Author Bridget Gaudette
I'm an ex-Jehovah's Witness with a focus on Black atheism, humanism, and sex-positive dialogue. | @BridgetGaudette
In the spring of this year I was an intern for Foundation Beyond Belief (FBB). Founded a couple years ago by author and former college professor Dale McGowan, the mission of the Foundation is “To demonstrate humanism at its best by supporting efforts to improve this world and this life, and to challenge humanists to embody the highest principles of humanism, including mutual care and responsibility.” You can view some of their accomplishments here. Today I want to talk about three of their initiatives that you might not know about 1. Humanist Crisis Response, 2. Internship Program and 3. Light the Night.
1. Humanist Crisis Response: From the website, “The Humanist Crisis Response (CR) program of Foundation Beyond Belief serves as a focal point for the humanist response to major humanitarian crises. Our purpose is twofold: to bring resources to those in desperate need, and to raise awareness of that need in the humanist community and beyond.” Yesterday, in response to Hurricane Sandy, FBB started collecting money that will go to secular relief organizations. The organizations were vetted to ensure that your money won’t be used for Bibles instead of clean water. So you’re probably wondering (excerpt from the FAQs): Why is the Foundation necessary? Can’t I just donate directly to these charities?
A: Of course you can. But if you are a humanist, and the idea of working together with other humanists to make the world a better place as a direct expression of what you believe is appealing and inspiring to you, and you’d like to be a part of articulating the collective humanist voice in the world of philanthropy… well, that’s what we’re here for.
You can give to the CR directly or for as low as $5 a month, become a member.
2. Internship program: The Foundation has a variety of internship opportunities. You don’t have to be a college student you just need to have a passion for humanism and a willingness to work toward’s the Foundation’s mission. As I mentioned before, I was an intern for the Foundation and I fell in love. It’s the perfect mix of secular humanism and charitiable giving. Everyone works really well together and you truly feel fulfilled by what you’re making happen. They are looking for:
- Self-discipline, self-direction, reliability
- High personal motivation and perseverance
- Enthusiasm for and commitment to the Foundation’s mission and approach
- Demonstrated familiarity/involvement with the freethought community
- Clear written communication skills
- Creative problem-solving abilities
3. Light the Night: The Foundation is attempting to raise $1, 000,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) via their Light the Night Walks. The Stiefel Foundation has gratiously pledged to match the first $500,000 raised. As I mentioned before, yes, you could give directly to the LLS, but wouldn’t it be great to say that a bunch of humanists (mostly atheists) raise a million bucks to fight cancer?! One hundred percent of your directed donation goes to LLS. For more info, go here.
The Foundation gives you opportunities to give during a crisis (and other)under the humanist banner as well as allowing you to contribute to it’s administration as an intern. Take advantage! You won’t regret it.