Happy Pi Day!

Well, it is late in the day, but we didn’t miss the chance to wish everyone a Happy Pi Day!

At BE. Orlando, we take Pi very seriously – as an opportunity to celebrate math & science, and promote youth interest in STEM. And Pi. And Pie.

IMG_20170311_161927643Our members invested Saturday afternoon on 3/11 in kindness & Pi volunteering at the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida.  We hosted math & science activities for at-risk youth, including a solar cell experiment, sudoko challenges, Pi bracelet making, and a coding game.  The kids who attended received science back-packs that included fun science-fact books sponsored by the Foundation Beyond Belief, as well as math & science toys, STEM journals, recycling sticker books, Pi Day book marks, and a Pi Day participant certificate.  This was our 5th annual Pi Day volunteer event, and we are so proud of our volunteers and partner organizations for their commitment to making a difference in our community.  And of course, a very important part of this event is the Pi(e) Buffet!

After the event we met up with other members of our group for a (Pi)zza (Pi)e dinner at Lazy Moon – a place we’re definitely going back to!

IMG_20170308_182758779We take Pi Day so seriously that we started celebrating a week early with our (Pi)zza (Pi)e buffet at SafeHouse of Seminole.  Volunteers prepared 50 varieties of pizza for the SafeHouse residents, as well as salad, sides, and an amazing Fruit Pizza Pi dessert!  March 8th was such an important day for us – an opportunity to kick off (Pi)e celebrations as well as having the honor of preparing dinner for SafeHouse on International Women’s Day.

Thank you to all of our volunteers for their investment of time, talent, and resources; to the agencies that invite us to make a difference for their residents; to the people we serve who lift our hearts and show us what courage looks like; and to every person who is guided by kindness and compassion to make a positive difference in the world around us.  Thank you, everyone!

What’s up next?  STEM Book Drive & Pulse Anniversary Blood Drive!

logoOur next collaborative STEM impact event is the STEM-themed book drive to combat summer reading loss and support summer reading initiatives in our community.  Learn more at https://stem4youth.wordpress.com/stem-book-drive/.  The final collection will be at the Pulse Anniversary Blood Drive hosted by BE. Orlando and the Central Florida Freethought Community at Target in Oviedo on June 3, 2017 (yes, that’s the 3rd; the Saturday before the actual anniversary weekend – we’ll all want to be at the downtown events that weekend!)  We hope to see you there!

LINKS

 

Team photo

A great day at 2nd Harvest!

We had an amazing time sorting donations at the Second Harvest Food Bank today!

Providing supplies to more than 550 food distribution centers, Second Harvest relies on its almost 30,000 volunteers per year to sort donations.  Last year, they provided more than 52 million meals to people in need.  A 2014 report indicated that 71,600 requests for food were made in a typical week.  Food insecurity impacts children (one in four), seniors (12%), veterans, families, and other demographics.

Volunteers who invest their time to make a difference for Second Harvest are part of a network of compassion and kindness that ensures agencies like these are able to expand their impact and assist people in our communities.

Thank you to all of our members who joined us today and to everyone who volunteers to make a difference in our community!

LINKS

banner_photos

Darwin Day in Orlando

February 13, 2017

Yesterday was an amazing day, meeting people and enjoying insightful speakers. Special thanks to the Central Florida Freethought Community (CFFC) for all that they do to connect our local secular organizations and ensure representation and resources for Secular Americans in Central Florida.

On the first day of Random Acts of Kindness week, we were grateful for everyone who stopped by our vendor table to learn about ways that they can join us for community impact initiatives.  We shared information on upcoming adventures like Pi Day, Second Harvest Food Sorting, and our monthly shelter meal serves. We had great conversations about the importance of community engagement, the experience of being secular in our culture as a volunteer and as a person in general.  It was uplifting to learn about the many ways other members of our community are involved in making a difference.

And it was fun as heck to challenge the Humanist Community of the Space Coast to a STEM Book Drive Challenge!

THANK YOU to everyone who made a contribution to help us raise funds to host another meal at the Ronald McDonald House!  We raised $72.00, which we will match and host a great lunch.  Join us!

THANK YOU to everyone who filled out a valentines card for SafeHouse of Seminole!   There were 40 cards for children and 10 messages of support and encouragement for both the adult residents and the SafeHouse staff.

LINKS

blog-photos

RAK Week 2017!

February 12, 2017

#RAKWeek2017

It starts today!  Random Acts of Kindness Week is an uplifting, inspiring reminder of how we are each empowered to make a positive difference in the world around us through the little things we can do every day for others.  It is a reminder to focus on our potential for positive impact and sharpen our kindness skills. Use your creativity to create RAK opportunities this week, or visit the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s Idea Page for inspiration.

Share your efforts using  #RAKWeek2017 to spread the inspiration, and if you are part of our central Florida Humanist community, use our Humanist RAK Cards.

