Tag Archives: Orlando

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?

LINKS

 

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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.

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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.

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Volunteers ROCK the menu at SafeHouse

August 10, 2016

The second Wednesday chef team had a great time preparing roasted chicken, potatoes, mushroom gravy and quinoa, salad, rolls, fruit tray, Doritos & dip tray, steamed veggies, and a VERY popular dessert of dirt cakes and cupcakes.

Thanks everyone!

We couldn’t help but notice that we only have one more month before we start the holiday dinner series – Oct (Halloween theme), November (Fall Festival), and the December holiday dinner.  Holidays already?  Bring it!

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Volunteering at Ronald McDonald House

Posted 7/24/2016

BE. Orlando was joined by volunteers from the Central Florida Freethought Community and Secular Student Alliance at UCF on Saturday to team up and make a fantabulous lunch for those staying at the Ronald McDonald House at Florida Hospital.

IMG_20160723_112004877_HDRVolunteers started with a tour of the facility to view living & recreation areas and a vacant resident room.  We learned about the many different types of Ronald McDonald House services to families and that the organization is international (63 countries), with 358 Houses, 208 in-hospital family rooms, and 49 mobile units in addition to grants to non-profits helping children and a youth scholarship program. There are currently two Houses in Central Florida – and a new one will be opening on August 11th by Nemours at Lake Nona. (learn more HERE)

Volunteers David, Yusia, Wendy, Alex, Marcelo, Landon, and Julia invested two hours of their Saturday to uplift others by preparing a great lunch.

It was like a reality TV show, they said: there was a pile of ingredients and we had to use them to make something awesome. 

The “hot dog” menu they prepared included regular & veggie dogs, buns & condiments, roasted squash, sautéed broccoli & mushrooms, Parmesan mushroom couscous with avocado, a lentil hummus & sweet pepper platter, mac & cheese, sweet potato fries, field greens salad with veggies, beet & blue potato chips, and a min-cake dessert bar of fresh berries, papaya, dark chocolate, and yogurt.

THANK YOU to all of our volunteers and to the Ronald McDonald House for providing this opportunity!

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The award of the day went to Alex, for his artistic presentation of the lentil hummus & sweet pepper platter.

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LINKS

Ronald McDonald House Global

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida

BE. Orlando Events – join us!

Families share their experience at the Ronald McDonald House of Central Florida:

World Humanist Day

World Humanist Day is celebrated every year on June 21 by declaration of the American Humanist Association and the International Humanist Ethical Union (IHEU).

It is an opportunity for humanists and humanist organizations to celebrate and inform communities about the positive values of Humanism and to share the global concerns of the Humanist movement.

On this day, consider engaging in service that impacts our fellow humans, celebrate your connection to others through unexpected acts of kindness, and join with other Humanists by seeking out and joining secular organizations in your community.  Read more about non-faith communities here.

Freedom of Thought Report

The IHEU continually researches the international discrimination against persons of non-faith and posts a Freedom of Thought Report.

“The rights of the non-religious, and the rights of religious minorities and non-conformists, are a touchstone for the freedoms of thought and expression at large…Silence the non-religious, and you silence some of the leading voices of responsible concern in society.” – Gulalai Ismail and Agnes Ojera

anti-atheist-billboardThere is a map showing the countries by how accepting they are of Humanist thought.  They rate America as “mostly satisfactory”; however, as a Secular American, my experiences lead me to wonder about that conclusion.  “Systemic discrimination” is a better descriptor for Christian faith advantage interwoven throughout our politics, laws, money, patriotism, social expectations, language, faith-biased human service resources, business and media markets proliferating and preying on faith-driven consumerism, etc.  Sometimes subtle, but always there. Many non-religious individuals live silently for fear of employment loss, social exclusion, familial rejection.

We are not “mostly satisfactory” when millions of Americans are marginalized.  Achievement of equitable treatment for all people, regardless of faith or non-faith perspective, should be our goal:  One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Amsterdam Declaration of 2002

Read on IHEU site here: Amsterdam Declaration 2002

From the site:

The 50th anniversary World Humanist Congress in 2002 unanimously passed a resolution known as “The Amsterdam Declaration 2002″. Following the Congress, this updated declaration was adopted unanimously by the IHEU General Assembly, and thus became the official defining statement of World Humanism.

Amsterdam Declaration 2002

Humanism is the outcome of a long tradition of free thought that has inspired many of the world’s great thinkers and creative artists and gave rise to science itself.

The fundamentals of modern Humanism are as follows:

1. Humanism is ethical. It affirms the worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual and the right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others. Humanists have a duty of care to all of humanity including future generations. Humanists believe that morality is an intrinsic part of human nature based on understanding and a concern for others, needing no external sanction.

