Tag Archives: volunteer

Thanks, Orlando Distaff Day!

The fiber artist community contributed 136 hand-made warmies yesterday – blankets, scarves, gloves, slippers & socks, shawls, hats, and more.   They also donated more than 70 items of food and wrote postcards to warm hearts – a nice touch to add an extra sprinkle of kindness to their 2018 Warmies drive!

Last night was designated a “cold night” at the Coalition for the Homeless.  There were more people waiting at the gate and on the campus than i’ve seen there in a long time. The lobby was packed with men, women, and children.  After a week of unexpected freezing nights, people were looking for shelter and warmth.  The Coalition was in need of warmies of all kinds – and Orlando Distaff Day helped to answer their call for community support.

Thank you to the fiber artists and the organizers of Orlando Distaff Day – you make a difference!

We’re looking forward to Orlando Distaff Day 2019 on January 5th!

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BE. Inspired – January Newsletter

2018 is going to be AWESOME.

We’re starting off 2018 strong with some great events in January – join us & help kick off a GREAT year for Humanist service in Central Florida.  BE part of it!

Year-End Summary:

  • In 2017 we hosted 72 events and performed 880.5 hours of service;
  • Our 2017 blood drives collected 67 units;
  • Our 2017 summer book drive raised 97 books and our holiday toy drive raised more than 50 STEM-themed toys;
  • Our total 2017 expenses were $7,960.70; and
  • We achieved Gold team status with the Foundation beyond belief.
  • Detailed summary: http://JustGottaBE.org/service-impact 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

2018 Member Surveyhttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZPZGQKR

Board of Directors vacancies: There are three openings on our Board. Contact BEOrlando@live.com for more information.


 UPCOMING EVENTS

Details & RSVP: https://www.meetup.com/BEOrlando/events 

  • 6th – join us for Orlando Distaff Day!  A day of fiber crafts & philanthropy with the fiber artist community. We’ll host a vendor table collecting hand-made warm items and food for homeless people in Central Florida.  Volunteer with us or bring a project & just come enjoy the day. Learn more: http://orlandodistaffday.org
  • 10th – prepare & serve dinner at SafeHouse of Seminole.  Must RSVP by January 3rd.
  • MLK Service Weekend (MLK service pins for volunteers at these events)
    • 13th –  sort food donations at Second Harvest Food Bank
    • 14th –  prepare & serve lunch at Ronald McDonald House (Nemours at Lake Nona)
    • 15th –  sort destroy mattresses!  Prepare mattresses at the Mustard Seed for recycling.
  • 17th – Humanist Peer support and Discussion Group – This is hosted by Humanist and Secular Services at UCF; however, it is free and open to the public.  The location is just off campus and parking is free and adjacent to the building.
  • 20th – climb into the woods for the annual Invasive Species Raid with Seminole County SERV.
  • Online, anytime – 15 minute online Meal Serve training for those joining us to prepare and serve food at upcoming events. Electronic certificate upon completion.

Announcing our 2018 12x12x12 Challenge!!  Each month, make a care pack with 12 items.  You can turn them in at any BE. Orlando event.  Last year we used these items to support the Coalition for the Homeless as they served an influx of people who needed shelter during and after Hurricane Irma.  Whether there is a similar event or not, these care packs make a real difference for people in our community.  Item suggestions and agency wish lists are posted on the event description.


 JANUARY HUMANIST OBSERVANCES

Humanist Calendar: http://HumanistCalendar.wordpress.com

  • Birthdays: Stephen Hawking (8th)
  • Founding Dates: ACLU Founded (19th, 1920)
  • Half-Pi Day – If the Tau Day enthusiasts can call Pi Day “Half-Tau Day”, then we can have Half-Pi Day as well. Celebrate on January 5th!
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – The third Monday of every January is designated a national day of service by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Points of Light Foundation. We celebrate  “A day on, not a day off”: investing our day out of the office to make a difference in our communities. BE. Orlando hosts one or more service events on MLK Weekend.  Volunteer with us or visit NationalService.gov/MLKday for national projects & information.
  • Thomas Paine Day – One of the founding fathers of the United States and author of The Age of Reason, Paine promoted reason and free thought, and argued against institutionalized religion in general and Christian doctrine in particular.
  • January is National Mentor Month. Learn more about International Mentor Day, Thank Your Mentor Day, and other mentoring celebrations at Mentoring.org

Members’ favorite positive life quotes

Contributed by Amanda, member since May 2012:

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.” Anthony J. D’Angelo


Favorite Photos from Dec 2017:

Elfing Day – toy & blood drive – we collected more than 50 toys for SafeHouse and 11 units of blood.  In addition, BE. Orlando beat Oneblood at badminton.  Kind of.IMG_20171216_134113215.jpg

Christmas Eve hike on Klondike Beach: seven members & friends did a beautiful (but not easy) 6 hour beach hike starting at 6:30 a.m.  Near the end we slowed down to each fill a trash bag.IMG_20171224_071925595.jpg

 

Rice Bar!

For our June monthly meal serve event, we prepared a Rice Bar for the residents of SafeHouse of Seminole.  With rice as our base, we prepared creative toppings for residents to choose from.  These included cheesy veggies, steamed fresh veggieVolunteersRocks, spiced Mexican beans, tomato basil sauce, sweet & sour chicken, portobello alfredo, and chicken & gravy.  There was also an Indian section with chana masala (curried chickpeas), Methi melai mutter (green peas and spiced cream), Dal curry masala (lentils), baghara baingar (eggplant), and palek paneer (spinach & cheese).  And for dessert?  Rice pudding, of course!  We also had peaches and strawberry yogurt (both good on rice!).

