Tag Archives: Service Project

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?




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

Update: Blood Connects us all

Update 06/08/16 – #WBDD is next week!  Please join us in donating blood.  And take a moment to learn about the issues of blood donation around the world.  How do natural disasters impact blood donorship and the infrastructure of blood supply?  What blood donation and blood supply challenges are faced in third world countries?  With the privileges of convenience, safety, visibility, and even incentives, why do we have blood shortages in the United States?  Why is the World Health Organization (WHO) promoting global action to achieve 100 per cent voluntary blood donation in every country?



Source / full article: Blood connects us all.


STE{a}M & Stuff Book Drive

Book Drive through May 25, 2016

Each year, the Heart of Florida United Way hosts a book drive to support summer reading loss initiatives and Day of Action literacy events in our local community.

And each year, BE. members contribute fun math & science themed books to the United Way’s book drive efforts.  Share fun stories like Flatland, Fantasia Mathematica, the Cartoon Guide to Physics, and In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat with at-risk youth in our community.  What STEM fiction inspired you in your youth?

Visit our book drive page for participation information, statistics on summer reading loss,  links to STEM book lists, Diverse Book resources, and more.

Drop off books at any BE. Orlando event during the month of May or contact us – we’ll be glad to schedule a pick up at your central Florida place of business.



Book Drive Home Page (updates will be posted here)


Reflection: Volunteering is a part of you.

National Volunteer week is a wonderful time to reflect on the meaning of service in our own lives.

Throughout life, we collect meaningful moments that we take with us along our journey.  Volunteering is an amazing way to add beautiful memories to that collection. Volunteering becomes part of you, and through your service you become part of those around you.  Volunteering connects us.

What is your favorite memory of volunteering?

Biggest List of Secular Reasons to Volunteer

Only about a quarter of the adult population of the United States engages in volunteerism.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service, reported in February 2016 that the volunteer rate in America declined by four percent to 24.9 percent for the annual reporting period ending in September 2015.  About 62.6 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2014 and September 2015.

Not only CAN everyone make a difference, but look at the amazing benefits to your own life!  When you improve the community around you, you improve your own world.  No matter what your passion or interests, there are ways that you can use YOUR talent and skills, whatever YOUR availability, and whatever YOU are interested in to guide your decisions about where to invest your time and, if possible, donations.

How do you find something meaningful? Start with a google search to find organizations in your area, or join one of the many volunteer organizations and networking groups – you can find some of them listed on our Volunteer Resource page. The groups & organizations will provide you a variety of volunteering opportunities so that you can try on different “hats” to enjoy a variety of experiences or find something that really inspires you that you want to commit to as “your” cause.

Always research a group or organization before investing your time or money to make sure they are in good standing, responsible, achieve meaningful results, and align with your personal mission and values.  This is your investment; make sure it will have a good return.

Here are some reasons people give for volunteering…
what resonates with you? Can you add to the list?

