Tag Archives: Volunteering

Breakfast for Dinner at SafeHouse!

This month’s meal serve theme was “Breakfast for Dinner”, and our chef team had an amazing time preparing mini egg souffles, breakfast casserole, organic apple walnut fruit salad, meats, potatoes, french toast casserole and more – there were more than 20 different dishes prepared by the team!  We strive to make fun food for kids, healthy options, vegetarian and vegan options, and yummy comfort food at every event.

Join us in May – our volunteers will prepare their mother’s favorite recipes in honor of Mother’s Day to share with the residents of SafeHouse.  Visit http://meetup.com/BEOrlando to join our member site!

Other events coming up include a blood drive at Central Florida Earth Day, a Pulse Anniversary blood drive, STEM-themed book drive to support summer reading initiatives, and a meal serve at Ronald McDonald House.

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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!

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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.

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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?

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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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#ShareHumanity

Today we are grateful for those who have given their time and resources to make the world a better place. We also highlight a call to action: there is a need for acts of compassion that alleviate suffering. More than 130 people around the world live in crisis and need humanitarian efforts in order to survive.  Right here in our community, 1 in 6 Central Floridians struggle with hunger. Did you know that the Coalition for the Homeless shelters an average of 200 children a night?  In the words of Edward Bok, “Make you the world a bit better or more beautiful for having lived in it.”  Whose life will you impact today?

Plan a service project this weekend, donate blood, join a volunteer group, or just take some time to learn about hunger, homelessness, domestic violence, and other issues in our community and around the world and consider how YOU can make a difference.

World Humanitarian Day celebrates the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe.  It recognizes those who face danger and adversity in the service of others as well as the local heroes who commit their lives, or a portion of their lives, to humanitarian efforts.

Post thoughts, support, and stories to #SHAREHUMANITY

Humanism vs. Humanitarianism

When we talk about Humanism, we focus on the ethical worldview that humans have the potential to be good without belief in the supernatural and that we have a duty to be a positive, contributive member of society. While that is an essential topic in our culture, today we celebrate Humanitarianism, which focuses solely on the moral imperative of kindness and compassion being extended to ALL human beings equally, and often acknowledges a sacrifice on the part of the person giving.

World Humanitarian Summit

The first United  Nations World Humanitarian Summit was held this past may with more than 9,000 participants representing 173 States, 55 Heads of State and Government, and thousands of citizens and NGO representatives.  Read more:  Website | Chair’s Summary
They focused on five key issues:
  1. Political leadership to end conflict
  2. Uphold the norms that safeguard humanity
  3. Leave no one behind.
  4. Change people’s lives: from delivering aid to ending need
  5. Invest in Humanity

 

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