Award-winning Central Ohio groups honored by Foundation Beyond Belief

Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT), Freethought Dayton and Humanist Community of Central Ohio (HCCO) to receive awards in Boston.

Foundation Beyond Belief (FBB) has announced the winners of their Heart of Humanism Awards and COUNT, HCCO and Freethought Dayton are among the winners. These awards recognize the outstanding community service of local groups who participated in the Beyond Belief Network (BBN) program in 2014.

In 2014, BBN teams held 262 events, varying from blood donation, to community clean-ups, volunteering at food banks and soup kitchens, to collecting and making supplies for people experiencing homelessness, and caring for the sick and their families. In total, our teams donated 30,677 hours of their time. As of this year, BBN has grown to 111 teams across the United States and abroad.

Local team awards:

  • Humanist Communication Award for Best Event Reporting in 2014 and $50 grant: Freethought Dayton
  • Backbone Volunteer for playing a consistent and reliable role in a community organization and $100 grant: awarded to Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) for their regular service at the Ronald McDonald House [2014 volunteers included: Phil B, Michael B, Brian C, Amadeus E, Dan H, Cari J (CJ), Dave N, Gail U and Greg Y.]
  • Teams with 500+ volunteer hours or 10+ events in 2014: Humanist Community of Central Ohio (HCCO), Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT), Freethought Dayton

Awards will be presented during a dinner event that caps FBB’s second annual Humanism at Work national conference at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston on July 25. The theme of the conference is #blacklivesmatter: listen, learn, think, discuss, act. Conference speakers will include local activist and occasional Omnipresent Atheist (OA) attendee Shane Sloan along with Professor Monica Miller of Lehigh University, Professor Fiery Cushman of Harvard, FBB staff members Rebecca Vitsmun, Conor Robinson and AJ Chalom.

Steering Committee member Christina McDuffie will attend and accept the COUNT awards and grant. McDuffie, also Secular Coalition for Ohio Co-chair and Columbus COR Event Coordinator, will speak about the awards and Community Volunteerism at the Mid-Ohio Atheists (MOA) 7th Annual Picnic & Fundraiser on July 19 in Mansfield.

Freethought Dayton (FD) was named FBB’s Team of the Month for May 2014 for their local volunteer and charity efforts. COUNT was the June 2014 Team of the Month and is now running monthly homeless shelter events initiated by McDuffie. COUNT, already a 2015 Gold-level BBN team, has held tree planting, urban art and secular conference volunteer events, and, with HCCO, performed highway cleanups since 2013. Lyz Liddell has run HCCO’s Bleed & Feed Red Cross donation program since 2010. HCCO and COUNT members have worked with other Columbus CoR groups to hold three Flying Spaghetti Monster Benefit Dinners collecting a total of 911 lbs of food and $6,616.77 for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and, led by Columbus CoR Coordinator Avery Winston, are currently planning the fourth. HCCO participated in the 2012 Light The Night Walk to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and worked with COUNT and Columbus CoR for the 2013 and 2014 events.

Other awardees include: Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless, Corpus Christi Atheists, Fellowship of Freethought Dallas, Flagstaff Freethinkers, FreeOK, Humanist Alliance Philippines International (HAPI), Humanists Doing Good, Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation Community Service Committee, Minnesota Atheists, Pennsylvania Nonbelievers, Pikes Peak Atheist Families, Pikes Peak Atheists, Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry, ands Upstate Atheists.

COUNT, HCCO, OA and MOA are members of the Columbus Coalition of Reason (CoR). FD is a Friend of Columbus CoR.

7/15/2015: Unfortunately, the Humanism at Work conference has been cancelled with FBB citing circumstances beyond their control.

7/16/2015: Today COUNT was named Foundation Beyond Belief Network Team of the Month. Congratulations again COUNT volunteers!

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