A Pagan Charity for the Masses
Written by Sonya
This month we are covering a Pagan charity, Avalon Cares. When I e-mailed the gracious Kerr Cuhulain to give the readers of Cauldron Living more information, he sent a wonderful write up answering all of my questions and I decided to print it in whole as is.
Avalon Cares was an idea of our former Chancellor General, Joie Balindjo. *She proposed that Officers of Avalon create a charity branch of our organization to raise funds for disaster relief efforts. *Many of the charities now in existence, while doing good work, are Christian organizations. *So often we've heard people giving Pagans a hard time, claiming that we Pagans don't do community work like they do. *Many people have written to us expressing concerns about large NGOs that have large overhead costs that eat up much of the money sent in. *The CEO of the Red Cross makes around $500,000 a year. *Some have written to tell me that in the past, when they've tried to forward funds and goods from their organization's fund raising efforts to Christian aid organizations, these things have been turned away as the recipients refused to accept anything from Pagans. *This is especially frustrating in light of several churches and government officials recently claiming that Pagans don't do anything for their communities. *We decided to show the world that Pagans work for their communities too. *
Our first big job was in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. *We raised over $25,000 in 2 weeks for the relief effort there. *We purchased supplies and Officers of Avalon volunteers drove these down to Prentiss, Mississippi. *We were the first relief organization to arrive in that area. *We also paid for the FedEx delivery of replacement uniforms for the New Orleans police department donated by California police departments. *Some of our members were involved in providing security for the Houston Astrodome where many of the displaced were temporarily housed. *Since then we've continued to support rebuilding in New Orleans. *Now we are springing into action once again to raise funds for the Florida tornadoes of December 2006 and last week. *
Officers of Avalon is an organization made up of Pagan emergency services personnel (fire fighters, police and paramedics) that is incorporated in Nevada and has 501 (c) (3) status. *Avalon Cares is a relief fund created as part of our commitment to serve the community. * Officer of Avalon's operating costs are modest and entirely covered by the dues of our members. *None of the Grand Preceptory (our board of directors) receive remuneration of any sort for the work that we do for Officers of Avalon. *We're all volunteers. *100% of the money collected by our Avalon Cares project is going to the relief effort. *We are endeavoring to give the funds collected directly to those who need them.
As our members are Pagan professionals in the emergency services, we've have a lot of people on the ground in the affected areas from the start. *These members, in turn, are in contact with other emergency services professionals in the affected areas. *We're using this network to gather information on where support is most needed. *We don't want to duplicate efforts made by other agencies. *
Currently, the group is working on relief efforts for the victims of the Florida tornadoes. *If you would like more information about this group you can visit them at www.OfficersofAvalon.com. You can also make donations to them there by a few different methods including shopping or you can make a donation by sending a check to them at:
Officers of Avalon
PO Box 22
Baraboo, WI 53913-0022
Remember that every bit counts and we hope you can find it in your heart to help them help others. Cauldron Living would like to thank Avalon Cares for all their help in putting together this article.
photos: Avalon Cares packing and unpacking truck loads in response to Hurricane Katrina.