Secular students of the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) are volunteering to help the town of Vinton clean up after recent storm damage. The city was devastated by winds that damaged infrastructure and removed power for many residents.

A UNI student group, the UNI Freethinkers and Inquirers (UNIFI), will be traveling to volunteer in the city cleanup on Saturday, July 23, 2011. The students will be meeting up with local secular groups and coordinating their efforts with the Vinton authorities.

“Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes, and we’re glad to be able to offer it and make a difference,” UNIFI President Cory Derringer said of the event. “Our principal message this year is that atheists and nontheists can be ‘Good without God,’ with events oriented toward public service, volunteering and charitable work.”

Some members of the student group come from the Vinton community. “It feels good to know that even though I’m not religious, I’m still surrounded by a community ready to help me, my family, and my hometown after a disaster. I wish more atheists were so lucky,” said former UNIFI President Trevor Boeckmann, relating the difficulties faced by many atheists in small town communities.

UNIFI is open to all UNI students and the community.



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