For immediate release
(Washington, DC, January 19, 2010) Humanist Charities, an adjunct of the American Humanist Association, is funding a relief effort to provide food, water, medical supplies and rescue tools to the people of Jacmel, a Haitian city that has been devastated by the earthquake that struck the country last Tuesday but which has received little media attention.
Humanist Charities is working with Sebastian Velez, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University and director of the Children of the Border project, who is currently on the ground working to distribute supplies. Velez’s team of volunteers worked through the weekend to pack and ship the supplies, which were on the first ship to arrive in Jacmel and the only packages to include medicines and rescue tools. The group has been working tirelessly since then to provide aid to the region, including to an orphanage that had not received food for four days.
A letter from Sebastian Velez about his efforts can be found here. Humanist Charities has raised over $32,000 so far for the Haitian relief effort, and donations are still coming in.
Humanist Charities was established in late 2005 in response to an outpouring of generosity from AHA members and other humanists who wanted to help in the aftermath of major disasters around the world in a way that exemplified how religious faith isn’t required for good works. With the establishment of Humanist Charities, the AHA gave humanists in the United States a way to ensure that donations for disaster relief and other projects would be directed to effective projects while putting their humanist ideals into practice for the betterment of humanity.
“Many humanists feel that support for humanitarian efforts is the most important work we can do,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “For humanists and others who don’t believe in an afterlife, we recognize that this is the only life we have and we have a responsibility to make it the best it can be. That means helping others in need, such as providing relief in times of disaster.”
The AHA’s Humanist Charities raised over $100,000 for past relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina, the Kashmir earthquake, the the South Asian Tsunami and other disasters. Humanist Charities also previously supported Velez and the Children of the Border project when AHA members raised thousands of dollars to expand emergency medical services for expectant mothers living in the Haitian border region of the Dominican Republic in 2008.
Humanist Charities, an adjunct of the American Humanist Association, specializes in benevolent aid and action to further the health and welfare of humankind. Its purpose includes applying uniquely humanist approaches to those in need and directing the generosity of American humanists to worthy disaster relief and development projects around the world.
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 100 local chapters and affiliates across America.
Humanism is the idea that you can be good without a belief in God.