Light the Night - Hug an Atheist Week!



What is Hug an Atheist Week?

Hug an Atheist Week is an event from October 1-7 during which local nonreligious communities are encouraged to have at least one Hug an Atheist fundraiser benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

To see an example of a Hug an Atheist event check out the great work of one of our campus affiliates, ISSA, from their Hug an Atheist/Light the Night fundraiser from last year:


Why should my community participate in Hug an Atheist Week?

Hug an Atheist Week allows your community to participate in an international partnership between the humanist community and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). The LLS provides financial support for scientific research, educational efforts, and patient care. These are services which speak to the values of humanists everywhere. Hug an Atheist events are service events fundraising for a great cause which simultaneously serve to break down stereotypes and stigmas surrounding nonreligious individuals.

What does a Hug an Atheist fundraiser entail?


Set up a table in a high-traffic area and exchange hugs for donations to LLS. There are different ways of going about this: Some groups have a menu of options with different prices (group hugs are more expensive, fistbumps can be substituted for hugs, etc.), while other gruops offer free hugs and ask for donations when they’ve gotten someone’s attention. It’s your event, get a little creative with it!


  • A table
  • A donation box
  • Materials identifying your community and mission (recommended, not required)


At least two huggers, one hawker: “Hug an atheist to help cure cancer!”, etc.

Recommendations for all communities
  • Use your social media capacities to announce your event ahead of time.
  • Sign up at least three community members to be at your event table at all times.
  • Send a press release to local media announcing your event.
  • Take pictures and/or video to showcase your community after the fact.
  • Be prepared to politely but firmly refuse individuals trying to strike up debate. Remind them that this is a charitable event.
  • Use the MyLLS app to accept donations at the event.
Recommendations for campus communities
  • Submit a newsletter item to your campus Religious Studies office before the event.
  • Reach out to faith-based student groups and invite them to the event.
  • Set up your table in the student union or on the main quad. Reserve space ahead of time if required.
$100 incentive from the Stiefel Freethought Foundation

We are pleased to announce that this year the Stiefel Freethought Foundation has pledged to donate $100 to any student group that participates in Hug an Atheist Week event and makes a video of their event. In the coming weeks there will be a video submission form on the Foundation Beyond Beliefe website.  In the meantime student groups can email Sam Shore at to receive a notification when that form is live.

Join the Fun on Facebook

Stay up-to-date witht he most recent Hug and Atheist Week news and connect with other participating students by joining the official Hug an Atheist Week event on facebook.