Contact: Nathan Bupp
Amherst, N.Y. (September 7, 2005)—The Council for Secular Humanism, part of the Center for Inquiry–Transnational, has raised more than $50,000 for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The money raised—solicited through an online campaign—will be largely distributed to the devastated areas of New Orleans where hundreds of thousands have been displaced and officials fear that the death count could rise dramatically. The Council is raising the funds through the Secular Humanist Aid and Relief Effort (SHARE), an organization it sponsors.
SHARE was founded in 1989 by Paul Kurtz, chairman and founder of the Council for Secular Humanism, to offer assistance and channel aid to victims of natural disasters. Spokespersons for the Council commented that they wish to draw a sharp distinction between atheism and secular humanism. "Secular Humanism holds to a strong moral component, namely, a caring and concern for the well-being of our fellow humans," said Kurtz.
Kurtz noted that the money raised has come from secular humanists, skeptics, and rationalists. “The SHARE program is unique in that it is a thoroughly secular and nonreligious charity, in a culture where one mainly hears about religious charities. We hold to the need to consistently demonstrate that charity need not be identified solely with religious organizations,” continued Kurtz.
SHARE took similar action earlier this year, raising nearly $50,000 in January for victims of the devastating tsunami that struck the island nation of Sri Lanka.
Those who wish to contribute to the Council’s relief effort can mail checks to SHARE, P.O. Box 664, Amherst, NY 14226-0664, or by credit card online at https://secure.ga3.org/05/donate_to_help_katrina_victims. All funds channeled through SHARE are tax-exempt in the United States.
The Council for Secular Humanism, at the Center for Inquiry, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes rational inquiry, secular values, and human development in all endeavors through the advancement of secular humanism. The Council, publisher of the bimonthly journal Free Inquiry, has a Web site at www.secularhumanism.org. The Center for Inquiry–Transnational, is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and scientific-research think tank based in Amherst, New York. It’s research and educational projects focus on three broad areas: religion, ethics, and society; paranormal and fringe-science claims; and medicine and health. Its Web site is www.centerforinquiry.net.