2. Humanism is rational. It seeks to use science creatively, not destructively. Humanists believe that the solutions to the world’s problems lie in human thought and action rather than divine intervention. Humanism advocates the application of the methods of science and free inquiry to the problems of human welfare. But Humanists also believe that the application of science and technology must be tempered by human values. Science gives us the means but human values must propose the ends.

3. Humanism supports democracy and human rights. Humanism aims at the fullest possible development of every human being. It holds that democracy and human development are matters of right. The principles of democracy and human rights can be applied to many human relationships and are not restricted to methods of government.

4. Humanism insists that personal liberty must be combined with social responsibility. Humanism ventures to build a world on the idea of the free person responsible to society, and recognises our dependence on and responsibility for the natural world. Humanism is undogmatic, imposing no creed upon its adherents. It is thus committed to education free from indoctrination.

5. Humanism is a response to the widespread demand for an alternative to dogmatic religion. The world’s major religions claim to be based on revelations fixed for all time, and many seek to impose their world-views on all of humanity. Humanism recognises that reliable knowledge of the world and ourselves arises through a continuing process. of observation, evaluation and revision.

6. Humanism values artistic creativity and imagination and recognises the transforming power of art. Humanism affirms the importance of literature, music, and the visual and performing arts for personal development and fulfilment.

7. Humanism is a lifestance aiming at the maximum possible fulfilment through the cultivation of ethical and creative living and offers an ethical and rational means of addressing the challenges of our times. Humanism can be a way of life for everyone everywhere.

Our primary task is to make human beings aware in the simplest terms of what Humanism can mean to them and what it commits them to. By utilising free inquiry, the power of science and creative imagination for the furtherance of peace and in the service of compassion, we have confidence that we have the means to solve the problems that confront us all. We call upon all who share this conviction to associate themselves with us in this endeavour.

IHEU Congress 2002

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LINKS

Learn about the Solstice from SciJinks (NOAA & NASA joint initiative)

American Humanist Association

International Humanist Ethical Union

IHEU Freedom of Thought Report

Central Florida Freethought Community

BE. Orlando calendar of Positive Humanism events for members

Huffington Post article on Atheist Discrimination

Humanist Response: Blood Drive

Update 6/19/16: THANK YOU to everyone who came out to show support and give blood at the CFFC & BE. #OrlandoUnited Blood Drive at Target yesterday!

We are grateful for the partnership of Target in Oviedo, the support and professionalism of the OneBlood medical staff, the efforts of 15 volunteers, the members of the community who came out to show support, and the donors who gave 27 units of blood – potentially impacting more than 80 lives!

Volunteers joined us from BE. Orlando, Central Florida Freethought Community, and the Secular Student Alliance at UCF.  Special thanks to Target management and employees for their continued support throughout the day – and their blood, too!

We had an amazing day and it was truly a heartwarming experience to be among members and friends who want to make a difference for the victims and families of last weekend’s tragedy at Pulse Orlando. Thank you, everyone!

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Post: 6/16/16

The secular community stands united with Orlando and with our LGBTQ+ members and friends, the Muslim community, and others impacted by the tragedy last weekend.

Please come out to Target in Oviedo this Saturday to support our blood drive.  We need volunteers and of course, blood donors.

GET INVOLVED: Please contact us at BEOrlando@live.com to volunteer or to donate drinks and snacks to support the individuals waiting to donate.

target_rainbow_logoThank you to Target for their partnership and compassion.  Their open commitment to inclusion of, and respect for, the LGBTQ+ community continues to inspire.

pulseThank you to everyone who has donated blood and supported blood drives around the region.  Your involvement makes a difference and shows that our community is connected, strong, and can stand together when needed.

LINKS

RSVP and Details on Facebook

Contact us to volunteer or donate items

A Humanist Response to the Orlando Tragedy

World Blood Donor Day: Blood Connects Us All

Update: Blood Connects Us All.

Update 6/18/2016

Today is World Blood Donor Day, and the theme this year is Blood Connects Us All.

On this day, we reflect on the blood supply challenges faced around the globe. Sadly, this week in Orlando we are working to uplift a community impacted by a terror attack targeting our LGBT friends and neighbors.  In response, blood donors have flooded the donation centers and bloodmobiles in an outpouring of kindness and love. The response of central Floridians to this tragedy has been inspirational.  Our community’s response of blood donorship illustrates how Blood Connects Us All.

We thank our community for their involvement and response.  We thank every blood donor, everyone who brings refreshments and other supplies to support the blood drives, and the volunteers who have been working around the clock to help our community come together.

We thank people around the world for your support and compassion on this World Blood Donor Day.

Read More…

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