Want to donate money to secular and atheist causes but don’t know where to start? Have volunteer hours to give but want to make sure that the organizations aren’t attached to any dogma? Want to get involved in activism that is relevant to your city, province or country?
Here’s a quick guide to some charities and volunteer opportunities that the Society of Edmonton Atheists support.
Secular Refugee Sponsorship
Ibrahim was an atheist blogger and activist in Bangladesh who has received repeated death threats because wrote about atheism, LGBTQ freedoms & Islamization. He not only expressed his beliefs, but stands up courageously to uphold the principle of basic human rights. The penalty for doing so is death, often carried out by vigilante groups; the violence generally condoned by local governments.
Talking and writing about a humanist way of living is not tolerated in many parts of the world. Many of Ibrahim’s friends have been murdered by AL-Queda in Bangladesh, others have fled to escape brutal murder; he is one of those who sought safety for his family.
Now you can help bring families like Ibrahim’s to Canada.
The Society of Edmonton Atheists is too small a group to apply to the government for sponsoring a refugee family so we are supporting the efforts of the West Hill United Church (atheist minister Gretta Vosper is involved) in order to bring families like this one to Canada. West Hill United Church in Toronto already has a sponsorship agreement with the government, and they have already successfully resettled various refugees. The Society of Edmonton Atheists are pleased to raise awareness in Western Canada of this cause to other atheist, skeptic and secular humanist groups, as well as to progressive Christian churches in order to help fund resettlements of this kind.
You can help by offering financial assistance; Donations can be forwarded through CANADAHELPS.ORG
Please direct funds to the West Hill Refugee Resettlement fund and CanadaHelps will provide you a charitable tax receipt.
This program offers security to families who have not known safety in far too long!
The Critical Thinking Project
To find out more about the project, to donate, or to help out with fundraising ideas please visit www.criticalthinkingproject.com
In 2008 during a four month backpacking trip through India, founder Hemley Gonzalez experienced firsthand the abuse and horrible conditions which men and women were subjected to under a worldwide famous Kolkata charity that collects millions of dollars from its donors but largely mismanages such donations. Disgusted and disappointed by this experience, he began working in the slums where he felt that his efforts were directly, positively and effectively changing the lives of those disadvantaged families he came into contact with.
After returning home, he began a campaign to raise awareness about the issues he first experienced and the challenges the children in slum communities face daily and thus Responsible Charity was born. Through a grassroots network of friends, family and supporters from around the world they gather, track and report all donations for work online, showing exactly the progress and help such funds allow us to administer to people in need.
Unlike some religious-based organizations which have no progressive plans in effect to educate and empower children, women and men out of poverty, Responsible Charity makes advances in areas of education, planned parenthood and self employment.
To find out more about donating and how your donations help please visit www.responsiblecharity.org
Highway Cleanup – Caring for Alberta’s Highways Program
The Society of Edmonton Atheists sponsor a section of highway near the Nisku turn off on the QEII. We commit to cleaning this stretch a minimum of once per year. We have found it works best to do it in the spring and fall, over a few weekends.
This usually falls in May and then again at the end of September/beginning of October.
Keep your eye on our events to watch for the next highway cleanup event. Alternatively you can express your interest with an email to the SEA board, to the attention of Rob Chamberlain, who is our board member in charge of running these events. He’ll be sure to contact you when the time comes for our next highway clean up event.
Edmonton Food Bank
The mission of Edmonton’s Food Bank is to be stewards in the collection of surplus and donated food for the effective distribution, free of charge, to people in need in our community while seeking solutions to the causes of hunger.
Whether it is sorting some donated food, packing hampers, repacking food or baby products, driving a truck, swamping with drivers, wrapping pallets, building bulk orders or sweeping the floor, volunteers are the heart beat of the warehouse. Opportunities are available for individuals over 14 years and groups of up to 20
You can find out more about volunteering for the Edmonton Food Bank at www.edmontonsfoodbank.com/donate/volunteer-opportunities/ , or you can join us at our volunteer events which run every three months.
Habitat for Humanity is a Christian founded organization but does not discriminate based on religion, gender or race. For that reason we support the efforts of their builds and have in the past done group volunteer days. You can volunteer any time you want individually.
With the help of thousands of volunteers from every skill level and background, they have provided over 500 families with a hand-up into home ownership! Volunteering with Habitat is an incredible experience: serving, learning, building, making friends, hearing stories – and much more.
You can get more information about volunteering on your own, at www.hfh.org/volunteer. Or speak to one of our board members if you’d like to arrange a group volunteer day with other SEA members.
Alberta Pro-choice Coalition
The Calgary Pro-Choice Coalition was formed in 1994.to protect and support sexual health and reproductive rights. Over the years, the organization represented thousands of women and men as individuals and within member organizations who share our goals. They counter anti-choice misinformation campaigns by directing people to reputable, well-informed organizations that respect a woman’s rights.
In October 2016 they launched the Alberta Pro-Choice Coalition.
APUPIL, Alberta Parents for Unbiased Public Inclusive Learning
A community & a resource for Albertan parents of all faiths & non-faiths that wish for the children of our communities to be educated equally & inclusively, without religious preference, segregation or exclusion.
A group that recognizes the right of all humans to choose their faith and to practise it within the law, but that our childrens place of public education must be free of all religious bias so that all our children may be equally afforded the rights accorded to them through the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms.
You can find their facebook page at Alberta Parents for Unbiased Public Inclusive Learning or can contact firstname.lastname@example.org, for the attention of SEA member Luke Fevin.
Dying with Dignity Edmonton Chapter
Medical Assistance in Dying is legal in Canada, but there is still plenty of activism and work to do with regards to access and legislation. If you are interested in getting involved you can join the local Edmonton Chapter meetings, which run every two months. The national website and facebook page give more info on recent news regarding this issue.
Edmonton Pride Centre
The Pride Centre of Edmonton enriches and improves the lives of LGBTQ2S+ people, their allies, and the broader community in the Greater Edmonton area with a variety of programs and services. We maintain a safe space that welcomes everyone who walks through our doors.
For more information check out their website