All week we focus on increasing our RAK footprints – but on Friday, make an intentional effort to amp up the kindness for Random Acts of Kindness Day.

Hashtag your posts with #RAKweek and #RAKweek2017 so the RAK Foundation can find them and feature posts throughout the week on their social media sites.

Goodness is in the heart of all.  Pass it on!

Humanists believe in the value and good in all humans; let’s demonstrate that commitment through Random Acts of Kindness and make a visible difference that strengthens and affirms our positive presence in our community.

Random Acts of Kindness moments are an opportunity for members of the humanist community to visibly promote that goodness is in the heart of all and help to overcome  misconceptions and negative stereotypes about non-religious people.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness.  Only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate.  Only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

rak-card

Click for printable RAK Cards

Participate in Central Florida with us!  Create ripples of kindness that let others know that goodness is in the heart of all.  BE. part of it.  Use the Humanist Kindness Ambassador RAK Cards to “sign” your RAKS with a message of inclusiveness and connectedness – and write a message of your own on the back of the card.


LINKS

emalee2

Volentines Day!

February 11, 2017

That’s right – on a day dedicated to celebrating love, volunteering is a GREAT way to show you care and give the gift of love to people in need in your community.

Here are a few things you can do get (civically) engaged this Voluntine’s day…

Second Harvest Food Bank still needs help for both the morning and the afternoon donation sorting shifts.  Will you be their Volentine?  Visit their volunteer calendar for more information & to sign up!

dripDonate blood – Every two seconds, someone needs blood to survive.  The only source of that blood is YOU, the donor. One blood donation can be separated into three parts and may impact THREE different people in need.  Save lives. Give blood.  Visit OneBlood.org to find bus and branch locations near you.

Write valentines this weekend and bring them to a shelter, hospital, or youth program.  Everyone brings them for the kids – why not surprise the women and men with notes of compassion and encouragement? What about the staff who dedicate their lives to making a difference?  If you’re coming to the Darwin Day event tomorrow, we’ll be making valentines for the SafeHouse residents & staff.

Take a walk or bike ride on a local trail and pick up trash.

Volunteering makes a great family activity – and a great date idea, too!

Visit our Volunteer Resources page to find ways to connect with volunteer opportunities near you.

Have a Happy & Engaged Volentine’s Day!

PSA – Go RED this Friday!

February 1. 2017

You will look FABULOUS supporting the national Wear Red for Women Day this Friday, February 3rd!  Individuals and businesses everywhere will be raising awareness about heart disease and stroke in women by wearing red.

In its 14th year, Go Red day – coordinated by the American Heart Association – has raised awareness, educated women about lifestyle choices and warning signs, and shown statistical increase in the heart health of women.

Join in by wearing red – and take a photo!

SHARE PHOTOS

–> Social Media Hash Tags:

  • National #GoRed
  • Local#OrlandoGoesRed

Learn more>  https://www.goredforwomen.org/wearredday/challenge/

Facebook>  https://www.facebook.com/goredforwomen/app_426166774080900

LINKS

MLK Day Meal Serve

BE. Orlando was joined by volunteers from the All For Good Network today for a special MLK service project.  Volunteers invested their morning to sponsor, prepare, and serve a healthy lunch buffet at the new Ronald McDonald House located at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Lake Nona.

img_20170116_111205432

This was a super-creative team! They were challenged with taking the provided food items (in a heap on the counter) and using their imaginations to turn them into a beautiful food buffet that would make people smile.  Residents were greeted by fun food art like  veggie happy faces, a cheese snowman, and a tomato heart. And there was so much more:  fragrant sauteed mushrooms; whole grains & rice medley; deviled eggs; salad & veggie bar; mac & cheese; sandwich meat, cheese, & toppings bar; pnut butter & jelly mini sandwiches; brie & crackers; and more.  Desserts included lady fingers, fresh berries, yogurt & berry phyllo cups, vegan oatmeal cookies, and biscotti.

Ronald McDonald House

For more than 20 years, Ronald McDonald Houses have been making it possible for families to remain closely connected to their children who are in treatment for serious illness.  At a time when families need to be together most, they are provided with a supportive home-away-from-home.  These houses (that love built) have served more than 23,000 families – at no charge to them.  They rely on the community not only for financial contributions, but to provide in-kind donations and volunteer service as well. One of the volunteer opportunities is to participate in “Share a Meal”: providing loving, healthy meals as part of a nurturing, healing environment.  It is a great way to say “we care about you.”

We are grateful and honored for the opportunity to come together on this national day of service and stand shoulder-to-shoulder working to prepare a lunch for the residents of the Ronald McDonald House. Thank you, volunteers, for making a difference!

Martin Luther King, Jr. – National Day of Service

Please visit our MLK article for a Humanist perspective on A Day On, Not A Day Off.

From RMH Charities of Central Florida:

LINKS