Van Buren Dr Shelter
96 volunteers from Central Ohio United Non-Theists (COUNT), the Humanist Community of Central Ohio (HCCO), and the Secular Student Alliance (SSA) at The Ohio State University (OSU), have together worked 1,070 hours at the Van Buren Dr. homeless shelter at 61 events since January 2015. On the second Tuesday of each month volunteers help serve dinner and clean-up from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. Omnipresent Atheists (OA) welcomes volunteers afterwards for socializing at their regular Tuesday meeting currently at Marshall’s (1105 W. 1st Ave). 18 volunteers have worked there at least five times and have been designated as “Handful” volunteers. RSVP with HCCO or COUNT for the September 10th, October 8th, and November 12th events.
COUNT has been volunteering with the Adaptive Sports Connection (ASC) since Fall 2018 and has participated in cycling, kayaking, sailing and winter sports (skiing/snowboarding). Kayaking has largely concluded for the season but cycling will continue into the Fall.
ASC helps veterans, children, and adults who need adaptive equipment or instruction to participate in sports. Last year COUNT piloted involvement with ASC by participating in two veteran bike rides where volunteers help select and fit a bicycle or tricycle to the student and then serve as a “buddy rider” on the 4 mile loop in Glacier Ridge Metro Park. COUNT members have supported 9 cycling events to date with two members contributing 21.5 total hours at them. In September, COUNT/ASC cycling events are scheduled for September 14 [Heritage Park in Westerville] and September 18 [Glacier Ridge Metro Park in Jerome].
From December through mid-March, five COUNT volunteers participated in the winter sports program (skiing and snowboarding) at Snow Trails near Mansfield. ASC provides lift tickets and rental equipment and will even train novice volunteers to ski/snowboard. Five COUNT volunteers worked 128.5 total hours at 12 events at Snow Trails in the 2018/19 season divided between training, lessons with students and clinics. Training events for the 2019/2020 season will begin in late November.
ASC holds water sports events, including kayaking and sailing, at their Adventure Center at O’Shaughnessy Reservoir near Shawnee Hills. Volunteers help participants select and adjust equipment, provide basic instruction and accompany them on the water. One COUNT member volunteered 2 hours at a sailing event in June. From May through August, six COUNT members participated in 15 Kayaking events including various volunteer and training events, contributing 75 total hours.
Ten COUNT members have now contributed a grand total of 227 hours at 37 ASC events to date.
All Columbus CoR member groups are invited to participate on Third Thursday events every other month. Blood donation at the Red Cross is followed by dinner at a local restaurant. COUNT collects and reports results to Foundation Beyond Belief to publicize non-theist charitable efforts and improve the reputations of humanists and atheists. 17 Columbus CoR members spent 126 hours donating 114 units for Bleed-N-Feed events since January 2017.
RSVP with HCCO or COUNT for the September 19th event. Note: If you donate on a different day, please RSVP on Meetup and add a note stating the date and number of units and we will include your donation in our report.
Ronald McDonald House
The Columbus Ronald McDonald House (RMH), the largest in the world, provides housing and meals for families with hospitalized children. Members of Columbus CoR groups volunteer via COUNT to serve as Housewarmers, restocking “hotel” rooms and otherwise assisting guests. Volunteers may instead choose to help at the front desk if they like. COUNT Fall RMH events are on October 6th, November 3rd and December 1st – all first Sunday events. Twenty non-theists have worked 1,438 hours there from May 2013 through August 2019.
Adopt A Highway
HCCO restarted their joint highway cleanup with COUNT earlier this summer. The next cleanup event is October 18 and you can RSVP with HCCO or COUNT. Mid Ohio Atheists (MOA) had a cleanup event this summer as well.
8th FSM Benefit Dinner
Help us help the Mid-Ohio Foodbank! Donations are needed for a fundraising dinner hosted by the Columbus Coalition of Reason (CoR). Since 2013, Columbus CoR groups have collected a total of 1,954 lbs of food and $16,646.45 for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Columbus CoR is a coalition of groups that represent atheists, humanists, and others who believe in serving the community. The dinner will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church (93 W. Westheimer Road) on Thursday, November 6 at 6:00 PM.
Come help us feed hungry people in Central Ohio by attending this event which features a spaghetti dinner, bake sale, silent auction, raffle and entertainment. Adult dinner $10, $5 for youngsters ages 14 and under (cash/check). Carry Out will also be available. We are requesting donations of gift cards, artwork, crafts, and anything of value for the raffle and auction. You can also donate a service such as a guitar lesson or day trip. Please contact Phil R. to arrange raffle/silent auction donations.
Gail Ukockis, current Columbus CoR Coordinator, is again leading this event and the UU Atheists/Skeptics/Humanists (ASH) are again providing the venue. Volunteers are needed in advance of the event, during and following the event. Sign up to volunteer with Columbus CoR, COUNT, HCCO, OA or contact Gail Ukockis.
HCCO Solstice Banquet
HCCO will hold their annual Winter Solstice Banquet on 12/14. More details will eventually be provided on the HCCO Meetup page.
COUNT, HCCO, MOA, OA, SSA at OSU and UU ASH are members of the Columbus Coalition of Reason.
[9-9-2019: updated to mention Adopt A Highway and ASC Cycling Event change to Heritage Park.]