Category Archives: BE. Events

BE. Inspired – April Newsletter

Laughter is essential to human connection.  Bringing joy to someone – just making them smile or laugh – can change their day.  Sometimes, change their life.  How will you use April Fool’s day to connect to and uplift others?  

March Highlights & News

Pi Day Week was approximately awesome.  The 6th annual Math, Science, & Pi(e) event on March 10th at the Coalition for the Homeless engaged 16 volunteers and served more than 30 at-risk children.  THEN, on Pi Day, we had an amazing evening at  SafeHouse of Seminole where we served Mellow Mushroom pizza and did fun math art  activities with the resident youth – and adults!  For dessert…so much Pi(e)! And after the event volunteers relaxed & enjoyed (Pi)zza & a (Pi)nt at Mellow Mushroom.  🙂

BE. Orlando was featured in an article in the Humanist EDge.

Our application for chapter status with the American Humanist Association is in process. We need one more AHA member, who is also a BE. member, to sign the application – could that be you?  Let us know at BEOrlando@live.com.

IMG_20180317_141532148Thank you to those who attended the Secular Advocacy Dinner on March 15.  And a special thanks to Ryan Bell and members of the Secular Student Alliance at UCF who made service a priority during the national office visit to the university.   They joined BE. for a tour SafeHouse, prepared lunch for the residents, and played outside with youth.

Upcoming Events – April

RSVP & Details: Meetup.com/BEOrlando

  • 4/7 – help set up UCP’s 25th annual Gala event
  • 4/8 – join CFFC for their monthly park cleanup
  • 4/9 – Donate blood with fellow Knights at the BIG Blood Drive at UCF
  • 4/4 – last day to sign up for April’s SafeHouse meal serve
  • 4/11 – Meal serve at SafeHouse – Luau!
  • 4/14 – Volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank
  • 4/18 – Humanist Peer Support and Discussion Group
  • 4/19 – Symphony Under the Stars at UCF
  • 4/21 – Central Florida Earth Day festival – volunteer at our vendor tent, donate blood, help with our on-site service project, or just enjoy the festival
  • May preview: BOOK DRIVE – Throughout May we’ll host our annual book drive supporting summer literacy initiatives in our community.  Start looking for great STEM-themed books and books that highlight women and minorities in STEM and other successful professional or historic roles.

Special Days in April

Visit our Humanist Calendar

Happy 77th birthday, AHA! The American Humanist Association was founded in April, 1941 by two Humanist Unitarian ministers to recognize the non-theistic and secular nature of Humanism, organize its advocates, and educate.  They are the oldest organization addressing the breadth of Humanism in the United States. Learn more at americanhumanist.org

  • 4/2 World Autism Awareness Day
  • 4/3 Happy Birthday, AC Grayling
  • 4/9 Happy Birthday, Sam Harris
  • 4/12 Yuri’s Night (Cosmonaut’s Day)
  • 4/13 Happy Birthday, Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)
  • 4/13 Happy Birthday, Madalyn Murray O’Hair (1919-1995)
  • 4/15 Freedom From Religion Foundation incorporated nationally (1976)
  • 4/19 Ask an Atheist Day
  • 4/21 Central Florida Earth Day Festival at Lake Eola
  • 4/21 Astronomy Day
  • 4/22 Earth Day
  • 4/25 DNA Day
  • 4/27 Arbor Day
  • 4/28 Pay it Forward Day

Member’s Favorite Positive Life Quote

Contributed by: Esther
“The powerful play goes on and you will contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”
Dead Poet’s Society

March Photo of the Month

Volunteers at Math, Science, & Pi(e)!

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BE. Inspired – March Newsletter

There are way more than 3.141592653589 ways to make a difference with us this month!

February Highlights

Valentine’s Day was the best it’s ever been – volunteers gathered at SafeHouse of Seminole to serve “Food from the Heart”.  Our gratitude to the UU Congregation of Lake County for partially sponsoring the dinner!.

BE.’s Board met this month to discuss our AHA chapter application, policy changes, and other business – you can view the meeting materials HERE.

We also held a member vote in February and 34% (29 of 86, based on number of active members in 2017) voiced unanimous approval for us to apply to be a chapter. The application will be submitted soon.

Special Invitation:
Secular Advocacy Dinner, March 15th

You’re invited!  Join some very special guests for the Secular Advocacy Dinner on March 15th, 6-9 p.m.  Details and RSVP HERE.

For more events hosted by Humanist and Secular Services at UCF, including diversity workshops and a monthly peer support group, visit the HSS Calendar.

