Atheists just raised $3446 for homeless veterans

We raised over $1200 and a pickup truck full of canned food for homeless veterans at our after party. An additional $2246 was raised here at the blog, no doubt helped by the reddit community. It was unfortunate that Fort Bragg denied us the ability to do this on post (we could have raised so much more). But it is undeniable that at least some real-world change for the better came as a direct result of our festival.

The after-party was a great success. The hotel where we staged the after party sold out (which they said has only happened one other time in recent memory.) I witnessed the night shift there sending people away to other hotels. To be sure, I asked a manager of the large Hotel Bordeaux if she thought the majority of the 300 rooms were booked because of our festival. She said without hesitation that the overwhelming majority were with us.

We’re impressed by the turnout and donations. At it’s peak, the festival had somewhere between 1000 and 1500 who braved the heavy rains. The rain dissipated by 1PM, and many of us got sunburned in our wet clothes. No doubt the thunderstorms scared away a lot of people. The death threats were probably not helpful either.

We’re closing off the ability for online donors to contribute to this particular push so we can count the last of the donations. The Military Atheists & Secular Humanists of Fort Bragg (MASH Fort Bragg) wish to say thanks for everything. I’m going to see if we can get a matching contribution going from the right places behind the scenes. No idea if it will work.

Golden Girls Thank you for being a friend

100% of this money is going to food and toiletries for veterans in need. Not a dime came out of it for ‘overhead’ or any crap like that, we’re all volunteers so no paid staff either. More details will be announced soon, and we will bring you pictures from the drop off.

We’re worried about the recent American Cancer Society debacle, as charities seem to be hesitant to accept ‘the atheist helping hand’. The local Second Harvest food banks were initially telling us they wouldn’t take our food, but they changed their minds (like FastSigns did). But that left a bad taste in our mouth, and there is another charity that specifically supports veterans. We’ll keep you updated.

I saw that there was some healthy skepticism in the reddit comment section a few days back. In the interest of accountability for this grass-roots effort, here’s the list of people who donated online! Every dollar helps, and every person gave what they were able. There is no shame in low numbers! The list of people who donated zero dollars is a lot longer.

$1200 was raised in person at the after-party, in addition to these online donors:

(continued below the fold)

10.00 David
5.00 Christopher
5.00 Michelle
10.00 Sean
50.00 Karen
20.00 Thomas
10.00 Christopher
2.50 Peter
20.00 Gretchen
5.00 Brittany
20.00 Ken
10.00 Christine
15.00 JOHN S
10.00 guy
100.00 Rebecca
5.00 Katherine
20.00 Paul
10.00 Janice
20.00 Tammi
20.00 Tammi
20.00 David
25.00 Mark
10.00 Richard
10.00 Thomas
5.00 Cathy
10.00 Kevin
20.00 Benjamin
5.00 Janna
50.00 Katherine
25.00 John
50.00 Jim
1.00 Seth
10.00 Logan
15.00 David
10.00 Larry
10.00 Brian
15.00 Mel
5.00 Sebastian
3.00 Stacy
10.00 Yvonne
50.00 LEWIS
1.00 Margaret
25.00 Derek
50.00 Anuradha
10.00 DAVID
100.00 Brian
25.00 Charles
20.00 Matthew
10.00 thet
15.00 Paul
100.00 Mya
20.00 Justin
6.00 Laura
1.20 Heart
10.00 Thomas
30.00 Ann
15.00 Jacob
500.00 Jonathan
20.00 Barbara
10.00 Christopher
12.00 Emily
20.00 Walter
10.00 Lucifer
25.00 Jeffrey
20.00 Elizabeth
20.00 Rebecca
100.00 Renee
25.00 Felicity
100.00 Norman
20.00 Elizabeth
100.00 Catherine
30.00 Kathleen
20.00 Ryan
5.00 Jacob
20.00 Anne
25.00 Gary

(Lucifer donated $10… tee hee hee!)

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  • Good job. Wish I could’ve been there but the commute from Kandahar is a bitch.

  • (Lucifer donated $10… tee hee hee!)

  • Robin

    We had a great time despite the rain, and wish I’d brought the sun screen from the car. Didn’t want to miss anything by going back. Wish I’d thought to bring the goodies from the hotel to the after party. FYI, I tried to book the Bordeaux the week before the event. They were sold out by Wednesday. So we booked up the street.

