Friday, July 15, 2011

The July 13th Meeting

It was an excellent meeting, with many new people showing up. We welcomed Tangie, David, Dave, Mark, Jess and Julia, as well as our regulars Steve (me), Sarah, Dan, Derek and Beth. Also, a big shout out who all who couldn't make it this time, Walter, Cindy and Jim, plus all those who haven't made it to a meeting yet, especially Mary Jane and the other Sarah.

We've changed our meeting nights to Monday, at the request of almost all members of the group, and I've chosen August 22 for our next meeting. We'll meet at the same Panera Bread (5 New London Ave in Cranston) but we might be reaching capacity there, so this might be our last time in that space. I'm pretty sure I can secure us a free room at the First Unitarian Church, but we can discuss this at the next meeting.

Here's the meeting agenda we followed:

Introductions, nametags, collect canned goods, collect emails, handout contact information, distribute AHA goodies.

1. News: We are affiliated with the AHA
2. Upcoming events
            a.  Habitat for Humanity - This will be a repeatable event
                  20 Newcomb St, Providence
            b. CPR Certification
                  105 Gano St. Providence
            c. The 2012 Reason Rally National Mall, DC Saturday, Mar 24.
3. Other events of interest? Ideas for further events?
            a. FFRF Hartford CT Oct 7-9, 2011
            b. Participation in future PRIDE events and parades?
            c. Cook-out/picnic
            d. State House protest in favor of Marriage Equality and against Civil Unions
4. Working with "established service organizations"
            a. Habitat for Humanity
            b. Red Cross RI
            c. Rhode Island Progressive Democrats of America
            d. Ocean State Action
            e. Move
            f. MERI
            g. ACLU
            h. Planned Parenthood
            i. Jobs with Justice
5. Foundation Beyond Belief, Volunteering Beyond Belief
6. My trip to the CFI Leadership Conference
7. Discuss formalizing the group with By-Laws, possible 501 (3)c status, and a treasurer. I think we should get people interested in this idea working on it.

Notes on the meeting:

Unfortunately, the CPR training looks like a no go, because the $90 fee is pretty steep. I haven't abandoned this idea though. I'm looking into getting myself trained as a CPR instructor, and at that point I will be able to give my own, virtually free classes to all members of the group.
Tangie suggested we help a local woman's shelter around the holidays by giving gift baskets not to the children, but to the women. The group really latched onto this idea, and this is something we want to make our own in a big way. So Tangie will pull together the details, and we'll focus our holiday efforts on this.

Beth and Derek are looking into scheduling a meet and greet picnic (probably at Lincoln Woods) on a weekend in September. This will be open to everyone in our group, as well a anyone else interested in learning about our group. This will be both a social event and a public outreach. We hope to do something like this four times a year, seasonally.

The Reason Rally is going to be held on March 24th of next year, and there was some interest in arranging a Humanists of RI delegation to attend. Dan and I are going, and we'd like as many from our group as possible to join us. (Derek? Julia? Beth? Mark? Dave?)

Also, the FFRF (Freedom from Religion Foundation) is having an event in Hartford CT on Oct 7-9, which I'm hoping to attend. Maybe we could get a Humanist of RI contingent there as well? Also, there's no reason we can't affiliate with the FFRF as well, if we decide to.

If anyone has anything to add to this, anything I forgot to mention, feel free to FaceBook, MeetUp, eMail or blog it. This is an open forum. If you can't get in, email me at [email protected] and I'll get you in.

Also, by request, here's the link to Free Thought RI, the atheist radio show done right here in RI.

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