When I’m not stumbling through writing these posts or at my day job or chilling with the hubs and my kick ass dogs, I spend quite a bit of my time organizing a freethought group based in Sioux Falls, SD.
That group is Siouxland Freethinkers, a group of atheists, agnostics, humanists, and skeptics. The organization is just about four years old, and has really turned into something pretty great in that short amount of time.
It started with eleven people in the back room of a coffee shop, each thinking that they were the only atheist in the state. Fast forward four years and we have grown into a 501(c)3 organization, a Volunteers Beyond Belief team, and an affiliate of American Atheists. We also helped form the South Dakota Coalition of Reason, and as such did a state-wide billboard campaign. We’ve tabled at events, walked in parades, adopted a highway, and collected school supplies for underprivileged youth, toys for the Children’s Home Society, canned goods for Feeding South Dakota, and feminine hygiene products for local homeless women. We’ve raised around $19,000 for Autism Speaks, tabled in the state Capitol building and talked to legislators about why the proposed intelligent design bill wasn’t right for South Dakota’s students, protested John Edward when he came to town, and hosted lecturers. We have volunteered numerous hours at science themed kids events, written letters to the editor, advocated for the separation of church and state, and opened a city council meeting with a secular invocation.
More than those things though, we’ve created a community; a place for like-minded people to go and feel comfortable being who they are. A place where people can share their experiences, stories, and a cup of coffee. A place for people to connect; a place for friendships to grow. Siouxland Freethinkers is activism, advocacy, support, humanism, and so much more.
Along the way, while doing all these things, a few people have heard of us. Some people decide to reach out and send us an email or a message. At our March Members Meeting, we read some of our “fan mail” out loud. The hubs put it together into a video, which was shared on JT Eberhard’s blog earlier today. Here it is, for your viewing enjoyment:
To find out more about Siouxland Freethinkers, find us on Facebook or go to http://www.siouxlandfreethinkers.org/