KCAC Makes Its First HuffPo Appearance

Our little organization is growing up! Our story with KCRM turning us away has made it into the Huffington Post:

Even after a Christian soup kitchen told a group of atheists that it wasn’t a “good fit” to volunteer, the generous non-believers tracked down another faith organization to help out.

The Kansas City Atheist Coalition (KCAC) was eager to deliver Thanksgiving meals to the poor and the elderly with the Kansas City Rescue Mission, a holiday program it had contributed to for the past two years. But this season the door was slammed in the group’s face, The Kansas City Star reported.

“We are an unapologetically Christian organization, and we always have been,” Julie Larocco, development officer for the Kansas City Rescue Mission, told the paper. “We want to share the message with the people we serve that ‘God loves you, and you are not alone.’ It seemed to us that this (atheist) group probably would not want to deliver those meals.”

You can read the full article on their site.

FOX 4 KC Covers KCRM Story

The local Fox affiliate has aired their coverage (including a video interview with our president) of KCRM turning us away from their volunteer program:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Rescue Mission (KCRM) usually asks for all the help it can get to run its programs, but this Thanksgiving, the homeless shelter is turning down a certain group of volunteers based on their religious affiliation.

For the past two years, the Kansas City Atheists Coalition (KCAC) has volunteered with the KCRM, an outwardly Christian organization, to deliver meals on Thanksgiving. So Joshua Hyde, the coalition’s president, was surprised to learn their help wasn’t needed this year.

“They sent us an e-mail indicating they would be adding religious literature to the meal they’re delivering and that we would not be, according to them, a good fit for the program,” said Hyde.

You can view the video and the entire article on their site.

Interview With Riverfront Times

Our director of philanthropy, Jozef Hanratty, was interviewed by the River Front times, a St. Louis publication:

A group of Kansas City atheists have been forced to take their goodwill elsewhere after a Christian homeless shelter banned it from volunteering there during Thanksgiving.

Members of the Kansas City Atheist Coalition have spent the past two Thanksgivings distributing boxed meals for the Kansas City Rescue Mission, helping to feed thousands of the city’s most impoverished during the holiday.

But this year the mission has chosen to include a religious flier along with those boxes. The proposed message will read: “God Loves You. You Are Not Alone.”

“We are faith-based, and we’ve never contradicted that,” says Julie Larocco, the mission’s development officer. “It makes sense to us to send people out who are representative of who we are.”

But Jozef Hanratty, director of philanthropy for the KCAC. insists distributing religious fliers wouldn’t have stopped the group’s members from volunteering.

You can read the full interview here.