Tag Archives: Meetup

2nd Wednesday Chef Team

Here we come, 2017 – and we are energized & ready for another year of service!

Our first meal serve of the year was a wonderful evening of fun & friendship at SafeHouse of Seminole.  Volunteers invested the evening together to prepare a Taco Bar & Mexican Buffet for the residents that included – of course – a taco bar with various meats, cheeses, traditional (and some creative) toppings, salad, nachos, Mexican rice, vegetables, and so much more.  There was an amazing cupcake dessert prepared by Chef Andre.

img_20170111_191057112Special thanks to the Foundation Beyond Belief for the great T-shirts!  Also, because this is so close to MLK day this event was one of our MLK weekend service options and members received an MLK Day of Service volunteer pin.  Our actual MLK service project will be on Monday – a lunch service at an Orlando area Ronald McDonald House.

We’re already looking forward to next month for February’s Food From the Heart menu – cooked with love! One three-layer heart-shaped pan, standing by!



BEing involved: Giving, Volunteering after Matthew


Our community is comprised of giving, civic-minded, compassionate people, and many of you will be looking for ways to help those in need after this tragic storm.

Make sure your donations are being used impactfully and meaningfully by using Charity Navigator and other means of verifying & vetting programs.  Here are some links to help:


crisis-logoFoundation Beyond Belief – Disaster Response Efforts

The Foundation Beyond Belief will be launching a Hurricane Matthew funds drive within the next week and may even launch a Humanist Response Team to Haiti.  You can find details HERE.

Building Community: Volunteer

jointoday4-MeetupAfter every disaster and major storm, we reflect on our connection to those around us.  Meetup.com is a community-centered event management site where groups of like-minded people share events and fellowship. Meetup was established after 9/11 in an effort to use the internet to bring people together.  It is about community.

If you are a member of a Meetup in an area impacted by Matthew, see if you can post a help-your-neighbor event to come together and help each other with cleanup efforts, or help elderly, disabled, or other individuals in your area.

You might also consider contacting shelters in your local area – homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, animal rescues – to see if they need anything specific after the storms.  I remember in 2004, the greyhound rescue in Sanford flooded after Charlie. They were in desperate need of replacement carpeting to line the kennel floors and other supplies; volunteers like YOU went to Home Depot and other stores, as well as seeking private donations, and filled all of the needs within days.  If there is a charitable agency you’re passionate about in your area, contact them and ask what they need.

Offer to help a neighbor.  Check in with your family and friends.  Donate blood. Volunteer.

211-logoAnd if you need help, dial 2-1-1 (works like 9-1-1).   The United Way 2-1-1 help line is a 24/7 resource to help connect you with aid, agencies, and assistance.  Whatever your situation, they can help.




2015 United Way Day of Caring



A small group of BE. Orlando volunteers joined the region-wide forces of more than 700 volunteers that engaged in service projects all over Central Florida on September 25th.  This annual Day of Caring event raises awareness about needs in the community, empowers people to make a difference, educates us about ways we can personally have an impact, and inspires us to continue making a difference.  Special thanks to the Heart of Florida United Way for hosting this national celebration in our region and creating this opportunity to join in a major, multi-project effort to make a difference!

The Heart of Florida United Way has served our community for more than 75 years. They are Central Florida’s most comprehensive and largest funder for the region’s most critical health and human service programs. Last year, Heart of Florida United Way raised and managed $26.6 million throughout Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties to help Central Floridians in need.  The Day of Caring is one of the many ways that HFUW engages the community to create awareness and solutions.

BE. Orlando sponsored and provided volunteers to serve breakfast at the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida for our 2015  Day of Caring project.  Kitchen Manager Calvin was an amazing host – his jovial spirit uplifts everyone around him, and his dedication to others inspires all.  We served more than 50 residents of the Center for women and Families.

See more event photos!

Coalition Tour

Muffet Robinson telling volunteers about the Coalition services and impact.

Located on the Coalition’s main campus, The Center for Women and Families can accommodate 240 individuals and is made up of three distinct sections – a single women’s dorm; a dorm for single mothers with young children; and individual family rooms for intact families, single mothers with older children, and single fathers with children. It is one of very few shelters with the ability to provide residential services to intact families.

  • Women, children and families make up 63% of the Coalition’s residents on an average night. Throughout the nation, the fastest growing segment of the homeless population is families with children.
  • The Coalition serves nearly 200 children with their families each night. The average age of the children at the Coalition is eight years old.

If you, your social group, workplace, or team would like to learn more about the Coalition’s impact on our community, consider joining one of their More Than a Meal tours on the second Tuesday of every month.

One of our members also attended two other of the many service projects going on around Orlando on 9/25.  All of these agencies are Heart of Florida United Way funded partner agencies, with programs and services that have a documented impact on individuals and measurably improve a need in our community.

June & Bev

June & Bev – Fiesty sisters, BINGO warriors, smile-makers

At the Osceola Council on Aging, volunteers enjoyed a morning with the residents, served snacks, provided give-aways and gifts, and hosted an amazing BINGO session.  With more than 70 attendees, the BINGO game was fabulously raucous for both the participants and the volunteers – everyone had an amazing time.  The Osceola Council on Aging is dedicated to providing services to enable independence and self-sufficiency for seniors, disabled adults, the disadvantaged and families in poverty.  They host Meals on Wheels, adult day care, case management, in-home services, nutrition counseling, and many more ways that they work towards building a community without hunger, without sickness, without homelessness, without isolation.

