Nonbelief Relief aids Orlando victims, Bangladeshi bloggers, Sudan famine

Nonbelief Relief is making major donations to help with the Orlando tragedy and to assist Bangladeshi nonbelievers.

Its latest round of grants include $10,000 earmarked for Orlando and $35,000 in aid of Bangladeshi freethinkers.

Nonbelief Relief is a new humanitarian agency created by the Freedom From Religion Foundation to enable charitable donations by nonbelievers. It seeks to remediate conditions of human suffering and injustice and also aims to provide assistance for individuals targeted for nonbelief, secular activism or blasphemy. 

"We nonbelievers are just as charitable as religionists, but have simply lacked the infrastructure to pool money to charity," says Annie Laurie Gaylor, Nonbelief Relief administrator and Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president. "These donations are done in the name of atheists, agnostics and other freethinkers."

Nonbelief Relief's Orlando donation is to the Human Compassion Fund. The Fund, via the National Center for Victims of Crime, funnels all money directly to the family victims of mass casualty crimes. The goal is to raise $7 million for the victims and the families of the Orlando nightclub massacre. All donations earmarked for the Orlando fund go directly to affected individuals and families.

In Bangladesh, travel and relocation stipends were wired recently to seven endangered bloggers who are on hit list as secular activists. "The Islamic extremists are ready to kill us all," writes one of the recipients.

The Bangladesh aid was prompted by the fact that at least 13 nonbelievers have been executed by Islamist terrorists in Bangladesh, including six freethinkers murdered through April of this year. (Rafida Bonya Ahmed, widow of Avijit Roy, who was killed in an attack last year that Ahmed barely survived, will be speaking at the FFRF convention in Pittsburgh in October.

"Dhaka now feels more dangerous than a war zone to me," one of the Bangladeshi nonbelievers has written to Nonbelief Relief.

In other aid, Nonbelief Relief is giving:

• $10,000 to the World Food Program USA, under the United Nations, to aid famine victims in South Sudan, a hunger hotspot. Conflict in South Sudan has displaced more than 1.8 million people in the last two years. Nearly 2.6 million people are experiencing emergency levels of food insecurity. Last year, Nonbelief Relief gave $20,000 to the World Food Program for food relief in Syria.

• $10,000 to directly sponsor one volunteer for the coming year for the Humanist Service Corps, administered by Foundation Beyond Belief. In 2015, that foundation launched the first international volunteer service program guided by humanist values. Volunteers support Songtaba, a women's rights organization working to end gender-based violence and discrimination in the northern region of Ghana. The grant is a basic living stipend for the full-time volunteer.

To donate to campaigns like these, please earmark your donation to FFRF for "Nonbelief Relief." FFRF's online donation form has a designation for Nonbelief Relief, ensuring your donation is deductible for income-tax purposes. 

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"Donations to replenish Nonbelief Relief would be very much appreciated so we can continue to serve people in the name of freethought in a world full of great need," adds Gaylor.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

FFRF has received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator

FFRF is a member of the Secular Coalition for America

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