Tag Archives: Blood Drive

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?

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Holidays & Happiness, Humanist Style

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BE Present: Mindfulness is about connecting to the world and others around us, and connecting that awareness to our thoughts, words, and actions.

BE. Orlando celebrates the holiday season by hosting events and drives that make a difference in our community.  Investing our time and talent to have a positive impact on the world around us honors our commitment as Humanists; we recognize each individual’s connection to others and empowerment to do good.

I was asked recently why a secular organization would focus so much energy on giving to Christmas drives and supporting holiday activities. The holiday season is a time of increased economic and other stress, increased travel and accidents increasing need for blood – yet there’s a decrease in blood donorship, and a time when those without the means to provide for their families are more impacted than ever by heartbreaking challenges.

Inequities, tragedies, and other human struggles transcend faith or non-faith perspectives – they touch everyone. Parents may be unable to provide a holiday for their children in the tradition of their family. Those facing loss of family and loved ones, isolation, and fear for the future may feel that the greater community has forgotten them.  Those in need should never go a day without receiving a kind, uplifting word or deed.

Together, we can make a difference. A Humanist’s wish for a happy holiday season is communicated through our actions. This December, our members enjoyed creating and sharing a holiday meal at SafeHouse, donating blood, and collecting STEM-themed toys for local at-risk youth.

HOLIDAY MEAL AT SAFEHOUSE

BE. Orlando’s monthly dinner at SafeHouse of Seminole takes on a special meaning during the holidays.  For October, November, and December, we host super-special meals and share a meaningful evening with each other and with the residents of SafeHouse.

Serving to create an evening of joy for people who are facing challenges is an honor. And those challenges are not only among “others” – but also potentially a current or past part of the lives of volunteers and staff. We must remember that every face we see has a story that we do not know; at this event we join together, standing shoulder-to-shoulder to make a positive difference for everyone around us.

274029We brought a honey-baked ham, and the ten volunteers prepared homemade side-dish recipes that have been meaningful in their lives during the holidays to share with the SafeHouse residents.  The 17 unique dishes included whole-potato-sweet-potato casserole, green beans (from the family garden), apple & snickers salad, Spanish rice,  fresh field greens salad, anniversary potatoes (like potatoes au gratin), homemade mac & cheese, green bean casserole, steamed veggies, cheese, olive, & nut trays, and of course holiday cupcakes an peppermint brownies.

There was a grab-bag with toys for every child at the shelter (and grown-ups are kids, too!), and the volunteers dressed in festive attire of aprons & antlers.  There was singing, laughter, and a great feeling of community.

We are grateful to our members who contributed time, food, and supplies, to the Foundation Beyond Belief for a project grant that assisted with the December food costs, and to the staff and residents of SafeHouse for the opportunity.  We can’t wait wait for Taco Nite in January as we kick off our 5th year of hosting monthly dinners at SafeHouse!

See more photos on our Facebook album.

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BLOOD DRIVE

On 12/10 we joined with the Central Florida Freethought Community at Target in Oviedo and hosted a blood drive, raising 12 units.  Each unit can impact three lives – our donors gave the gift of another holiday, another hug, another sunrise to 36 people!

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TOY DRIVE

Throughout December at all of our events – including the toy collection & blood drive event on 12/10 at Target, BE. Orlando and the Central Florida Freethought Community together collected 68 STEM-themed toys and games and 65 books.

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Special thanks to Target in Oviedo for their support!

JOIN US – MAKE A DIFFERENCE TODAY!

If you are still looking for a way to give back this holiday season, consider making a donation to the Central Florida Freethought Community to support their programs and initiatives, or to the new scholarship fund promoting volunteerism among secular students at the University of Central Florida.

If you’re in Central Florida and interested in joining our 2017 volunteer adventures, membership to our event calendar, Meetup.com/BEOrlando, is free – we hope to meet you at an event soon!

What a great day!

Dec 11, 2016

Thank you to everyone who stopped by the blood drive & STEM toy drop off event yesterday!  The blood bus was full to capacity throughout the day, and the toy bins were almost full – thanks for taking the time to make a difference for people in our community.

Elfing Day – our day of delivering gifts to shelters – is Saturday, December 17th.  If you still want to donate, please contact us to arrange a drop-off point this week. Toys will benefit the gift drives for the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and SafeHouse of Seminole.

Special thanks to our great partner, the Central Florida Freethought Community, and to Target and OneBlood.

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Blood Drive, STEM Toys, &…Wolves??

Blood Drive & STEM Toy Drive Drop-off
Saturday, December 10, 10 a.m – 3 p.m.
Target in Oviedo – 820 Oviedo Mall Boulevard
look for our tents in the parking lot by the Bloodmobile

We’re looking forward to a GREAT day on Saturday!  The weather will be perfect and we will be investing our day to help fill that Big Red Bus and save lives this holiday season as well as collecting STEM-themed toys for at-risk youth in our community.  Come say hello & meet leaders and members from BE. Orlando and the Central Florida Freethought Community.

Blood Donors will receive a Humanist Blood Donor canvas bag, a book donated by In Harmony With Nature, and a Fandango movie ticket from OneBlood!

Picture8We’re excited that one of the charities we have supported over the years will be joining us – In Harmony With Nature wolf and wolfdog refuge!  Come by and learn about this great organization and meet volunteers, leaders, and maybe a wolf ambassador! There will be some great wolfy items there that would make unique holiday gifts.