March Events

RSVP & Details: Meetup.com/BEOrlando

  • 3/10: Math, Science, & Pi(e) Fest Volunteers
  • 3/7: last day to RSVP for SafeHouse
  • 3/14: Serve dinner at SafeHouse
  • 3/15: Secular Advocacy Dinner
  • 3/21: Humanist Peer Support Group
  • 3/24: Mattress Recycling
  • 3/31: Meal Serve at Ronald McDonald House

Special Days in March

Visit our Humanist Calendar

  • 3/1 World Maths Day
  • 3/1 Banned(4)Life founded
  • 3/1 Zero Discrimination Day
  • 3/5  Penn Jillette’s birthday
  • 3/8 International Women’s Day
  • 3/14 Pi Day
  • 3/14 Einstein’s birthday
  • 3/16 Freedom of Information Day
  • 3/26  Richard Dawkin’s Birthday
  • 3/28 Daniel Dennett’s Birthday

Member’s Favorite Positive Life Quote

Contributed by: Michelle
Just keep swimming” – Dory  🙂

January Photo of the Month

IMG_20180214_183049242 (2)

Volunteer Adriana preparing Valentine’s Day dinner for the residents of SafeHouse of Seminole

A great day in the park

BE. Orlando members joined 50 other volunteers and the parks and recreation team with Seminole County (SERV) for a park cleanup on June 24th.  Teams of volunteers removed 17 bags of litter and trash, and approximately 60 bags of invasive plants (9 cubic yards of primrose willow, Caesarweed, alligatorweed, torpedo grass) from Red Bug Lake and from the edge of the park.

BE. volunteers canvassed the park for three hours, filling bags with trash and talking to the younger volunteers about the impact of trash – especially deadly shiny items like confetti, Mylar balloons, and tin foil.

Our youngest volunteer, a 3rd grader, said this was her second time volunteering. When asked what she learned from the project she said, “I learned not to litter.”

Our gratitude to the SERV program leaders!  SERV stands for Seminole Education, Restoration, and Volunteer program.  They lead citizens in projects where we learn about environmental impacts and are then empowered to work together to make a difference.

LINKS

Seminole County SERV

Join BE. Orlando for future events

SERV photo album from this event

 

 

 

Thank you, donors!

We are grateful to the donors who contributed 15 units of blood at Saturday’s blood drive and 97 books to support summer literacy initiatives!

IMG_20170603_1253255071 – BLOOD DRIVE

On Saturday, in partnership with Target (Oviedo) and OneBlood, we joined the Central Florida Freethought Community to host the first Pulse Remembrance blood drive in Central Florida; the 15 donors were the first to earn the STILL STRONG donor shirt.  We enjoyed  a great day making a difference with the CFFC and members and friends who came to support the efforts.  Fifteen units of blood collected will impact 45 lives in our community.

donor3Our blood drives to date have collected more than 182 units of blood, impacting 546 lives.

 

 

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2 – BOOK DRIVE

The event was also the final drop-off for our annual STEM-themed summer literacy book drive.   In support of local literacy initiatives of the Heart of Florida United Way and its partner agencies that focus on bridging the summer reading gap, we collect new science, technology, engineering, and math-related books, and books that highlight women and minorities in successful leadership roles, that will be given to youth as gifts.  The Central Florida Freethought Community joined the effort again this year.  With their help, we reached a total of 97 high-quality new books.

IMG_20170603_102219674This year’s collection included multiple copies of Women in Science, an autographed copy of Astronomy Saves The World from its author Daniel Batcheldor, Chasing Space, and many more fun and visually stunning books that will be sure to ignite the imagination of young readers.

Our next STEM-themed collection will be the holiday toy drive – BE part of it! Follow us at http://STEM4youth.wordpress.com.  We’re proud to be a part of STEM4Youth, a collaborative effort of local secular and Humanist organizations.  Initiatives include the summer book drive, holiday toy drive, and an annual Math, Science, & Pi(e) Fest.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Click here to become a member and RSVP:

  • Make a Difference in Under a Minute (sign online thank-you letter to a local university for their Humanist inclusion efforts)
  • Monthly meal serve in Sanford
  • Solutionary Festival & Peace Walk at Lake Eola
  • Park & Lake Cleanup event
  • Food donation sorting at Second Harvest
  • Living shoreline stabilization project at Canaveral National Seashore
  • Professional Development – free diversity workshop on faith in the workplace
  • Mattress recycling project at the Mustard Seed

LINKS

 

BE. Orlando Remembers Pulse

We are still heartbroken for the victims, families, and communities devastated by this act of violence.  Yet we are uplifted by the resilience and courage around us, and we’re proud to stand with our community, empowered to make a positive difference together.

