2008 was a phenomenally successful year for the Secular Student Alliance. Most notably, our December affiliate count was 40% higher than in January. By the end of 2008, we had 129 active campus affiliate groups spanning twelve countries.
What sort of projects can you expect to see from our affiliates? Our 2008 Year-End Activity Report contains detailed information about all of SSA's projects and progress in 2008.
For example, the Atheists, Agnostics and Freethinkers (AAF) of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign exemplified what a successful secular campus group can accomplish with its charity project. Eleven members of the AAF, along with nineteen members of the school's Campus Crusade for Christ group, went to New Orleans to repair homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. For this, the AAF was presented with the 2008 Best Service Project award. Chris Calvey, a member of the group who went to New Orleans on behalf of AAF, had this to say about the trip:
"We were able to spend a lot of time interacting with Christian students from all over the country. Many were happy, impressed, or even shocked to find out that we were atheists. After getting to know one another, it became apparent to both sides that it's possible to put aside our philosophical differences and work together for a greater good. If we want to improve the images of atheism in this country, I can think of no better way to do it than by volunteering alongside those who might disagree with us."
The AAF's service project is just one example of SSA's success in 2008. In addition, we witnessed several articles about our groups reported in the media, hosted a successful joint conference with the American Humanist Association, and worked with passionate interns in our Albany, NY, headquarters over the summer. More detail -- along with the full list of the SSA's "Best" award winners -- can be found in our 2008 Year-End Activity Report.
The Secular Student Alliance exists to support the activities of groups like the Atheists, Agnostics and Freethinkers at UIUC. If you're impressed with what one group can do, think of the impact we can have with 129 active, enthusiastic affiliates promoting secular values on campuses everywhere. And you can make our groups even stronger.
Please consider making a donation now
using our secure online credit card process. (Or, if you prefer, use the links in the sidebar to create a recurring monthly donation or to contribute via U.S. Mail.) In these financially challenging times, your gift is more important than ever
. As an independent organization, the Secular Student Alliance relies entirely on donations from atheists, agnostics, humanists, and others who want to safeguard the future of secularism
. You are a critical part of that future.
We want to thank you for supporting the SSA last year. With your continued help, the SSA and our campus groups can celebrate even more success stories in 2009.
August E. Brunsman IV, Executive Director
Secular Student Alliance