Tag Archives: social

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!




Caped Volunteers & a Spooky Super Supper

We can’t believe it is the holiday season already, but we are READY.  In October, November, and December we make holiday-themed meals at our second wednesday chef adventure.

Last night the season began with superhero volunteers preparing a creative “spooky super supper” buffet for the residents at SafeHouse of Seminole. Spider dogs, mummy dogs, mashed potato graveyard, string cheese witches’ brooms, and spooky fruits & veggies complimented a pasta dinner with field greens salad. The most important part (dessert) included witch hat cookies, dirt & worm cups, and Halloween cupcakes.

fd74866f-4fad-4feb-82fa-3b8ff8aca046_1-b59b0ce7273dce3a2c6f126dc0184534Special thanks to the kids at SafeHouse who not only put up with our caped volunteers’ silly spooky shenanigans, but even joined in dancing and singing with the animated musical “who let the dogs out” halloweiner pup.

As the season of giving begins, think about creative ways that you can impact the lives of others in your community.   You’re not just preparing a dinner or hosting a needs drive, you are investing your time to make a positive difference in the world.  Volunteers lighten burdens, uplift hearts, and create light and joy.

Thank you to our BE. Orlando volunteers for BEing involved, and to everyone who invests the time to make a difference.




Some great events at UCF!

There are some interesting events coming up at the University of Central Florida as part of their annual Diversity Week celebration.  Below are some highlights for our members and followers, but you can find more than 20 opportunities for exploring various aspects of diversity and inclusion next week at http://Diversity.ucf.edu/diversity-week.

For information on parking at UCF, visit http://Parking.ucf.edu 

For navigation, use http://Map.ucf.edu 

Expert Panel: Minorities in the Non-Faith Community

October 20th, 12:30 – 3:30, Cape Florida Ballroom, Student Union

Join national leaders in a discussion about the growing diversity within the secular American community.  For those interested in learning about diversity issues, this is a unique exploration of intersectionality and an opportunity to learn about a growing demographic in our culture and on our campus. Free and open to the public.


Private Dinner with National Secular Leaders

October 20th, 6:00 p.m., Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen

Hosted by the Central Florida Freethought Community (CFFC). Spend quality time with the panelists (above) and other local leaders over dinner. This fundraiser will help cover travel costs for the panelists and will support the new scholarship fund being awarded to secular students at UCF in recognition of outstanding volunteerism.

The honored guests are

  • Stephanie Guttormson, a transgender advocate and the Operations Director for the Richard Dawkins Foundation
  • David Tamayo, Founder and President, Hispanic American Freethinkers
  • Mandisa Thomas, Founder and President, Black Nonbelievers, Inc.

Seating is limited.  Reserve your spot today: http://cflfreethought.org/dinner

Secular and Religious Minority Awareness Workshop

srma-flyer-smOctober 21, 1:30 – 4:30, Barbara Ying Center

Experience the new format, activities, and discussions in our interactive exploration of the experiences and challenges of secular and minority faith individuals, and how we can each make a difference by creating perspective inclusion in our own spheres of influence.  Free and open to the public  (registration advised; walk-in seating is limited.  The public can register by emailing SRMA-UCF@outlook.com).

UCF Blood Drives presents two events on October 18th

1. Guest Speaker on African American Blood Donation.  October 18, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m., Egmont Key, UCF Student Union

2. Expert Panel: Gay Male Blood Donation

October 18, 1:00 – 2:30, Cape Florida Ballroom, UCF Student Union

Join medical experts and local and national activist in a discussion about the blood donation deferral status for MSM (men who have had sex with other men).   Free and open to the public.


Both events are free and open to the public.

More information: http://Blooddrives-UCF.org/special-event 

Happy Tau Day = 2(Happy Pi Day)

Updated 6/28/15


Update 2016 – view here: Happy Tau Day = 2(Happy Pi Day)

Tau or Pi?  We don’t know.  We DO know that we at BE. have always boisterously celebrated Pi Day, and with the resurgence of attention to the Tau vs. Pi smackdown, we think it appropriate to celebrate over friendly debate and 2(pi)nts.

We had an amazing lunch learning from our friend Swami, a local teacher and math guru.


Whatever your math perspective, we twice toast Pi with you, and hope that you did 6.28 amazing things today!


New Events Posted!

Join the adventure – Visit our event site for more information & to RSVP.

  • Social group dinner at Hotto Potto
  • Serve dinner for residents at a local shelter
  • Mind Games Comedy Magic Show (Jimmy Rook)
  • It Takes Courage domestic violence awareness event
  • PintClub challenge reminder – Donate blood with us!
  • Sunday Assembly Orlando
  • Food Sorting at Second Harvest Food Bank
  • WordCamp (WordPress users/designers conference, Orlando)
  • Warmies Project



Sunday Assembly Orlando

Live better.  Help often. Wonder more.

Many individuals in the faith community are quiet non-believers, unwilling to risk the loss of the celebration of life and sense of community they find in the church.  The Sunday Assembly movement brings that experience to the secular community, providing a venue for springboarding community activities and service, expression and experience of gratitude, and regular gathering in a joyful community of like-minded individuals.  Organizers Chris Bunch and Carlo Adair, along with a team of volunteers, are bringing the Sunday Assembly to Central Florida.

Sunday Assembly Orlando is part of the London-based international organization focused on promoting positive community involvement through the celebration of life and each other. Come out and meet other free-thinkers in a positive, open, and wondrous environment.

Sunday Assembly is “A Global Movement for Wonder and Good”  – a secular gathering to have fun and do good for our community.



• Facebook Event  – October 26, 2014 event

• Sunday Assembly (international site)

Sunday Assembly (Public charter and more)

East End Market

Sunday Assembly Orlando (Facebook page for the organizing group members – join the volunteer team!)

Upcoming Events

New events posted!  Visit our event site for more information & to RSVP.

  • Volunteering at a local wolf & wolfdog refuge
  • Expert Panel on how homelessness impacts university communities
  • Serve dinner at a local shelter
  • Light the Night LLS volunteers
  • FreeFlo, Florida Humanist Association Conference, Orlando
  • 2014 Central Florida Veg Fest – Advocacy tent in festival, Blood Drive at entrance
  • SRMA Project celebration & social dinner
  • It Takes Courage domestic violence awareness event
  • Food Sorting at Second Harvest Food Bank
  • WordCamp (WordPress users/designers conference, Orlando)