Over Spring Break this past year, a group called the Atheists, Agnostics, & Freethinkers from the University of Illinois joined forced with the school’s Campus Crusade for Christ group and went down to New Orleans.
While there, they “rebuilt and gutted houses, revived lawns and gardens, painted, and even walked dogs at a local animal shelter.”
(Ok, it was slightly exhausting, too. But a good kind of exhausting!)
Now, they want to help other atheist groups plan service projects like this one.
Ashley Carter, the president of AA&F, put together a wonderful packet for leaders of campus atheist groups who want to send a team of students across the country to do a similar kind of service project.
Her list of advice includes her responses to the following:
- Why was this trip so awesome?
- Can your group do this?
- What groups can you coordinate with?
- How can you make this extremely affordable?
- How do you get your group members interested?
- What other things need to be done leading up to the trip?
- Things to remember while you are on the trip
- After you get back
- Things to watch out for
- working together with theist groups opens a dialog and shows solidarity between groups that can often be quite divided
- when one volunteers as a member of a nontheist group, this works to improve the image of all nontheists, not just the individual or the specific group
Check out the first person account of the trip — with pictures!
Ashley and Peter Ho (also from the U of I group) spoke about the event at the recent SSA conference. You can download the full talk they gave about this experience here (mp3).
In case anyone ever asks what positive things atheists ever do for anyone, let them know about Ashley’s group and their volunteer work.
[tags]atheist, atheism, volunteer[/tags]