A growing trend in the Secular/Atheist/Skeptic movement:
About 4 years ago I began hosting an annual Halloween costume party at my home here in WI. I usually have a cute theme, this year it is Gods and Goddesses. I have have to drag my husband kicking and screaming the whole time to help me pull it off, but I couldn’t do it without him. I always do a Hunger Task Force Food Drive as a price for entry to the party where they get free food, booze, and some sort of fabulous entertainment or special celebrity guest. I have hosted this party with Southeast WI Freethinkers (SWiFT) a local non-profit freethinker organization, and this year SWiSS (Southeast Wisconsin Secular She-Thinkers) is having their Coming Out Gala at this year’s event. Shelley Segal will be playing for our guests this year as well. So much fun….and for a good cause too.
Last month I attended Pastahcon ( #Pastah2015) put on by Brian Fields and his team at Pennsylvania Atheists and Humanists and 11 sponsors that included SWiSS, Camp Quest, Be Secular and others. They put on a wonderful event with more than 20 fantastic speakers and entertainers including Aron Ra, Matt Dillahunty, Marybeth Mooney, Seth Andrews, David Fitzgerald, Mandisa Thomas, and my girl crush Shelley Segal. I went to 2 VIP parties…and after-parties aplenty. Listened to great comedy, music, lectures, and podcasts. But despite all that super fun stuff that I was a part of…it was the very last thing that I was the most excited about before the conference started. And I was rightly so…as it exceeded all my expectations.
The very last 2 hours before we left for the 12 hour drive back to WI, my husband and I were privileged to be on a team of 80 volunteers, including speakers and entertainers from the event mixed with vendors and attendees, from the Annual PA State Atheist/Humanist Conference. We assembled and packed 30,300 meals for Atheists Fight Hunger in tandem with Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. PA Non-Believers , raised $7,575 (.25 per meal) in just 1 year. Almost 25% of those donations came from the volunteers attending the event! And after having experienced it, it has left such an impression on me. I hope this trend continues.
It provided a unique bonding experience for all those involved. Working side by side with your role models, peers, fans, and old friends… I made new friends that I am sure will be part of my life for years to come. I was standing side by side with Richard Carrier and Amanda Mestkas…. can you imagine?!!! Even my husband enjoyed himself!!!
I would love to see every event that is hosted by a secular/atheist/freethinker/skeptic or whatever group have a humanitarian component. Events that raise awareness entertain, and give back are the way of the future. Mark my words.