  • Amy

    That’s it? You were expecting thousands and only got hundreds (going to blame it on the rain aren’t you?.

    The complete fit you had at Ft Bragg last year for moving your venue was all for naught. You were so upset that they moved the venue and that there wouldn’t have been enough room for the thousands of people that were coming.But that isn’t what the issue was really about was it?

    How unfortunate for you that so few showed up. Perhaps you should take that as a sign that not as many people care about your forced cause as you think. 😉

  • Congratulations on hosting a successful event! I am sure that if the military administration had allowed you to collect $10,000 to be used in advertising and had announced your event at all chapel services, as they did with Rock the Fort, your numbers would have been far higher. The main point is that you did get over 1,000 people (and probably many more as lots of people would come late or leave early because of the rain) and that they had a great time. Congratulations, incidentally, on snaring Richard Dawkins as keynote speaker and Roy Zimmerman for entertainment! Way to go!

  • Amy, after hearing from military personnel whose homes were vandalized, children threatened and ostracized, and career advancement put in jeopardy by bigoted Christians, I’m not at all surprised that some people were scared off. Go peddle your Schadenfreude elsewhere.

  • Priscilla Parker

    Amy, more than care about your insignificant existence. What have you accomplished in life? Obviously not much. Let me know when you raise over $3,000 in a WEEK to feed those in your community that are less fortunate. In fact, let me know when you do anything at all with your life. Know that my response is a challenge to you to change what is very apparent to be a wasted life with no direction and no purpose.

    BTW, thanks for coming out to the event. I know you enjoyed the FREE food that was given out to all that attended. Our charity doesn’t just extend to the homeless but also to people like you.

  • timberwoof

    Amy, obviously you care about this issue enough to troll on this forum. Apparently the event had a bigger effect than you want to admit.

    If someone planned a new science fiction convention, they’d be absolutely ecstatic to have such a turnout at the first one. It usually takes years of careful and steady work to build an event to really large turnout.

    But don’t worry, Amy. You’ll undoubtedly be happy to know that there are two kinds of atheists now. There are the ones who went to the Reason Rally or to Rock Beyond Belief … and there are the ones who are seeing their therapists because they didn’t. (Shamelessly borrowed from what was joked after the 1993 March on Washington.)

  • Justin Griffith

    Hundreds were at the after party alone… We had way over a thousand people there. No matter how you slice it, we still had more people than the Christian event. Photos and Videos will show this side by side tomorrow. Wash your feet really well tonight.


    Even the single “A Druid Fellowship” registered at Fort Bragg is entitled to the FULL support, if he so chooses to pursue his rights to a festival. Fort Bragg may have to do Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. festivals. Potentially thousands of festivals aimed at converting soldiers and their families to x religious preference.

    Limited Public Forum works that way, despite what you hear from my cyber stalker (who is continuing to defy the no contact order he received from a general).

    Look at the Nativity Scene at Travis Air Force Base. There was a Jewish Menorah too. It wasn’t a tiny Menorah, it was EQUAL in size to the Nativity Scene. So we got an atheist sign there too, after SSgt. Dan Rawlings contacted us for help. It was roughly the same size as all the other displays… not proportionally sized.

    That’s how equality works… equal.

  • Radi

    I am so proud to see my name in the list! Wish I could have given some more… and I SO wish I could have been there, but I live in the Seattle area and was having a blast myself, being and volunteering at the Northwest Freethought Alliance 2010 conference in Renton, WA.

    – Anuradha

  • Shawn O’Dell

    What a great day and event. Really enjoyed every act/speaker and hope that there will be another event scheduled again in the deep south. After party was awesome, LOVED Shelly Segal, Listened to her CD all the way bake to Augusta Ga. Enjoyed meeting so many like minded peps, especially Navy CDR. We’re very proud to have you out there representing us.

  • Amy

    First let me say that I get aggrivated by people who assume or misunderstand what atheism is about. I for one believe in God, but respect others’ beliefs. I am glad that the concert at Ft Bragg happened and even happier that money was raised for vets. Just goes to show that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover or name! Job well done!

  • Steven Hewett

    Justin, I was not able to make it to the after party. I had to leave for California.

    My wife and I would like to donate $500.00 to the fund. Just tell me where and who to sent the check to. I’ll be back on Sunday. – Steven Hewett