The FIRST pulse remembrance blood drive of 2017 will be hosted tomorrow by BE. Orlando and the Central Florida Freethought Community. The #OrlandoUnited blood donor shirts will make their official debut tomorrow at Target in Oviedo, 10 am – 3 pm.

Rain or shine, the bloodmobile will be parked at the Target entrance; our tents will be there as well as long as weather allows. If you don’t find us outside, look for us inside at the snack area or at Customer Service.

Come donate blood with us tomorrow in honor of those impacted by the Pulse tragedy last year.

We will also be collecting new, STEM-themed books to support summer literacy initiatives in our community.  Help us support programs dedicated to the educational wellness of at-risk youth.

I hope to see you tomorrow.

Thank you for your commitment to our community.

LINKS

Remembering Pulse: Blood Drive, Book Drive, & More!

You’re invited to join us on June 3rd, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Target in Oviedo for our Pulse Anniversary Blood Drive event.

There are many unable to donate blood in support of their identity community; will you give a pint on their behalf? Blood donors of all types are needed to ensure adequate blood supply in our community for daily needs and to be prepared for unexpected emergencies.  One of the Pulse victims used 200 units of blood; help us make sure blood is available when it is needed.

Look for the Big Red Bus and our tents in the target parking lot, and if you can, please make an appointment to donate blood with us.

We will also be collecting new, STEM-themed books for middle and high-school students to support the Heart of Florida United Way’s summer literacy initiatives. Visit our book drive site for great book lists and other resources: http://stem4youth.wordpress.com/stem-book-drive.  Youth books in Spanish are needed as well to support the Latino/a Community in Central Florida.

And for our animal lover friends, we will be collecting cat food and cat litter to support an elderly man in our community who cares for two feral cat colonies (care includes TNR services, medical care, food, water, shelter, and copious love).

We hope you will support these efforts, but you don’t have to donate anything to stop by and say hello at our tents and meet members and leaders from the local secular community. Learn about what we do, take the opportunity to ask questions and have a great conversation, or find out how you can become more involved in the local secular and Humanist efforts.  See you there?


EVENT LINKS

Make An Appointment to Donate  |  Secular Community Blood Drives

FaceBook Event  | Flyer to Share  | RSVP with us on Meetup:  BE. Orlando or CFFC


We’re grateful to our partners, the Central Florida Freethought Community, the Humanist Community of the Space Coast (who think they can collect more book donations than we can – HA!), Target in Oviedo, and of course the dedicated, life-saving staff of OneBlood.

Remembering Pulse: Honoring victims and survivors

As Humanists, we seek the means to make a positive difference for others.  We respond to tragedy in our community by providing support, giving back, volunteering,  sharing a message of  – and demonstrating – inclusion, and working to provide fellow Humanists opportunities to be empowered to make a difference with us.

A week after the Pulse tragedy on 6/13/16, local secular and Humanist leaders joined in an effort to host a blood drive that honored our LGBTQ+, Latina/o, and Muslim members and friends.  Our efforts not only raised units to impact 80 lives in our community, but also provided healing empowerment for those who wanted to do something positive that would help others.

We have not forgotten our members or our community.  We’re looking forward to another heartwarming day spent working together to make a difference.  Will we see you there?

pulse

A Mother’s Day Meal

For this month’s 2nd Wednesday Chef Team event, we wanted to share something special from our hearts to honor the residents at SafeHouse for Mother’s Day.  Volunteers enjoyed a wonderful evening preparing and sharing their mother’s or family’s favorite recipes.

Violence against women impacts mothers and their children in our community and around the globe. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1 in 3 (35%) women experience intimate partner or sexual violence in their lifetimes. Impacts include serious short- and long-term physical, mental, and behavioral health problems for survivors and for their children. [see Florida stats and US National stats]

WHO says that to  achieve lasting change, we must address discrimination against women; promote gender equality; support women; and help to move towards more peaceful cultural norms.

Reflection: What can you do in your daily actions and human connections to promote a culture of peace? How do you set an example of respect for the women in your life? What will you do today to make the world a better place – for women in general, or maybe for a woman in your life?

This Mother’s Day, let’s pledge intentional effort for lasting positive change for women in our own spheres of influence and those in our greater community.  Make a personal commitment to volunteer with or make a donation to SafeHouse of Seminole, or another organization that is working to support survivors and prevent intimate partner and sexual violence in our community.

We all work daily to expand our kindness footprint.  Thank you for all that you do to make the world we share a better place.

LINKS

 

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