LINKS

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Blood Drive & STEM Toy Drive Drop-Off

Blood Drive & STEM Toy Drive Drop-Off
December 10th, 2016
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Target in Oviedo

Come say hello – BE. Orlando Humanist Fellowship and the Central Florida Freethought Community will be hosting tents and welcoming our members, friends, and anyone who would like to learn more about our groups & initiatives.

We’ll be accepting donations to the toy drive all day, and you can also get on the Big Red Bus and give the gift of life this holiday season!  Every toy will go to an at-risk child in our community, and every blood donation has the potential to save three lives.

Make a difference with us on December 10th – we look forward to seeing you there!

If you can’t make it on the 10th, don’t worry – we’re taking donations at all BE & CFFC events through December 16th, and we can even arrange a pick-up.  Visit stem4youth.wordpress.com for details or contact us.

LINKS

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Click for flyer

WHY?

STEM toys develop interest and skill in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and gives them a head start and advantage as they progress through their educational journey.  Not only do we use STEM skills in many aspects of our lives, but the best career paths are in STEM fields – and we need great people educated to fill them in the future.  Toy drives bring in many kinds of gifts, but there is a shortage of drives focusing on STEM-related gifts that can spark a young person’s interest – and perhaps influence their future. Please join us in this effort to make a difference for at-risk youth in our community!

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Great day at Veg Fest

What a beautiful, wonderful day at Central Florida Veg Fest yesterday! We spent the day meeting great people and enjoying the fresh air, music from the acoustic stage, the smell of amazing vegan food, and watching happy-waggy pups of all kinds. Very few people were disconnected by their devices;  most were looking where they were going, saying hello to one another and having conversations, laughing, and being aware of what was around them!

The blood drive went very well – the generous, community-minded crowd at Veg Fest exceeded the expected units – 26 units were collected!  In fact, the bus was so busy that the staff couldn’t keep up and several people were unable to donate.  If you were one of those, please visit OneBlood.org and click Donate to find a branch or bus near you.  Thank you, everyone, for saving lives with us!  The Humanist Community of the Space Coast had a successful blood drive yesterday as well – thank you, Keith, and all of the HCSC members for making a difference!

Our donation jar collection was to help with our 2016 holiday STEM toy drive – providing math and science themed toys to at-risk children in our community.  Thank you, kind people, for donating $51.25 to help!  Visit our toy drive page for information about the drive and great links and STEM toy suggestions for your own shopping.

One of the missions of Veg Fest is to empower people to make positive changes to the way they eat and live. Humanism is a non-religious worldview that focuses on a person’s connectivity to and impact on others.  Humanists reflect on our ability and  responsibility  to make a positive difference in the world.  Our local secular group network offers a variety of ways to engage and empower Humanists, whatever their interests. BE. Orlando’s mission is to “Provide a diverse, service-oriented Humanist fellowship in Central Florida that makes a positive difference in our community and in the lives of our members.”

Veg Fest is always a great place to meet community-minded people who care about their impact on the world.  We connected with many people who were already members of the local secular communities, as well as many who hadn’t known there is a network of positive support and involvement opportunities in Central Florida.

There were some great conversations.  For example, a woman came over and asked “is this an Atheist tent?”  She  saw our “good without god” sign and stopped by because she is a Christian and her son recently “came out” to the family as being non-religious.  Atheism was not something she had any experience with. She wanted an opportunity to talk to someone (not just read about it) to understand more about the values and perspectives of people of non-faith so that she could better understand and include her son.  For example, what happens when it is his turn to say grace before dinner, as that rotation is part of their family tradition?  A suggestion was to encourage him to say a secular grace that is meaningful to him.

Another great conversation was with someone who wondered about why people of non-faith would have a “community”.  We talked about a church as a perspective-specific community and the non-religious aspects of church that are part of a Humanist community, such as sharing ideas, spending time with others who share your values, volunteering, learning, support for one another, a place to make friends, and a place where families can ensure their children have peers and role models that share the family’s values.

We of course want to encourage people to vote this election year, and had secular values voter stickers at our table – they were very popular! One local secular activist shared some research his organization compiled regarding election issues.  We added his information to our list of secular voter resources to help everyone as they educate themselves about issues and decide what kind of difference their vote is going to make.

Many people came over to ask about general volunteering resources (not with a church or with a Humanist community  – just volunteering).  To help our members and others seeking ways to get involved, we host a volunteer resource page providing links to local volunteer management agencies.  We also talked to several people about specific charities that aligned with their interests.

One woman was overjoyed to learn that Second Harvest Food Bank has a family night were younger children can come volunteer. Families are often looking for ways to engage their younger children in making a difference, but due to insurance and other necessities, charities often have an age minimum.  There are, however, charities where your children can volunteer.

There are also events like park or beach cleanups where kids are able to join with others in making a difference.  The Central Florida Freethought Community recently adopted a park and they host regular family-friendly Sunday morning cleanup events there (with donuts and coffee!).  Also, you can connect with agencies like Seminole County SERV to find events like invasive species removal or fun waterway cleanups.

Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by to say hello, share their personal journey, or connect with our community.  Thanks for all the thumbs up and smiles and nods of those walking by, and for everyone who thanked us for being there to share our message at Veg Fest.  We hope to see you again soon – if not at one of our events, maybe stop by and say hello at our vendor tent in April at Central Florida Earth Day. 🙂

And special thanks to Larry, Ryan, and the whole team that makes both Veg Fest and Earth Day festivals amazing!  You all ROCK!

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Join us for a Blood Drive!

WHOSE LIFE WILL YOU SAVE TODAY?

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!