Austin Humanists at Work coordinated several events for the 2020 Secular Week of Action, May 1-10, resulting in real dollars raised and lives helped through fundraising and activities.

During the Secular Week of Action, human hands helped solve human problems, which are words our organization exemplifies in everything we do. Austin Humanist at Work believes in everything Week of Action means for secular humanists all over our country, and beyond. Thank you to Foundation Beyond Belief for coordinating the event.

ATXHAW focused on two main fundraisers for this week of action. First, Central Texas Food Bank is working hard to help many people dealing with food insecurity all over Central Texas. They are providing school lunches to children currently unable to physically be in school due to COVID-19. We wanted to help relieve at least a small part of their continuous need for monetary donations.

At the beginning of our Facebook fundraiser, we received word from an anonymous donor who offered to match the first $500 in donations. Our aim was $1,000 and surpassed that goal by $125. Thank you to all our donors who made that goal happen. Not only did our organization raise funds but our board president raised another $510 on her own Facebook page in honor of Secular Week of Action. In total, our organization raised $1,635 for the Central Texas Food Bank.

Our second fundraiser was for Foundation Beyond Belief (FBB) who is helping food banks all over the U.S. and their current humanist action which is Project Guana. Our organization has been a Beyond Belief Network team member for 6 years and our organization has grown leaps and bounds with their continued support from grant monies, T-shirts, and encouragement through award appreciation, and engagements via social media, snail-mail, and email. The event attached to this fundraiser was a Week of Action Virtual 5K: Team Austin Humanists at Work we held all week. We asked for each runner to be sponsored through a donation via GoFundMe. All proceeds of that fundraiser go to Foundation Beyond Belief. We reached our goal of $500! Thanks to all the donors who made that possible. Thank you to our 5K participants: Carolyn and Roger, Nicole, Sarah, and Virginia.

Our Gettin’ Knotty Guild looked to makers to craft washcloths, scarves, hats, blankets and face masks. Thank you to Nicole for her donation of face masks. All face masks will be going to Front Steps. They have been handing face masks out to those experiencing homelessness outside their building. All other items will be held in storage until our modified giveaway resume and when the temperatures drop.

Gettin’ Knotty Guild group meetups have moved to virtual WebEx and Zoom meetings; thank you Melissa for helping the Gettin’ Knotty Guild with the virtual meetings. We know our other Gettin’ Knotty members continuously make hats, scarves, and washcloths all year and truly appreciate all of your time and effort. If you are looking to help efforts to amass the number of scarves and hats needed to provide our clients during the winter, please contact Virginia Miller via email, info@austinhumanistsatwork.org.

Another project we are still working on, but announced during the week of action, is writing letters/ cards to elderly residents at retirement facilities. We are keeping this event on going so we can fulfill our first request of 55 residents at the Tech Ridge Oak Retirement Home. Our hope is to find other homes in the area to send any remaining letters to. We are also promoting Love for the Elderly, which is how we came up with the very good criteria to write our card and letters. We will update our supporters with another blog on our progress. We are currently working with two different groups to help fulfill our project. Thank you, Nicole, for arranging our current creation for 55 wonderful residents.

During the beginning of the Secular Week of Action, our board approved support of Austin Atheist Helping the Homeless, and donated food that went into approximately 220 bags handed to individuals experiencing limited means. The organizer of I Support the Girls – Austin was also there helping to make bags. Outreach is wonderful when organizations work together for a common goal. AAHH will be doing another giveaway June 7th focusing on food during their modified giveaways in response to COVID-19.

Toward the middle of our week, our organization was contacted by the owner and T-shirt designer Thomas Bear of ElementX Designs. He made a Secular Week of Action design you can get on a T-shirt color of your choosing and all proceeds of the T-shirt will be donated to Austin Humanists at Work. Thank you, Thomas, for your gift of time and effort in support of our organization. All monies will go right back out to the community we serve each month.

Now more than ever, people need to come together and put into action the love and compassion we all can have for each other. Our organization promotes all the guidelines and fact-driven information scientists and medical professionals provide to keep the public safe and healthy. We’re being sure to be socially distancing ourselves, wearing masks when in public, along with washing our hands regularly, being mindful to not touch our faces, and staying home when not feeling well. Many avid volunteers are risking their own health for the sake of others and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts.

Austin Humanists at Work promotes volunteerism and when possible, we promote others to look to what other organizations may need during this hard time. Together we can come out of this situation through hard work, perseverance, and compassion. Everyone behind the scenes of Austin Humanists at Work wishes all of you the best of health and safety during this difficult time. Thank you for a fantastic week of putting humanism to work through the Secular Week of Action!

Secular Week of Action 2020 wrap-up from ATXHAW

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