Sandy, nones and churches

Photo via ABC News

The aftermath of Frankenstorm Sandy caused religious and non-religious groups to focus on helping the victims, just not together.

Both cultures have come together in their own way to help where they can.

“Our hearts go out to the families of those who lost their lives in the storm,” said Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America. “The nontheist community is rallying together to lend a hand to those affected by the storm.”

In its recent press statement the Secular Coalition of America listed the organizations that have banded together:

  • Foundation Beyond Belief has organized a donation drive for Team Rubicon, a disaster response organization that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with medical professionals to rapidly deploy emergency response teams into crisis situations here in the U.S. They have also organized donations for International Medical Corps to assist with disaster relief efforts in Haiti.  Donations can be made through the organization’sHumanist Crisis Response page.
  • The Freethought Society has partnered with the Texas Freethought Convention to collect and distribute money to help where needed.  United Coalition for Reason and American Atheists have joined this effort. View their video requesting funds here. To donate, please visit the Emergency Relief Fund page on the Freethought Society website. Encourage others to donate by liking and sharing their Facebook page.
  • The New York City Atheists will hold a blood drive on November 6. For more information check their website in the coming days, which will be updated as power is restored to New York City.
  • Members of local chapters of Secular Coalition for America member organizations and endorsing organizationshave been encouraged to check with their group leaders to see how they can help with local relief efforts.

Churches throughout the United States have also sprung to life in the wake of the storm. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief leaders began preparing before the storm and have continued working non-stop.

SBDR assets include 82,000 trained volunteers, including chaplains, and some 1,550 mobile units for feeding, chainsaw, mud-out, command, communication, childcare, shower, laundry, water purification, repair/rebuild and power generation. SBDR is one of the three largest mobilizers of trained disaster relief volunteers in the United States, along with the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army.

Photo via The Washington Post

An article in Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) reported how Methodists in Atlanta, Georgia have started making “flood buckets,” each containing cleaning material, such as soap, scrubbers and more. Also, the Georgia Southern Baptist sent crews to New Jersey on Wednesday to help as long as the need remained.

Should these groups of religious and non-religious beliefs meet during the relief effort there is a strong possibility that they will put aside differences in an effort to work toward a common goal. If politicians can work across partisan lines, then the rest of America can do it too.

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