.
user 28021162
Lacey, WA
Post #: 29
There are plenty of great groups. I don’t in anyway mean it to be a competition, but we provide a specific service with the values, Mission, and Vision of Atheism and Humanism. Many do not know our group yet, and that is ok. However, others do know of us, PATAS has gathered almost $30,000 already. For me I support small organizations that I know personally. I spent the entire month of June this year working with them in Manila and Cebu. They also hosted the first Humanist convention in Cebu with IHEYO this year. Before that, Dan Barker from FFRRF was at our first convention in 2011, and PATAS is supported and affiliated with the following organizations: Affiliations:
Atheist Alliance International (AAI)
International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU)
International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organisation (IHEYO)
Institute for Science and Human Values (ISHV)
Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF)
American Atheists (AA)
Some of the above organization have trusted PATAS enough with their donations. PATAS is the largest Atheist organization in the overwhelmingly Catholic country of the Philippines. Also, there is a lot of benefit to supporting smaller projects. Anyone that is interested in our relief projects, with or without donating is welcome to inquire. I will be happy to provide information and updates. After the earthquake hit October 15th not too many people cared, but we sent out a relief effort just days later. Many large organizations start at an easy area and expand out. Since we are small we do the opposite. We go to the neediest few and aid them, we are all just doing our part as we see fit.
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