Columbus CoR has been tracking selected charitable activities from some of our groups to highlight examples of charity done by non-theists because many people seem to be unaware of it. Note that Columbus CoR groups accomplish far more than is mentioned here; some groups discuss charitable activities on their web sites while some are involved with Foundation Beyond Belief (which documents such things on their web site).
Adopt A Highway
The Department of Transportation arranges highway cleanup using the Adopt A Highway program. Various area secular groups have participated over the years including The Humanist Community of Central Ohio and Central Ohio United Non-Theists. Most recently, Mid Ohio Atheists has been holding cleanup events to maintain a section of highway which sports a sign indicating their sponsorship and their Gold Star status.
Community Shelter Board/Van Buren Dr Homeless Shelter
The Van Buren Drive homeless shelter in Columbus is run by the Community Shelter Board, the YMCA and other agencies and supports over 300 of Central Ohio’s homeless men, women, and children. Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) is serving meals there monthly and invites any interested Columbus CoR member groups to participate. The Humanist Community of Central Ohio has jointly participated in all 2016 and 2017 events and Omnipresent Atheists welcomes shelter workers at their meetings after each Tuesday night volunteer event. The Secular Student Alliance at The Ohio State University participated in the April 2017 event. 72 participants from Columbus CoR groups have worked a total of 623 hours at 30 events held January, 2015 through May, 2017. 15 have worked there at least five times and have been designated as “Handful” volunteers.
Harmony House provides shelter to homeless families in the Mansfield area. Mid Ohio Atheists collects donations routinely at their meetings and makes a special push at their annual picnic.
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
The annual Light The Night walk benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The Humanist Community of Central Ohio worked with Foundation Beyond Belief to raise money for the 2012 walk. In 2013, this effort was expanded to include other Columbus CoR groups and $3207.46 was raised.
The Mid-Ohio Foodbank provides food to hungry Central Ohio families. Area secular groups collected food and raised money by holding a benefit in 2012 which is now an annual event. $1,884.04 was raised in 2012, $2,089.52 in 2013, $2,618.21 in 2014, $2,385.01 in 2015 and $2,084.59 in 2016. 125 lbs of food donations and $25 cash/gift certificates were collected at a 2014 COUNT Bowling Night. Columbus CoR has started holding Charity Fundraiser Happy Hour events with the first at Land Grant Brewing Company raising $150.00 on 1/11/2017 and the second at Seventh Son Brewing Company raising $220.00 on 3/8/2017. A Day of Reason Potluck was held on 5/6/2017 at The Actual Brewing Company that raised another $50.00. Columbus CoR groups have collected a total of 1,510 lbs of food and $11,406.37 for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank from 2012 – 2017.
The Humanist Community of Central Ohio held Bleed-N-Feed events from 2009 – 2016 to encourage blood donation at the Red Cross. These events are expanding in 2017 to include COUNT and other Columbus CoR members. Donation is often followed by a social event at a local pub/restaurant. Former Coordinator Lyz Liddell estimates that 175-200 units were donated as part of this effort from late 2009/early 2010 to Spring 2015. Starting in 2017, events are scheduled for Third Thursdays in January, March, May, July, September and November on HCCO and COUNT meetup accounts.
Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in Columbus provides a place to stay for families with children being treated at Nationwide Childrens Hospital, OSU Wexner Medical Center and other Franklin county hospitals. It is the largest RMH in the world and is funded and operated entirely by the local community. The Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT) collected science books on Darwin Day (2013) and donated them to RMH. Members of Columbus CoR groups volunteer via COUNT to serve as Housewarmers, restocking “hotel” rooms and otherwise assisting guests. Seventeen volunteers worked a total of 925 hours from May, 2013 through May, 2017.