Nov 15, 2012
Faitheist puts forth the idea that atheists and the religious should work together on areas of agreement in order to improve the conditions of life for others. But while words are important, I believe very strongly in acting on the values we espouse. This is why I coordinate a program called Values in Action, which offers interfaith community service opportunities that bring together the religious and the nonreligious for cooperative projects—to come to understand one another better in the process, and to have a bigger impact by combining resources. We've done a wide range of events, including several meal-packing projects last year, and have been overjoyed at the relationships they've helped to create and the good work they've done. The dedication and enthusiasm of the many volunteers who have worked on these projects inspires us all to continue working for pluralism and compassion.
WHAT WE'RE DOING
This month, we've been working with community members from the Humanist Community at Harvard, the Boston Interfaith Campus Coalition, the Harvard Interfaith Council, the Harvard Chaplains, the Foundation Beyond Belief, and many others to organize another meal-packing event. The Status Report on Hunger in Massachusetts notes that in 2010, 10.8 percent of households were food insecure. This is the highest rate recorded in the Commonwealth since this data was first collected in 1995, according to the Project Bread website. With such great need in our own backyard and Thanksgiving just around the corner, we've decided to set our goal higher than ever before and package 40,000 meals for food insecure children in Massachussetts this Sunday, November 18.
We still have some significant ground to cover in order to meet our fundraising goal of $10,000 (all of the money we raise goes solely to cover the costs of the meals at 25 cents each). So I will be raffling three signed copies of Faitheist to give to anyone who donates to our event online before Sunday. If you'd like to enroll in this raffle, please donate to the Humanist Chaplaincy via PayPal online. (If that link doesn't work, simply visit harvardhumanist.org, click "Donate" in the upper right corner, and write "VIA event" in the "special instructions" box.) Please note that this drive is separate from the Humanist Community at Harvard's annual year-end fund drive, and all of the money goes to Kids Care for the cost of food. After the event, we will select three people at random to recieve signed copies of Faitheist, and will contact them via email to follow up. Please also note that at this time we can only send copies to people living in the United States of America.
In addition to donating to support the costs of the meals, please join us in packing them this Sunday (November 18) anytime from 12-6 PM at 59 Shepard Street Cambridge, MA 02138. This will be a great all-ages event (bring kids!) and a wonderful way to put your values into action and demonstrate to others that every day countless Americans—religious and nonreligious alike—are doing good for others.
I hope that you'll consider giving to this project—just a $10 donation would feed 40 children, $50 would feed 200, and $200 would feed 800 children in Massachusetts. Either way, thank you for your time and consideration, and for all that you do to build the bridges of understanding that enable us to work together for a better world.