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Monday, April 18, 2011

Atheists Helping the Homeless Running Strong in Austin

via God Discussion

For 20 months now, Atheists Helping the Homeless has been handing out toiletries, clothing, supplies and food to the homeless in Austin, Texas.

Formed by Joe Zamecki, Texas State Director of American Atheists, and two of his colleagues in September 2009, the group just completed its 23rd giveaway. The giveaways take place on Sundays under I-35 at 7th Street downtown.

The giveaways include practical items, such as toothbrushes, soaps and other items that are often overlooked in charitable giveaways. Atheists Helping the Homeless accepts other types of donations for the giveaways, but the toiletries have been the mainstay. Donations can include tangible items or money.

To the relief of some of those who visit the giveaway table, there is no preaching. They can pick up items from a cheerful team of volunteers, chat if they want, hang out for Joe's music concerts, or just go their way without any obligation.

By using the word 'atheist' in the name, Atheists Helping the Homeless shows that atheists are compassionate. Empathy for others is not limited to church membership.

Atheists Helping the Homeless has helped 1,500 people so far, according to their website. They are now forming chapter groups outside of Austin.

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