Dawkins Foundation care packages go to atheists in foxholes
Deployed soldier with some inserts (not Sgt Averill)
Over the past several months, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science has partnered with the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers (MAAF) to send over 150 care packages to military personnel around the world. These packages have gone from Japan to Afghanistan and Iraq. The Richard Dawkins Foundation, through its existing store has provided increased efficiencies to allow more packages to be sent out with the same level of funding.
Marine Sergeant Dakota Averill in Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, recently expressed his appreciation for the program:
I wish that I could explain to you the absolutely delightful feeling that a Marine gets throughout his/her whole body to see a package waiting for them when they get to work. after I started digging through the contents of my package I quickly realized that this was not a regular care package. To my surprise the first thing I picked up was that glorious italicized “A”, and instantly I knew this was going to be a good one. I wanted to personally thank both organizations and anyone that personally had a hand in sending out mine, and any other’s care packages. It truly brings a bright spot in what is normally a dull and ugly place to be.
Members of MAAF have the opportunity to sign up to receive these care packages. Care packages are one of several soldier support activities, including enlistment processing stations and thank you letters. The Dawkins Foundation includes food items, supplies like gloves and ziploc bags, and pins and stickers provided by the Dawkins Foundation. Occasionally books and other items are added.
While this program is not on the order of the thousands or tens of thousands of packages other more generalized troops support or local group activities, this does provide a monthly care package to all members who have asked to receive support. This program also shows cooperation between nontheist organizations and charitable activities by the nontheist community. Just as certain religious organizations do good work sending Bibles, devotionals, Jewish prayer books, or prayer beads to those who request support according to their beliefs, MAAF provides that specific support for atheists and humanists. This is especially important as chaplains continue to resist stocking materials for atheists and humanists. To help continue our work, please earmark your donations to MAAF care packages, with donations to the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers or the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science.