The Course of Reason

The Illini SSA Lights the Night

September 27, 2012

Service is a vital part of what we do in the secular community, it’s an excellent way of defeating the negative stereotypes surrounding atheism that are frequently perpetuated on the internet and elsewhere. So when the Foundation Beyond Belief (along with help from an incredible number of secular groups) announced that it would be supporting the Leukemia Lymphoma Society with an ultimate goal of raising 1 million dollars, we here at the Illini Secular Student Alliance were thrilled to take part.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a charity dedicated towards funding treatment of a variety of cancers found in the blood. This is done both through research and development of new drugs, as well as on the ground financial and emotional support for those suffering from the various blood cancers. The Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s flagship fundraiser is a wonderful event called Light the Night. Light the Night is an event where everyone gets together and, carrying illuminated balloons, walks around a predetermined route to show support for those patients and families suffering from cancers of the blood.

It is vital for the entire secular movement to show its support for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society as a single entity, because it is only when we move as one that we can see how great an effect we can have. As individuals, we are weak. As organizations, we are strong. As a movement, we are unstoppable.

ISSA considers itself to be at the forefront of secular service, so we could not wait to participate in Light the Night. However, there was unfortunately no walk scheduled in the Champaign area. So ISSA has decided to spearhead Champaign’s first Light the Night walk. Working with local businesses, faith groups, and other student organizations, on October 20th we will be showing our support and raising money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. I highly encourage you all to join us and donate if you can. We will also be running a variety of other fundraising events over the next month or so. Those of you who would like to donate, you can go to our ISSA team page and donate there.

Of course, there’s more to LLS fundraising than Light the Night; We will be fundraising in other ways, including having a variety of businesses (including Tortica’s, a delicious local mexican restaurant) selling paper balloons for $1 to be signed by the buyer and displayed in the store. Several restaurants on campus will also be donating gift certificates to be raffled away at our Light the Night walk. Our other efforts will include running weekly Hug an Atheist events on the Quad, where we charge $1 a hug with proceeds to benefit the LLS. In addition, we are in talks with our local Interfaith in Action to host an Interfaith Broomball tournament in November, to benefit the LLS, as well as a few other events which will be announced as plans are finalized. 

To read more about ISSA’s Hug An Atheist fundraiser check here 

As atheists, we are constantly held under the stigma of immorality, and publicly showing support for charity is one of the greatest ways we can help to reverse it. This is truly an incredible cause, and I encourage each and every one of you to donate either your time or your money to help.


If you are looking for information on how to start your team you can visit CFI’s Light The Night information page. You can also visit our CFI On Campus Light The Night fundraising page for ideas on how you can raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.



About the Author: Daniel Hay

Daniel Hay's photo
Daniel Hay is the current Outreach Director for the Illini SSA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he studies Biology. 




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