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Atheists Give $10,000 to Oklahoma Tornado Victim Rebecca Vitsmun After CNN Appearance

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brian Magee, bmagee@americanhumanist.org , 202-238-9088 x 102

(Washington, DC, May 24, 2013)--The American Humanist Association called for its members to support Oklahoma tornado victim Rebecca Vitsmun in order to help her in this time of need and recognize her for her honesty and bravery during her appearance on CNN this week. A $10,000 donation was forwarded to her today through the American Humanist Association's charitable project, Humanist Charities. 

In a live interview, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer spoke to Vitsmun after her decision to leave Moore, OK at the last minute to avoid the tornado that ultimately killed 24 people and destroyed hundreds schools, businesses and homes, including her family’s. Blitzer asked, "You've gotta thank the Lord, right? Do you thank the Lord for that split-second decision?" Vitsmun replied, "I'm actually an atheist."

"Rebecca Vitsmun's courage to speak forthrightly about her atheism inspired humanists and others who are good without a god across the country to help her through this difficult time." said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. "Natural disasters are a product of our environment, not supernatural forces, and we have a responsibility to help those affected by them."

“We are so appreciative for all of the support we have been receiving during this difficult time,” Vitsmun said. “People from all around the world have reached out to us and the people of Moore and Newcastle and we don't know how we can ever thank everyone enough for their generosity. It is really hard to even know where to begin, but having so many here to embrace us while we figure it out makes the path ahead less intimidating. Thank you all so much.”

The American Humanist Association established Humanist Charities in 2005 in response to an outpouring of generosity from humanists and atheists who wanted to support relief efforts in the aftermath of major disasters around the world.

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The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington D.C., its work is extended through more than 160 local chapters and affiliates across the United States.

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms a responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.

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