Lauryn Seering

Lauryn Seering

Nonbelief Relief, a humanitarian agency for atheists, agnostics, freethinkers and their supporters to improve this world — "our only world" — has announced its first donations for 2017.

Its donations to begin off this year are:

• $5,000 to the International African American Museum being built at the site of the Charleston, S.C., wharf where more than 100,000 enslaved Africans were brought through at the main port of entry in North America. The museum, expected to be completed by 2019, will illuminate their lives, history and descendants. "We salute the city, museum board and other donors and visionaries who will make possible this landmark museum of African-American history," says Nonbelief Relief.

• $10,000 to Open Doors for Refugees (via Center for Community Stewardship), which has a $100,000 fundraising goal for 2017 to aid displaced Syrians and other refugees in Madison, Wis. "We hope our gift will send a message of resistance to the ban proclaimed indefinitely by President Trump against Syrian refugees, and the temporary ban against refugees from seven 'Muslim-dominated' nations," announces the secular charity.

• $10,000 to the World Food Program (USA), affiliated with the United Nations, "where needed most to ameliorate starvation, hunger and malnutrition." Many of the starvation "hot spots," such as Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and Yemen have religion-based terrorism, warfare or disruption contributing to starvation, notes Nonbelief Relief. Last year, the charity gave the agency $20,000 for Syrian relief and $10,000 for relief in Sudan.

• $25,000 to the Women's Medical Fund, co-founded by the late Anne Nicol Gaylor, who was the Freedom From Religion Foundation's principal founder. The Women's Medical Fund is an all-volunteer nonprofit based in Wisconsin and is believed to be the longest continuously operating abortion rights charity in the nation. Last year, it helped 782 women or girls without means in the Wisconsin area pay for abortion care. The average help was $330. Wisconsin is one of more than 30 states where women eligible for medical assistance are denied abortion care due to religious objections. The Women's Medical Fund has helped more than 22,000 women since the late 1970s.

Nonbelief Relief was incorporated in 2015, with the Freedom From Religion Foundation as its sole member. A board was created to carry out the donations. For more details, click here.

Nonbelief Relief seeks "to remediate conditions of human suffering and injustice on a global scale, whether the result of natural disasters, human actions or adherence to religious dogma. Such relief is not limited to but includes assistance for individuals targeted for nonbelief, secular activism or blasphemy." 

(Nonbelief Relief will be challenging the disparate Internal Revenue Service rules that exempt churches and church-related charities from public accountability, since they do not file the Form 990 tax return all other (c)(3) organizations, such as FFRF, must file.)

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