Atheists help poor families in Mississippi beat the heat.

Last year the Northeast Mississippi Secular Humanist Association raised money to purchase air conditioning units for less well-off families in Mississippi.  I’ve spoken in Mississippi and can vouch: in the summer it’s like a swamp on steroids there.

Hemant reported on it:

The money they raised (over $800) allowed them to buy seven air conditioner units:

The leftover funds allowed them to buy “file folders, notebooks, pencils, and hand sanitizer for 40 kids” and a few first aid kits, too :)

Hell yes!  And this year they’re at it again:

It’s time for our second annual “Beat the Heat” campaign in which we pool our resources to buy air conditioners for needy families in the Northeast Mississippi area.

This year we will add a very special out-of-state family to our wish list. This family needs a portable unit to meet the needs of their young son. Portable units are more expensive than the small window units we provided last year but the unit we’d like to donate will serve as additional cooling and heating for them throughout the year. In addition, the portable unit will be able to go where their young son is instead of confining the family to a single room.

Good on them.  No heaven as a reward, just the peace of mind that comes with helping others.  You don’t need gods or scripture to realize the value of that.

The fundraiser is running til the end of the month, and this is where we currently stand:

Good news and bad news, folks! We’ve successfully raised enough money to buy the special air conditioner/heater combo unit. It arrived on July 12th and the family is enjoying it. I’m hoping to get a picture soon to share with you all.

The bad news is that we are still about $600 short of our goal to buy 5 or 6 regular A/C window units for families here in Mississippi. July is almost over and August is looking to be incredibly hot. Many of our poor and disabled people cannot afford to replace broken air conditioners. Others are living with only box fans and open doors for circulation.

So, if you want to contribute.  Head over here and hit the donate button in the upper right hand corner (it’ll say “beat the heat”).  You could also go give them a pat on the back in the form of a comment.  Support for doing good work is always a good idea.  :)

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Jeff

    Hooray for helping out! Do you know if there’s any program to help pay for the electricity these things use? Two months of running AC could easily cost the same amount at the machine itself…

    • DeepFriedFT


      a few things I wanted to note here:

      1.) These are small A/C units to “cool off” a room or two (450-550 sq-ft). The energy efficiency of the units rates them at about $1.45 avg per day if ran 24 hrs a day. (550 watts x 24hrs. ÷ 1,000* x $0.11)

      They are however not ran 24 hours a day but more of an average of 14 hours a day and that equates to $0.84 a day.

      2.) These individuals are ones that do not have any A/C units at all. In some cases, the units we are getting them are replacing the few box fans they have running 24/7. Blowing warm are can only cool you to a point before it starts to dehydrate you.

      3.) We have a private donor that donates funds to purchase CFL bulbs. Those individuals that receive the A/C units can also get all their bulbs replaced if they so desire. This saves them even more money and further reduces the heat inside the homes.

      *(Dividing by 1,000 changes watt-hours to kilowatt-hours.)