Tag Archives: Pulse Orlando

Thank you, donors!

We are grateful to the donors who contributed 15 units of blood at Saturday’s blood drive and 97 books to support summer literacy initiatives!

IMG_20170603_1253255071 – BLOOD DRIVE

On Saturday, in partnership with Target (Oviedo) and OneBlood, we joined the Central Florida Freethought Community to host the first Pulse Remembrance blood drive in Central Florida; the 15 donors were the first to earn the STILL STRONG donor shirt.  We enjoyed  a great day making a difference with the CFFC and members and friends who came to support the efforts.  Fifteen units of blood collected will impact 45 lives in our community.

donor3Our blood drives to date have collected more than 182 units of blood, impacting 546 lives.



book banner


The event was also the final drop-off for our annual STEM-themed summer literacy book drive.   In support of local literacy initiatives of the Heart of Florida United Way and its partner agencies that focus on bridging the summer reading gap, we collect new science, technology, engineering, and math-related books, and books that highlight women and minorities in successful leadership roles, that will be given to youth as gifts.  The Central Florida Freethought Community joined the effort again this year.  With their help, we reached a total of 97 high-quality new books.

IMG_20170603_102219674This year’s collection included multiple copies of Women in Science, an autographed copy of Astronomy Saves The World from its author Daniel Batcheldor, Chasing Space, and many more fun and visually stunning books that will be sure to ignite the imagination of young readers.

Our next STEM-themed collection will be the holiday toy drive – BE part of it! Follow us at http://STEM4youth.wordpress.com.  We’re proud to be a part of STEM4Youth, a collaborative effort of local secular and Humanist organizations.  Initiatives include the summer book drive, holiday toy drive, and an annual Math, Science, & Pi(e) Fest.


Click here to become a member and RSVP:

  • Make a Difference in Under a Minute (sign online thank-you letter to a local university for their Humanist inclusion efforts)
  • Monthly meal serve in Sanford
  • Solutionary Festival & Peace Walk at Lake Eola
  • Park & Lake Cleanup event
  • Food donation sorting at Second Harvest
  • Living shoreline stabilization project at Canaveral National Seashore
  • Professional Development – free diversity workshop on faith in the workplace
  • Mattress recycling project at the Mustard Seed




BE. Orlando Remembers Pulse

We are still heartbroken for the victims, families, and communities devastated by this act of violence.  Yet we are uplifted by the resilience and courage around us, and we’re proud to stand with our community, empowered to make a positive difference together.

The FIRST pulse remembrance blood drive of 2017 will be hosted tomorrow by BE. Orlando and the Central Florida Freethought Community. The #OrlandoUnited blood donor shirts will make their official debut tomorrow at Target in Oviedo, 10 am – 3 pm.

Rain or shine, the bloodmobile will be parked at the Target entrance; our tents will be there as well as long as weather allows. If you don’t find us outside, look for us inside at the snack area or at Customer Service.

Come donate blood with us tomorrow in honor of those impacted by the Pulse tragedy last year.

We will also be collecting new, STEM-themed books to support summer literacy initiatives in our community.  Help us support programs dedicated to the educational wellness of at-risk youth.

I hope to see you tomorrow.

Thank you for your commitment to our community.


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?


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?


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!


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.


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

A Humanist Response to the Orlando Tragedy

Update 6/15/16:

Join us this Saturday, June 18th, for a Secular Community #OrlandoUnited rally and blood drive, from Noon until 5:00 p.m., in the parking lot of Target in Oviedo.   RSVP and Details on the Facebook Event (Click Here).

blood donor response

Posted 6/12/16:

We are sorry for our long silence following the Pulse Orlando shooting – our administrators were tied up working to empower individuals to make a meaningful difference in response to this tragedy through volunteerism and blood donorship.

We would like a moment of your time to share a Humanist perspective on this event with our friends and allies.

We are heartbroken for the victims, families, and communities devastated by this act of violence. We are here for you – for all of you. Our condolences and anything that we can do to help are offered to you.

Here are some thoughts for the Secular Americans and allies in our community.

