Kansas City Atheists: Making 2014 a Happy Holiday Season

We just wanted to thank everyone who donated gifts and money to help buy gifts for one very lucky family that we adopted through Midwest Foster Care and Adoption Association! With your help, we raised just about $500 worth of gifts for one very lucky family in need, so thank you to everyone who donated and to everyone who would have donated if they could – your generosity and good will have made and continue to make the world a brighter place.

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New Director: Denise Decker

We’re happy to announce the on-boarding of our newest member of the board of directors, Denise Decker!

Denise has a long history of involvement in the local Kansas City atheists and philanthropic community, dedicating many hours to helping those in need. We’re excited to welcome her on board and grateful for the addition of her extensive experience in organizing philanthropic opportunities through the Kansas City Atheist Coalition.

You can read a bit more about her biography here.

Volunteers Needed for ‘Own Your Own Health Now 2014’

Have you heard of Own Your Own Health Now 2014

OWN YOUR HEALTH NOW 2014 will provide: free and low-cost health screenings, interactive health education, oral health screenings, Affordable Care Act enrollment outreach, connections to local safety-net clinics and much more….

However, they’re in need of volunteers – specifically, volunteers with medical experience and are licensed/certified to draw blood in the state of Kansas. If you’re bilingual in English and Spanish, that’s a big plus!

If you qualify for the above, you can volunteer through their site here:

http://ownyourhealthnow.org/volunteer/

If you feel that you may have other skills that apply to this fair, you can volunteer through the same form.

2013 Adopted Family Gift List Available

We’re here to bring you the list of the needs and wants of our adopted family for this holiday season. Last year, we tried using an Amazon gift list to try and track items that were bought, but we found that that caused a lot of confusion (for example: did the family want the specific shirt we listed on our gift list, or did they want just “a shirt” that matches that size?)

This year, then, we’re going to try something a little less automated, but hopefully easier to use: a spreadsheet. You can view it here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AlTtXz8Jq1vTdFdPN0RseUt5WG1idUF6R2xmVWRGUFE&usp=sharing#gid=0

Pick an item that you feel you’d like to purchase (that also hasn’t been claimed to the maximum number desired), and then simply e-mail us at contact@kcatheists.org to tell us who you’re buying for, what you’re buying, and how many. If you don’t want your name to appear on the spreadsheet we’re managing here, simply let us know and we’ll list you as “anonymous”.

We’ll be focusing our collection efforts at our Thanksgiving dinner this year, but if you can’t make that, please contact us (again, at contact@kcatheists.org) and we can work to arrange a pick-up or drop-off of the gift you’ve chosen to donate.

Thank you, and happy holidays!

Clothing Donations Just in Time for Winter

Waaaaaay back in September, we got some people together at the Green Room in Westport to collect clothing donations for a local school. Well, finally, we got around to donating them. Attached to this post are a few photos of these donations being dropped off. Paul Donovan, the teacher with whom we worked to set up the donation, was very grateful for the generous donations of those who were able to give, so from the students of his school and the Kansas City Atheist Coalition: thank you, everyone, for your donations. They’ll be greatly appreciated by the students who receive them.

Mary Ibrahim: Freethinker Syrian Refugee in Need of Your Help

The Kansas City Atheist Coalition has been asked to help promote the fundraiser to help Mary Ibrahim, a refugee from the violence in Syria, to raise enough funds to attend classes here in Missouri at UCM. Her story:

Mary Ibrahim is a 21-year-old Syrian from Homs, which was Syria’s third largest city and considered by many the capital of the peaceful protest movement, before it was devastated and largely depopulated by the ongoing civil war. Mary studied hospitality management at Al Baath University in Homs until October, when it became too dangerous to attend classes and she fled to Turkey. She has had an uncle and several close friends killed in the war and her family, which was upper middle class before the war has lost almost everything. Her father, an architect before the war, now repairs cars so that her family can continue to eat.

Mary only has enough money to stay in Turkey for about two months. After that, she will be forced to return to her home town of Homs and the constant shelling, shooting and kidnappings engulfing it. As an atheist and someone who comes from a Christian family, Mary has to worry on the one hand, about the regime’s brutal security apparatus and its indiscriminate shelling and checkpoints manned by trigger-happy security forces. On the other hand, she also faces a very real threat from Al-Qaeda-linked jihadis who make up part of the opposition in Homs and have a nasty habit of attacking, kidnapping and assassinating both secularists and Christians.

Mary desperately wants to study in the United States. Toward that end, she applied for and was awarded a scholarship at the University of Central Missouri to finish her studies. The scholarship though, only covers half of tuition, which means Mary still needs to come up with $17,000 (the remaining cost of tuition and housing for her final year of studies) in order to get a student visa to the United States.

This is where you come in. Your donations to Mary’s Go Fund Me page will allow her to escape the war entirely and finish her degree in the safety of the United States. None of us can fix the catastrophe that is consuming Syria, but we can make an enormous positive difference in the life of one Syrian. We invite you to join us in responding the massive injustice and cruelty engulfing Syria with a small bit of justice and generosity.

As mentioned in the post above, you can donate to her via her Go Fund Me page here:

http://www.gofundme.com/456veo

If you have  a few dollars (or more) to spare, she would greatly appreciate it!

KCAC Raises Funds for Local Charities

Between our volleyball game organized with Abundant Life Baptist Church and generous donations of our community members, we have been able to donate over $400 to Drumm Farm and Mattie Rhodes Center each:

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We thank everyone who has generously donated to these great causes. People such as yourself help sustain and improve the greater community in Kansas City!

KCAC Joins Zombie Walk for Hunger

June 7, 2013, the Kansas City Atheist Coalition joined the 10th semi-annual Kansas City Zombie Walk for Hunger. Everyone brought five nonperishable food or hygiene items in our most gruesome zombie attire and handed out special “Atheists Have BRAINS” buttons for everyone to wear.

The Kansas City Zombie Walk is a grassroots charity event dedicated to gathering resources for people living in the Kansas City area who are experiencing hunger or homelessness. Now in its fifth year, the Kansas City Zombie Walk has gathered over 5,000 pounds of food for hungry people.

Check out the full album on our Facebook page!

Helping Operation Breakthrough

May 17, 2012 KCAC helped Operation Breakthrough get ready for a classroom remodel. Operation Breakthrough is a Kansas City-based, nationally accredited nonprofit corporation that began in 1971 as a response to requests from parents in the central city for quality child care for children of the working poor. KCAC helped Operation Breakthrough move desks, chairs, rugs, cabinets and educational supplies out of several classrooms in preparation for a much-needed remodel.

 

Kids and KCAC at Play: Spofford Home

May 4, 2013 the Kansas City Atheist Coalition played kickball with the children of Spofford Home. Everyone enjoyed playing, socializing and making new friends.

Since 1916, Spofford has been a leading provider of prevention and therapeutic treatment services for children ages 4 to 12 suffering the effects of physical and sexual abuse, neglect and mental health disorders.