Humanist Groups Come Together to Support Troops
Humanist Helpers in DC led by Sarah Hippolitus
Troops overseas are receiving lots of care packages and support. Included in that are foxhole atheists receiving dedicated packages this holiday season. Whether celebrating HumanLight, Winter Solstice, Festivus, a good old Secular Christmas or Hannukah or no holiday at all, it’s always nice to hear from home. The Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers have been supporting deployed members with hundreds of packages each year. Recently, Humanist Helpers in the Washington, DC area and Red Bank Humanists in New Jersey have joined in.
Red Bank Humanists
Humanist Helpers is a Washington, DC area humanist charity groups doing activities like filling safe sex kits for inner-city youth. They have started a regular meetup to fill care packages for deployed MAAF members. Red Bank Humanists led by Trudy Lagan also recently held a meetup to fill packages. They set the date, contacted MAAF for a list of names, and sent off the packages. The American Humanist Association also sent free copies of The Humanist magazine to include in the boxes. The Richard Dawkins Foundation has also provided past support. Even with all the materials ready, it is no small task to portion out items, place them in boxes, add packing material, address the boxes, and fill out the customs forms. These volunteers are really doing their part to show their support for troops.
This program is continuing over several years. Overseas deployments are winding down after more than a decade of war, but military personnel are still in Afghanistan and Iraq. MAAF also has members away from home in many established military installations in Turkey, Korea, Japan, the UK, and Germany. We also have members in Kyrgyzstan, Djibouti, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and other far-flung locations. Not all want care packages, but those who do really appreciate the support from home. MAAF is ensuring that atheists and humanists are connected to those many civilian groups who are eager to help out during difficult times overseas.
Whatever the holiday, hopefully this is a season for family, charity, and good cheer. Let’s find a good excuse to connect with others and remember those who aren’t able to be home with their families.