  • Giving back to the community
  • Make a difference for people around us
  • Set an example for children
  • Set an example for others.
  • Build skills and knowledge
  • To “Pay it Forward”
  • Because I said I would.
  • Focusing on others reduces stress
  • Builds positive emotions, which have a positive effect on personal health
  • Build resume strength
  • To add new dimensions to my life.
  • To add kindness and goodness to the world
  • Build confidence
  • To help others succeed
  • Volunteering help rectify disconnection and self-interest that harm our community.
  • Compassionate action is a natural expression of connection to the world around us.
  • To see people happy – and know I brought that.
  • To try new things
  • To expand my exposure to diverse people in my community
  • There are people who need help.
  • Flexibility of commitment to schedule and length of service – I can find a one-time event where I have time to help, and other longer term commitments that fit into my life responsibilities.
  • To feel connected
  • Flexibility – I can make a difference in a different area each month or year; in my job, I do the same thing year after year.
  • It is addictive.
  • The place I volunteer appreciates us and couldn’t achieve their mission without volunteers.
  • To join my friends in their volunteer activities and be part of things they care about.
  • Because I can.
  • safeguard intellect and engender curiosity in subsequent generations.
  • Gives me the warm & fuzzy feeling!
  • I volunteer when I travel
  • Volunteering is positive for your mind, body, and spirit.
  • It saves me money on entertainment and activities.
  • To uplift others.
  • To combat depression.
  • To take on responsibilities.
  • To see the success of the agency, and know I was part of that.  Like watching a tree grow when you help plant it.
  • To do something I’m good at.
  • I meet new clients for my business.
  • To overcome my disabilities – there are always ways I can make a difference for others, not in spite of my chair, but because that empowers me to help even more, to inspire more people, and to increase the impact of my service in so many ways.
  • Because it must be done.
  • Our family volunteering together brings us closer.
  • To add positive, meaningful experiences to my collection of great memories.
  • Volunteering is the ultimate payback to those who helped me on the road to success.
  • It is an essential Human responsibility
  • To see my impact.
  • Volunteers rock.  I wanna rock.  🙂
  • To have a place in the world, a voice, a meaningful existence.
  • Instilled values and deeply held beliefs about helping others
  • To demonstrate gratitude for what I have.
  • Expand my social circle
  • To show you believe something requires action on your part; that genuineness is what convinces others that there is value to your advocacy.
  • To gain perspective on my own life
  • Keeps me from feeling isolated.
  • To recharge!
  • It makes me feel alive.
  • I can take meaningful action.
  • To exercise my rights, responsibilities, and personal power
  • To put words of caring into action.
  • To see any animal or person suffering as if no one cares and not act? NOT ME.
  • To step outside of my comfort zone into the zone of possibility where all the good stuff happens.
  • I want my life to have value.
  • To learn about people, teamwork, compassion, and about myself.
  • Karma – so good things will come back around to me and those around me.
  • Meet like-minded, motivated, positive people
  • It brings me closer to my community
  • Because I love my city and my country
  • To act in a way consistent with my principles: Integrity.
  • Fulfill a personal sense of purpose
  • Unique opportunities and experiences
  • To be empowered
  • To escape daily life
  • To gain a different perspective
  • Investing your time rather than simply spending it.
  • Providing a resource to the community by donating time so that money needed to accomplish that task can be spent on local improvements and needs.
  • Networking
  • To help someone
  • To help the environment.
  • To give a voice to someone who is marginalized.
  • To create hope
  • To impress your mom.
  • To feel needed
  • To enjoy meaningful conversation.
  • In a world full of problems, to be part of the solution.
  • To keep busy in a productive way.
  • To feel proud of yourself.
  • For a feeling of belonging.
  • To have a sense of achievement.
  • To repay a debt.
  • To be an agent of change.
  • Giving back and volunteering is part of my positive personal branding
  • To donate your talents or professional skills
  • Because of personal experience with a cause.
  • To make a stand for others.
  • For escape.
  • To be a challenge
  • I respect people who volunteer.  I want to be one of those people.
  • For fun!
  • To have an excuse to do what you love
  • Volunteering is therapeutic
  • I talk the talk, so I walk the walk.
  • When I sponsor an activity and provide volunteers, my store gets recognition which builds the confidence of our customers and brings in new customers.
  • Defeat boredom.
  • Overcome financial challenges by participating in free, fun activities that make a difference – great for family activities.
  • To make a difference
  • Be active!
  • It makes you feel good.
  • To see more of our community – learn about the “hidden” people
  • To meet the people we refer to as “people in need” and learn someone’s story and understand the person behind the face of the “in need” label.
  • To make friends
  • To meet people who share our values and interests
  • To strengthen our community
  • To learn about one’s self – hidden talents, strengths, abilities, and impact
  • To learn about resources available in our community and how they impact others.
  • Show someone in need that they are not alone and that the community cares about them
  • Test out a career option or personal interest
  • It adds value to my life
  • To give back resources that we or others we know have utilized
  • Serving with diverse people to make a difference builds bridges across differences
  • Understanding community needs enhances personal empathy and self-efficacy
  • Share your talents with others
  • Demonstrate commitment to a cause
  • Gain leadership skills
  • Perform civic duty
  • Bonding with friends, relatives, or significant others
  • Be exposed to new ideas
  • Grow in your understanding of the challenges of others
  • Be a contributing member of society

No one has ever asked you to volunteer? Well, we’re asking! Join us!!


Volunteer Resources

BE. Orlando membership site (event calendar)