You all remember the debacle when Todd Stiefel (along with the Foundation Beyond Belief) wanted to help raise up to $500,000 for the American Cancer Society?
In short, the ACS said they wanted nothing to do with atheist-tainted money.
Alright, fine. If the ACS doesn’t want the money, there’s no shortage of important causes and good organizations who would love to have our support. And if the ACS suffers as a result, I hope other, more welcoming cancer-fighting organizations step into the void.
Incidentally, I just got an email the other day that said this:
I’ve been a cancer survivor and supporter of the ACS for over ten years now. I’ve been an atheist for even longer and chose not to donate to the ACS rep that called this morning as a result of their attitude toward the FBB.
Anyway… enough about the ACS.
After exploring a lot of options and having many conversations, we think we’ve found one that’s worthy of your attention and deserving of our support.
The Foundation Beyond Belief is proud to announce that we would like to raise $1,000,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!
Our goal is to unite the Freethought Movement around the world to raise one million U.S. Dollars in 2012. This would make the FBB team the first team in LLS history to bring in more than $1,000,000 in their first year! In addition, we hope to have at least 100 local FBB teams in our first year.
How will we do it?
Every year, the LLS sponsors an event called Light the Night — an evening 2-3 mile walk taking place in the fall. Hundreds of these events take place nationwide and the Foundation Beyond Belief hopes to bring together many local teams. Your local team will be able to join up as an “FBB team” and our fundraising will all be pooled together. Unlike the ACS, the LLS includes us as a “Special Friend,” allowing teams to register under our label.
Each person who registers as a fundraiser with the FBB team receives their own online fundraising page whether they walk in a local LTN event or live on the other side of the world and want to help as a “virtual walker.”
Donations will provide lifesaving blood cancer research, free educational materials and events for patients and families, local programs, such as Family Support Groups and the Patti Robinson Kaufmann First Connection program, a peer-to-peer counseling program, and comprehensive, personalized assistance through the LLS Information Resource Center.
Philanthropist Todd Stiefel and his family have promised to match all fundraising up to $500,000! So if we can get halfway there, the Stiefels will take us the rest of the way home. This is an achievable goal and it would be the epitome of humanism in action. No god required. It’s people helping other people via science. Beautiful.
In case you need more of an incentive, the FBB will be walking in honor of Christopher Hitchens:
We have chosen Christopher Hitchens as our Honored Hero for 2012. Hitch died from complications due to esophogeal cancer this past year and devoted so much to our movement during his life; now we can give something back in his memory. Although he did not have a blood cancer, drugs developed for blood cancers are often used to treat other cancers as well. As a result, the research that is funded by LLS could very well help treat esophogeal and other cancers.
How can you help?
Live outside the U.S. and Canada? No problem. Join the virtual team!
Just donate. You won’t even have to get out of your seat!
There’s even more incentive for joining up with a local team (hello, Chicagoans…): The top local teams will have the opportunity to direct up to $5,000 worth of grants! — half will go to a local 501(c)(3) freethought group and half will go to a FBB ally group (listed at the bottom of this page). Student groups are also in the running for $1000 grant of their own!
If you still have questions about all this, there’s an FAQ here.
I hope you’ll consider putting this event into your schedule and raising money for this good cause. Think of how wonderful it would be if atheists could raise $1,000,000 for cancer research — the fact that we’d be doing it as a large community makes this even sweeter.
This is going to be huge and we want you to be a part of it.