I am very gratified that my idea of “action” as a Humanist response to a National Day of Prayer has been picked up by others who will #choosetoACT this April 24-30, 2014, the Week of Action supported by Foundation Beyond Belief. As I was recently quoted in the Chicago Tribune:
“If prayer is expressing a hope that things go better, the way that humanists do that is they get out there and they act,” Chalom said. “Just sending words up into the ether expresses our opinion but doesn’t have a real impact in the world. If we want to have real impact in the world, we should do something.”
My community, Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation, has also jumped into this initiative – see this article in the Chicago Tribune‘s “Trib Local.” Like everyone who is part of the Week of Action, we plan to share our positive actions by Tweeting or Facebook posting with the hashtag #choosetoACT so that we can show how much we are doing together.
Here are some examples of what we are encouraging people to do:
- Blood Drive: The Chicago Coalition of Reason, an umbrella group for Chicago-area secular, freethought and non-theistic organizations of which Kol Hadash is a founding member, is sponsoring a Chicagoland blood drive from April 24-30 – visit www.lifesource.org or call 877-543-3768 – tell them you are donating with the Chicago Coalition of Reason, group code 776A. You can donate at any donor center or mobile blood drive, convenient to work or home!
- Volunteer at Bernie’s Book Bank: Saturday, April 26 4-6 pm., Lake Forest. From their website:
Bernie’s Book Bank facilitates the collection, processing and redistribution of new and gently used children’s books to significantly increase BOOK OWNERSHIP among at-risk infants, toddlers and school-age children throughout Chicagoland.
In addition to sorting books there, volunteers can bring books with them to donate. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to participate.
- Volunteer with TOV – Chai Lifeline: Sunday, April 27, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm, Deerfield High School. Following our regular Sunday School, we will be making fleece blankets for seriously ill children.
- Recycle O Rama: April 26 10am -2 pm: Vernon Township office, 3050 N. Main St. in Buffalo Grove. SWALCO is accepting for recycling: Electronics, florescent bulbs, batteries, ink cartridges, propane tanks, latex paint, gym shoes, prom dresses, beads and buttons, CDs, DVDs, gently used books, hearing aids and eye glasses and more. Contact Commissioner Schroeder at email@example.com.
- EmpowerRun 5K, May 3 in Libertyville: Sign up and join fellow Kol Hadash runners while supporting A Safe Place, the only shelter for women and children serving Lake County.
- Start Backyard Compost: Purchase a rain barrel and compost bin on Saturday, May 10, from 9 am–3 pm at Independence Grove’s Parking Lot K near the Native Plant Sale at North Bay Pavilion (Libertyville). Sponsored by SWALCO and the Stormwater Management Commission.
- Beth Emet Soup Kitchen, June 25: Sign up and join fellow Kol Hadash volunteers cook and serve dinners to approximately 110 guests. Ages 12 and older. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Feed the Hungry: Donate food or organize a food drive for your local food pantry
- Click to Give to the charity of your choice in various areas of need.
- Support our troops. Send package or letter to soldiers serving abroad. http://www.anysoldier.com/index.cfm#LetsGetStarted
- Help a family member: Help a sibling with his or her homework; take out the garbage without being asked; call a grandparent just to say “hi” –you get the picture.
- Register to vote: links for Lake County or suburban Cook County.
- Join Kol Hadash Helping Hands Committee and help a member in need. Contact email@example.com.
The more we do together, the more good work gets done!