We’re looking forward to our Summer Picnic theme in July!

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Join us for an event

SafeHouse of Seminole

 

A Mother’s Day Meal

For this month’s 2nd Wednesday Chef Team event, we wanted to share something special from our hearts to honor the residents at SafeHouse for Mother’s Day.  Volunteers enjoyed a wonderful evening preparing and sharing their mother’s or family’s favorite recipes.

Violence against women impacts mothers and their children in our community and around the globe. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1 in 3 (35%) women experience intimate partner or sexual violence in their lifetimes. Impacts include serious short- and long-term physical, mental, and behavioral health problems for survivors and for their children. [see Florida stats and US National stats]

WHO says that to  achieve lasting change, we must address discrimination against women; promote gender equality; support women; and help to move towards more peaceful cultural norms.

Reflection: What can you do in your daily actions and human connections to promote a culture of peace? How do you set an example of respect for the women in your life? What will you do today to make the world a better place – for women in general, or maybe for a woman in your life?

This Mother’s Day, let’s pledge intentional effort for lasting positive change for women in our own spheres of influence and those in our greater community.  Make a personal commitment to volunteer with or make a donation to SafeHouse of Seminole, or another organization that is working to support survivors and prevent intimate partner and sexual violence in our community.

We all work daily to expand our kindness footprint.  Thank you for all that you do to make the world we share a better place.

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Happy Pi Day!

Well, it is late in the day, but we didn’t miss the chance to wish everyone a Happy Pi Day!

At BE. Orlando, we take Pi very seriously – as an opportunity to celebrate math & science, and promote youth interest in STEM. And Pi. And Pie.

IMG_20170311_161927643Our members invested Saturday afternoon on 3/11 in kindness & Pi volunteering at the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida.  We hosted math & science activities for at-risk youth, including a solar cell experiment, sudoko challenges, Pi bracelet making, and a coding game.  The kids who attended received science back-packs that included fun science-fact books sponsored by the Foundation Beyond Belief, as well as math & science toys, STEM journals, recycling sticker books, Pi Day book marks, and a Pi Day participant certificate.  This was our 5th annual Pi Day volunteer event, and we are so proud of our volunteers and partner organizations for their commitment to making a difference in our community.  And of course, a very important part of this event is the Pi(e) Buffet!

After the event we met up with other members of our group for a (Pi)zza (Pi)e dinner at Lazy Moon – a place we’re definitely going back to!

IMG_20170308_182758779We take Pi Day so seriously that we started celebrating a week early with our (Pi)zza (Pi)e buffet at SafeHouse of Seminole.  Volunteers prepared 50 varieties of pizza for the SafeHouse residents, as well as salad, sides, and an amazing Fruit Pizza Pi dessert!  March 8th was such an important day for us – an opportunity to kick off (Pi)e celebrations as well as having the honor of preparing dinner for SafeHouse on International Women’s Day.

Thank you to all of our volunteers for their investment of time, talent, and resources; to the agencies that invite us to make a difference for their residents; to the people we serve who lift our hearts and show us what courage looks like; and to every person who is guided by kindness and compassion to make a positive difference in the world around us.  Thank you, everyone!

What’s up next?  STEM Book Drive & Pulse Anniversary Blood Drive!

logoOur next collaborative STEM impact event is the STEM-themed book drive to combat summer reading loss and support summer reading initiatives in our community.  Learn more at https://stem4youth.wordpress.com/stem-book-drive/.  The final collection will be at the Pulse Anniversary Blood Drive hosted by BE. Orlando and the Central Florida Freethought Community at Target in Oviedo on June 3, 2017 (yes, that’s the 3rd; the Saturday before the actual anniversary weekend – we’ll all want to be at the downtown events that weekend!)  We hope to see you there!

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A great day at 2nd Harvest!

We had an amazing time sorting donations at the Second Harvest Food Bank today!

Providing supplies to more than 550 food distribution centers, Second Harvest relies on its almost 30,000 volunteers per year to sort donations.  Last year, they provided more than 52 million meals to people in need.  A 2014 report indicated that 71,600 requests for food were made in a typical week.  Food insecurity impacts children (one in four), seniors (12%), veterans, families, and other demographics.

Volunteers who invest their time to make a difference for Second Harvest are part of a network of compassion and kindness that ensures agencies like these are able to expand their impact and assist people in our communities.

Thank you to all of our members who joined us today and to everyone who volunteers to make a difference in our community!

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Volentines Day!

February 11, 2017

That’s right – on a day dedicated to celebrating love, volunteering is a GREAT way to show you care and give the gift of love to people in need in your community.

Here are a few things you can do get (civically) engaged this Voluntine’s day…

Second Harvest Food Bank still needs help for both the morning and the afternoon donation sorting shifts.  Will you be their Volentine?  Visit their volunteer calendar for more information & to sign up!

dripDonate blood – Every two seconds, someone needs blood to survive.  The only source of that blood is YOU, the donor. One blood donation can be separated into three parts and may impact THREE different people in need.  Save lives. Give blood.  Visit OneBlood.org to find bus and branch locations near you.

Write valentines this weekend and bring them to a shelter, hospital, or youth program.  Everyone brings them for the kids – why not surprise the women and men with notes of compassion and encouragement? What about the staff who dedicate their lives to making a difference?  If you’re coming to the Darwin Day event tomorrow, we’ll be making valentines for the SafeHouse residents & staff.

Take a walk or bike ride on a local trail and pick up trash.

Volunteering makes a great family activity – and a great date idea, too!

Visit our Volunteer Resources page to find ways to connect with volunteer opportunities near you.

Have a Happy & Engaged Volentine’s Day!