For Immediate Release
Contact: Paul Fidalgo
Phone: (207) 358-9785
January 22, 2010
$47,000 Pours in
During First 24 Hours
Amherst, New York—Those who live without God or religion, along with faith groups, recognize the need to assist the stricken nation’s survivors and continue to answer the call. In response to Haitian residents’ emergency needs following the Jan. 12 earthquake, the Center for Inquiry’s Skeptics and Humanists Aid and Relief Effort (S.H.A.R.E.) has raised $88,262 in relief funds, with $47,000 coming in less than 24 hours after announcing the campaign Jan. 15. Additional funds collected through various skeptics’ groups are also en route to S.H.A.R.E. via U.S. Mail.
All donations to S.H.A.R.E.—100 percent with no operating costs retained—are being sent directly to the secular aid group Doctors Without Borders, which suffered the loss of all three of its medical facilities and is working against difficulties to provide the basics of first-aid care and stabilization.
“Good, nonreligious people want to help, but are often reluctant to give when they know their donations may be diverted from real aid to sectarian causes,” said Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry. “S.H.A.R.E. provides an assured opportunity for people to directly help those in need—and to show they care—without a needless entanglement in religion.”
Lindsay said the campaign shows that a secular alternative to faith-based efforts is important to the growing number of nonreligious Americans. “Clearly, the primary motivation for these generous donations is the plight of the Haitian people, but I believe it is useful to provide a vehicle for the nonreligious to band together and demonstrate their concern,” he said. “In doing so they succeed in disproving the false claim that only the religious are willing to be charitable. The religious do not have a monopoly on morals and ethics.”
Previous S.H.A.R.E. campaigns raised relief funds for survivors of the 7.9-magnatude earthquake that struck China’s Sichuan Province in May 2008, assisted displaced families following the February 2008 tornadoes in the Southeastern United States and the Southern California wildfires that destroyed thousands of homes in 2007, and helped to coordinate the distribution of medical supplies on the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Rita in September 2005.
S.H.A.R.E. is a program of the Center for Inquiry, providing a secular alternative since 1994 for those who wish to contribute to charitable efforts without the intermediary of a religious organization in times of great need.
Those wishing to contribute to the dedicated Haiti campaign through S.H.A.R.E. may do so at:
or send checks to:
c/o Center for Inquiry
P.O. Box 741
Amherst, NY 14226.
The Center for Inquiry/Transnational, a nonprofit, educational, advocacy, and scientific-research think tank based in Amherst, New York, is also home to the Council for Secular Humanism, founded in 1980; and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (formerly CSICOP), founded in 1976. The Center for Inquiry’s research and educational projects focus on three broad areas: religion, ethics, and society; paranormal and fringe-science claims; and sound public policy. The Center’s Web site is www.centerforinquiry.net .