Tag Archives: advocacy

BE. for Clinton

The election is less than a month away.  We’ve put together some secular voting resources for our members and readers, and posted our statement of support for Clinton: https://beorlando.wordpress.com/secular-voting

Join us at the polls on November 8th.


World Gratitude Day 2016

Thankfully, World Gratitude Day is here!

Please join us in these reflections:  What are you grateful for? ♦  How has gratitude impacted your life? ♦  What does gratitude mean to you?  ♦  For you, what is the relationship between your life in gratitude and your life in service – how does your gratitude inform your positive impact on the world? ♦  How does gratitude inform your communication style? ♦  What are some of the specific ways that gratitude manifests in your daily life?

World Gratitude Day is celebrated annually on the 21st of September, encouraging individuals and organizations to celebrate the broad meaning of gratitude.

Gratitude is a ubiquitous human emotion or state of awareness shared by those of all faith and non-faith perspectives. From the perspective of Humanism, it is also the habit of routine thoughtfulness and mindful living that includes creating  meaningful, personal traditions to honor others and ourselves.  It means identifying and appreciating goodness in our lives and thinking about how that goodness informs our daily actions, human connections, and community engagement.  Humanist gratitude is appreciation without expectation; recognizing that there is no supernatural being selectively giving privilege and advantage to some humans over others, we can have a genuine appreciation for the world and our connection to that world. This helps us evaluate our responsibility to give back.  Gratitude, after all, is best expressed through action.


The celebration began in  1965  in Hawaii  at a Thanksgiving dinner for the United Nations Meditation Group hosted by its director, Sri Chinmoy.  He proposed a globally unifying holiday to formally express gratitude and appreciation for the many wonderful things to be found around the world.  Each attendee pledged to hold a gratitude gathering each September 21 in their own country.  The United Nations Meditation Group formally celebrated World Gratitude Day on September 21, 1977 at the New York Headquarters where Sri Chinmoy was honored for his work.  Since its beginnings World Gratitude Day has been observed in many countries around the world.

International Day For Gratitude

The awareness of the benefits of having time in one’s life for gratitude, appreciation, and positive reflection have become increasingly apparent. The hope of the founders of Gratitude Day is that by taking time, one day a year, to reflect on the many amazing things we have in our lives, it would positively impact our well-being and make us happier, more contended people.


Day of Service event at SafeHouse

Volunteer braved the strange and squally weather yesterday and came together at SafeHouse to make a difference – and make a fantabulous meal.  Check out this made-with-love buffet of choices  (careful, reading this will make you hungry):

img_20160914_192549444Honey baked ham, lasagne, fall spiced vegetable saute, steamed carrots, cheese tray, olive tray, bread, field greens & veggie salad, fresh fruit platter, rice and vegetables, pigs-in-a-blanket, baked brie with maple almond cranberry chutney, peas, mac & cheese, potato salad, green bean casserole, and more.  And to “topping” it off…our fabulous dessert chef prepared an ice cream bar with homemade red velvet brownies, homemade cookies, vanilla ice cream and an amazing assortment of tantalizing toppings!

We are grateful for our creative, talented members –
thank you to each volunteer for investing your evening to uplift others.

1The next three months are going to ROCK even more.  We can’t wait for October, the Halloween themed dinner with mummy-dogs, cute spider cakes, strawberry whipped cream ghosts, and all kinds of other creative fun halloweeny foods!

The September meal serve event was our 9/11 Day of Service – a few days late.  In our last post, we shared that we host an annual observance not only to honor the victims, survivors, and responders, but also the spirit of Meetup.com.  Meetup was founded after 9/11 to provide an online platform for bringing people together offline to build and strengthen community. Our volunteers received a volunteer pin from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

img_20160914_173308389We also dropped off a donation of 170 children and young adult STEM-themed books provided by the Central Florida Freethought Community.  Thank you CFFC!

9/11: Service and Community

The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance has been an inspiring tradition of engaging in volunteerism as a tribute to the 9/11 victims, survivors, and responders since 2002.  Americans are called to make a difference in their communities—to make our community stronger and to foster the vision of individuals standing together, working in unity  to make our world a better place.

Meetup.com was established after the 9/11 tragedy in an effort to use online tools to bring people together in real life to build community. From Scott Heiferman, Co-Founder of Meetup.com (in a 2010 Meetup Blog article): “A lot of people were thinking that maybe 9/11 could bring people together in a lasting way. So the idea for Meetup was born: Could we use the internet to get off the internet — and grow local communities? “  Scott lived just miles from the Towers at the time of the tragedy. Today, Meetup hosts more than 255,000 meetup groups and has more than 27 million members from 179 countries.  In Scott’s words, “It is a wonderful revolution in local community, and it’s thanks to everyone who shows up.”