Beta Center

Beta Center supplies for families

At the BETA Center, volunteers played games with children of various ages and assisted in sorting donations.  We were also treated to a tour of the facility by someone who has been a staff member at the facility for more than 20 years – a position she began after she graduated from the BETA program. Her unique perspective demonstrated the impact of this organization. BETA gives children and parents the knowledge and support needed for strong and healthy families, with a focus on teen moms and at-risk families. Parents learn about prenatal attachment, baby brain development, child development, infant mental health, school readiness and adolescence. Pregnant and parenting teens are embraced with comprehensive programs designed to meet their special needs. Youth learn coping skills and the other developmental assets needed to successfully navigate school and life. Infants thrive under developmentally stimulating care. BETA Center promotes positive parent/child interaction, and helps children and parents grow together.

Mark your calendar for the 2016 Day of Caring event, which is held every September.  Be part of this tradition and sign up to sponsor or participate in one of the many fun and impactful projects that will be going on in our local community.

In the video above from the Coalition for the Homeless, Brent Trotter, President and CEO, reminds us to “run toward that which disturbs us”.  We may avoid issues that make us uncomfortable,  choosing remain ignorant rather than reaching out and working to understand.  Volunteering is a great way to learn more about issues in our community; while making a difference we develop understanding not only of the needs, but of how we are each empowered to address those needs.

Positive Humanism means taking personal responsibility for making a difference in the world and turning integrity into meaningful action. Social and personal differences and challenges are not barriers to action if we are solution-focused and believe we can make a difference. Our gratitude to everyone who took the time on September 25th at Day of Caring projects across our region to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with each other to work toward making the world a better place.  THANK YOU.


banner pics

Planning for Pi Day 2016!


Thank you again (and AGAIN) to our amazing volunteers who invested an afternoon at the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida to show children how fun STEM (& pie) can be.

We are excited to announce the date of the 2016 event – March 12th – please mark your calendars to join us!  Read more about this event, including details & photos from the 2015 Festival, and how you can volunteer with or support us on our Pi Day page.

The Math, Science, and Pi(e) Festival is an opportunity to engage local at-risk youth in fun activities, games, and experiments that inspire them and let them see how fun math and science can be.


Click here or visit http://JustGottaBE.org/Pi-Day

BE. part of it! 

Happy Hour Holiday Party

UPDATED 12/14/2014

This event is open to the public – so please share and plan to join us there!  RSVP on Facebook!

Picture1Happy Hour Holiday Party
Sunday, December 14th, 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Keg n’ Cork, 1566 W. Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park
Music by John Lazar
Attire: Creative, fun holiday spirit! (Great prize!)

Join members of the Happy Hour Meetup (and other groups) for a holiday celebration at Keg & Cork with live music by John Lazar.  There will be raffles, prizes, food, live music, live comedy, art, and other surprises – and good company.  Food & Needs Drive (see lists below) and all proceeds benefit the pantry & residents at SafeHouse of Seminole.

AWESOME RAFFLE ITEMS (click for sneak-peek!)

Flyer to share

This adult night out event is free to attend (self pay for food and drink) and open to the public – feel free to share with other groups.

Consider bringing an item to donate to SafeHouse.

New items only, please. If you have questions about donations, please contact BEOrlando@live.com.

QuickList: nonperishable food items including juice boxes, canned goods, spaghetti & sauce, paper towels, toilet paper, all-purpose cleaner, and pots, pans, spices, utensil sets, gas cards, towels, pillows, adult bicycles.  Grocery or gas gift cards and cash donations will also be accepted.

Special Lists:  Pantry and Urgent Needs  |  Holiday Wish List
Can’t be there?  Consider donating online to the First Nights Campaign – When women and children leave home home suddenly to find emergency shelter, they take almost nothing – that first night, many things are needed. You can help.

Consider hosting a drive at your place of business or with a team, social or family group the week before and bring the items to the event.  BE. Orlando can provide local pick-up service for businesses on Dec 13 & 14 (sat & sun) to take to the event – BEOrlando@live.com for info.

A representative of SafeHouse will be IN THE HOUSE from 6:30 to 7:30 to provide materials, accept donations, and answer questions about SafeHouse and the need in our area for the services they provide.


Donated by PintClub.org – Yo-Ho-Ho Rum Basket for the raffle – value $120

Raffle Item donated by PintClub

One of the many raffle items to raise money for SafeHouse of Seminole at the 2014 Happy Hour Holiday Party at Keg & Cork, 12/14/14.

Special thanks to our friends in the Happy Hour Meetup Group for choosing to support SafeHouse of Seminole as the beneficiary of a needs drive and fundraiser!  This happy hour holiday party with a twist of positive impact is a great example of how groups in our community can find creative ways to raise awareness about social issues and engage their members in drives, fundraisers, and volunteer activities that make a difference.  Allison, Galina, and other co-coordinators for this event set an inspiring example for all!