BE. Action Oriented

In the wake of a disaster we wonder what we can do to help heal ourselves and those around us.  We want to DO SOMETHING that adds good to the world and to those with whom we are connected.  We see that we are connected to our community, and we seek ways to add value, positive impact, and to imprint our signature of kindness on those around us – and on those we don’t even know.

Donate Blood – or volunteer with OneBlood

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOneBlood.org is our local blood donorship medical facility that coordinates blood drives in our community.  They need your gift of life to preserve lives of the victims and to replenish the blood supply for local hospitals.  They need people to volunteer at local drives and branch locations in support of the amazing outpouring of support from Central Floridians.

Blood will be needed throughout the coming weeks; please don’t let the enthusiasm dwindle.  Consider donating in a week or two to ensure continued blood supply for ongoing surgeries of the victims and other patients.  Make an appointment at OneBlood.org; appointments help OneBlood a great deal and also mean you don’t have to wait in line.

Due to the ongoing website traffic, the appointment page may take time to load or need to be re-visited later.  Please keep trying.  You are needed.

To volunteer, you can contact 1-888-9-DONATE or contact BEOrlando@live.com and we will help connect you.220px-secularhumanismlogo3dpriderainbowcolors

Are you one of the lucky people who are eligible to donate blood?  If your identity community were in need, you would want to step up and help.  What if you COULDN’T? What if you couldn’t save your friend or family member? Please consider donating in place of those who are unable. Be the voice, be the blood, be the life, be the love.  You can  make a difference.

Secular Community Blood Drive

We are working to coordinate a blood drive, vigil, and community support gathering in partnership with the Central Florida Freethought Community for our local secular and Humanist community. Please contact BEOrlando@live.com if you would like to help coordinate or visit us here on JustGottaBE.org for updates on the drive date, time, and location.

Just get involved, for Goodness’ Sake!

There is a surge of blood donors coming forward; but less than 50% of the adult population of the US is eligible to donate.  Yes, donating blood is impactful, but there are other ways we can make a difference  – in addition to, or in lieu of, donating blood.

Join BE. Orlando in our efforts to create and succeed in humanist community impact efforts in Central Florida.  Or google search for volunteer opportunities – there are a million ways that you can make a difference.  Please take your time, talents, and contribution potential and invest them in organizations that are making a positive difference – that is an AMAZING way you can be empowered to impact.

DONATE. In response to this tragedy, please consider Equality Florida and the Zebra Coalition for monetary donations.

People are individuals

Our thoughts and love go out to those impacted by this tragedy, including LGBTQ+ communities and Muslim communities.  We remind everyone to value people as individuals and not make judgments based on appearances, myths, or assumptions.

We join in the thoughts of David Williamson of the Central Florida Freethought Community, who shared in a press release earlier today: “We are truly outraged by this senseless act of violence. The possible motivations of the perpetrator and the targeting of LGBTQ Americans only deepens the need for our community to come together. We strongly support our LGBTQ friends in grieving and urge those who are able to donate blood and other needed resources to begin the healing.”

STOP using the OFFENSIVE  #PrayForOrlando hashtag

Please, stop spreading the hateful, marginalizing, devaluing message that normalizes the misconception that the religious community ONLY is valued, respected, and responsive during tragedies and emergencies.

We value ALL people, no matter their faith or non-faith perspective. #OneOrlando.

Many individuals in our community (24% overall, and 36% of our college-aged population) identify as non-religious, secular, or not affiliated with a religion.  Don’t propagate hate against persons of non-faith and the myth that only people of faith care about the community during a tragedy.

Many people in our community find neither solace nor comfort in “prayer”.  Many people in our community do not feel that to “pray” makes a meaningful difference; rather they feel that we should donate blood, volunteer, find active ways to make a real difference, human-to-human.  Through acts of kindness, compassion, and community engagement we make a difference for everyone regardless of their faith or non-faith perspective.

Don’t promote one perspective to the exclusion of another when we should be standing shoulder-to-shoulder, together, in love, compassion, and solidarity.

#OneOrlando #PulseOrlando #PeaceforOrlando #OrlandoStrong

Somewhere to turn

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If members of our secular and Humanist community need somewhere to turn, please contact us at BEOrlando@live.com.  We are here for you, we are listening, and we can connect you with resources and people who can help.