In response to the national call to action, and to honor the mission and intent of the Meetup events forum on which we built this Humanist Community, BE. Orlando engages in an annual 9/11 service project.   It has more meaning for us now than it ever has.

With the Pulse Tragedy in our own back yard this past June,  we have been reminded of the importance of efforts to build community and foster supportive networks of compassionate, engaged groups and individuals.  Individuals like you  – giving your time and heart to make a difference—are needed.  Meetups and other efforts to bring people together are needed.

Thank you to every person in Central Florida and around the nation who served together today in honor of the 2016 Day of Service and Remembrance.  Your contribution uplifts others, builds community, creates hope, and makes a real difference in people’s lives.

How will you continue to make a difference and to build community? What is your next volunteer project? What meetup groups are in your local area?




Our 5th Anniversary!

We celebrate this milestone with gratitude for each moment invested in volunteerism and for every person who puts caring into action to make a difference in our community. What you do MATTERS. Thank you to everyone who has supported and been a part of our efforts over the past five years!

BE. Orlando is about fostering a positive social network of diverse, service-engaged individuals ; but we are more than that.

220px-secularhumanismlogo3dpriderainbowcolorsFounded on September 2, 2011, by Atheists with a vision of community, service, and friendship, BE. Orlando has evolved into a resource for secular and Humanist individuals in central Florida, a place of building bridges across differences for people of all faith and non-faith worldviews, and an advocate for the truth that kindness and compassion are human potentials transcending faith and non-faith. Visible, active, contributing volunteers who live fulfilling lives of positive humanism negate harmful myths about morality and meaning being predicated on service to God.

As the secular demographic in America continues to rise, so does the need for relevant perspective-specific resources and communities to serve that population. One of the most-hated and misunderstood identities, those of non-faith face marginalization, discrimination, and bullying.  Sometimes subtle; often isolating, always harmful. Regional, state, and national resources are available to help.  And right here in Central Florida there are secular organizations providing support, hope, opportunity, and community for individuals of non-faith.  You are not alone.

 Join our journey.


The core values of Service, Gratitude, and Inclusiveness will guide BE. Orlando into the adventure of the next years.  We will continue to cultivate a connected community that fosters acceptance, inclusion, and positive living.   We hope to see you on the journey – join us!

  • Involvement opportunities – join us for volunteering, educational events, and partner events with other organizations in the secular network.
  • Leadership opportunities – BE part of the leadership team – host events, advise and steer our mission and services, or grow our partnerships.





Today we are grateful for those who have given their time and resources to make the world a better place. We also highlight a call to action: there is a need for acts of compassion that alleviate suffering. More than 130 people around the world live in crisis and need humanitarian efforts in order to survive.  Right here in our community, 1 in 6 Central Floridians struggle with hunger. Did you know that the Coalition for the Homeless shelters an average of 200 children a night?  In the words of Edward Bok, “Make you the world a bit better or more beautiful for having lived in it.”  Whose life will you impact today?

Plan a service project this weekend, donate blood, join a volunteer group, or just take some time to learn about hunger, homelessness, domestic violence, and other issues in our community and around the world and consider how YOU can make a difference.

World Humanitarian Day celebrates the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe.  It recognizes those who face danger and adversity in the service of others as well as the local heroes who commit their lives, or a portion of their lives, to humanitarian efforts.

Post thoughts, support, and stories to #SHAREHUMANITY

Humanism vs. Humanitarianism

When we talk about Humanism, we focus on the ethical worldview that humans have the potential to be good without belief in the supernatural and that we have a duty to be a positive, contributive member of society. While that is an essential topic in our culture, today we celebrate Humanitarianism, which focuses solely on the moral imperative of kindness and compassion being extended to ALL human beings equally, and often acknowledges a sacrifice on the part of the person giving.

World Humanitarian Summit

The first United  Nations World Humanitarian Summit was held this past may with more than 9,000 participants representing 173 States, 55 Heads of State and Government, and thousands of citizens and NGO representatives.  Read more:  Website | Chair’s Summary
They focused on five key issues:
  1. Political leadership to end conflict
  2. Uphold the norms that safeguard humanity
  3. Leave no one behind.
  4. Change people’s lives: from delivering aid to ending need
  5. Invest in Humanity





Join us for a Blood Drive!


082716_Lowes_FlyerJoin us at Lowe’s in Oviedo on Saturday, August 27th, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Get on the bus with us or just come by our tent and say hello.

Don’t wait in line! 
Make an appointment at
OneBlood.org (sponsor code 35308)

The outpouring of blood donor support after the Pulse tragedy was inspiring – let’s keep that continuity of blood supply going. Thank you for making a difference!