The Course of Reason

Hug an Atheist for Charity: University of Saskatchewan Freethought Alliance Raises $1200

January 27, 2013

On January 15-17th, 2013, the University of Saskatchewan Freethought Alliance raised over $1200.00 for “Doctors Without Borders” by charging people for various kinds of hugs.

It was a cold day in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, as the middle of January tends to be. People were looking for warmth and comfort, but nobody was stepping up to provide it. The University of Saskatchewan Freethought Alliance saw a niche to be filled, and we went forth to fill it. “Hug an atheist day” was born.


The idea started out as a campaign to put a “friendly face” on the atheists in our university group by handing out free hugs. We would go out, set up a booth, and hug whoever would dare to hug us heathens. Then a member of our group had a revelation, “Hug an atheist for charity”. Why not give out the hugs, and raise money for charity at the same time?

We selected Doctors Without Borders through a democratic process.

Doctors Without Borders is a group of dedicated doctors and nurses that provides emergency medical care to people in need. They are presently working in 60 different countries. We value the goals and values of this group, especially the fact that they provide medical care to people in need regardless of racial, political or religious affiliation.

We made a hug menu, with hugs (and hug packages) ranging from a $1.00 “economy hug” to a $40.00 “hug buffet package” that would provide the purchaser unlimited hugs over the three day charity drive. Bear hugs, Eagle hugs, Bro hugs and various other kinds of hugs were also included on the menu.


The reception to the event was overall very positive, with several outspoken religious people coming forward to hug and donate to the heathen atheist cause. There were, of course, a few dirty looks and hushed comments, but I doubt you could hold any kind of event without a few of those.

Overall, we raised $1200 between a dozen or so huggers. It was a successful and fun event that helped put a positive light on atheists in our university.





About the Author: Brandon Gerbig

Brandon Gerbig's photo
Brandon Gerbig is an Atheist, secular humanist, skeptic from Saskatoon Saskatchewan. He is an active member of both the University of Saskatchewan Freethought Alliance, and CFI Saskatoon. In his free time he enjoys Dr. Who Marathons and podcasting.


#1 jemankowski on Monday January 28, 2013 at 6:14pm

This is awesome and so exciting! I think GWSS will do something similar! I may be e-mailing you for advice in the near future, Brandon. :)

#2 Uncle Tod (Guest) on Sunday February 03, 2013 at 2:14pm

Why is "Entrees" spellt with an apostrophe?

Are "Premium Deserts" drier than others? Do the Sahara and Gobi qualify as Premium Deserts while the Mojave is lower on the scale?

Curious non-educated minds want to know!




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