What is Secular Week of Action?
Secular Week of Action (SWoA) unites compassionate communities to organize service events based around shared values, connect volunteers to impactful projects in their own towns and neighborhoods or online, and celebrate what human beings can achieve together when we dedicate ourselves to ethical action. Let's support each other in building a more empathetic and just society for all.
SWoA 2024 is Friday, April 26 to Sunday, May 5!
Why Do We Need a Secular Week of Action?
SWoA celebrates the power of community and action. For ten days each year—encompassing the National Day of Reason on May 4th and the National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday of May—the secular movement rallies together to organize and join inclusive responses that address social problems and promote the welfare of humankind. SWoA puts our values of critical thinking, empathy, and responsibility to work to support each other, our environment, and our communities.
Here are some ideas for actions you can take with a group, your family and friends, or as an individual. All actions help with needed change.
Organize Supply Drives and Distributions
Providing food and basic needs to unhoused and food insecure people is a direct way to have a positive impact on their health and well-being. Before inviting people to contribute, find out from the beneficiaries about their urgent needs so you collect the most useful items. Shelters are often asking for essentials like toilet paper, soap, warmth items, and menstrual hygiene products. Search for a shelter or Feeding America food bank in your area. (Supply Drive Guide link coming soon).
Build a Free Little Library or Pantry
Free little libraries and pantries provide access to essential resources throughout the community. Little libraries help lower barriers to reading and also to books celebrating diverse voices. Little pantries are an easy way for neighbors to help neighbors by providing free food and hygiene supplies. (Free Little Library or Pantry Guide link coming soon). Also check out the Little Free Pantry website and the Little Free Library website for more resources.
Deliver Meals for Vulnerable Neighbors
Donate to or volunteer with Meals on Wheels America or with a local mutual aid group to get nutrition to people who need it.
Start a Community Garden
Community gardens help green your community, restore native plants, and produce can be donated to help address food insecurity. Our Community Garden Guide will help you get started.
Craft for Good
Crafters can support people by making needed items and donating them directly or through local shelters, hospitals, senior centers, etc. Unhoused people can use sleeping mats and reusable bags any time of year. Shelters and giveaways often accept warm weather gear all year long to be prepared when the cold weather hits. See our Craft for Good Guide that includes craft ideas.
Create a Mutual Aid Group
Start a neighborhood/organizational mutual aid shared Google Doc, social media group page, or Google Form for people to share their needs and how they can help.
Fundraise for a Shelter, Food Bank, or other organization
Planting trees is one of the most impactful ways we can address climate change. See our Plant a Tree Guide.
Park or Highway Cleanup
Cleanups are easy and popular service events for all ages. See our Park Cleanup Guide for tips.
Donate Blood and Advocate Against Donor Exclusions
Blood banks need a larger supply of eligible donors, ready and willing to help. Everyone in your group can sign up to donate individually or you can organize a blood drive. Despite high demand for blood, millions of U.S. residents cannot donate due to a discriminatory policies that exclude men who have sex with men. See our Blood Drive Guide to organize a donation event and learn more about how blood donation advocacy.
Get Out The Vote and Advocate on Important Issues
Help people register to vote and get ready for future elections by knowing where to go, what issues will be on their ballots, and where to look for more information. Share your knowledge on issues you care about and encourage people to sign petitions like those at Humanist Action Headquarters.
Host a Storytime
Reading stories out loud is a meaningful activity appreciated by children, people with vision issues, senior citizens, and more. Gather a team to offer reading buddies or a storytime event at a school, library, hospital, nursing home, or cafe.
Volunteer with a Local Organization
If you don’t have a lot of time and/or people to organize your own event, rallying your group to volunteer with a local organization is a quick and easy way to have an impact. Get in touch with a local organization and find out what their process is to do group volunteering.
Help Smithsonian with Resources
Help make historical documents and biodiversity data more accessible by transcribing field notes, diaries, ledgers, logbooks, currency proof sheets, photo albums, manuscripts, and biodiversity specimens labels.
Support Project Implicit Research
Help researchers learn the best ways to break down stereotypes by taking tests about attitudes, stereotypes and other hidden biases that influence perception, judgment, and action.
Join Online Volunteering
Online volunteering can be done from anywhere in the world as an individual or gather your group to make it a social event. United Nations volunteers contribute directly to the work of development organizations. Through Zooniverse you can participate in online research projects of all kinds, from classifying galaxies to counting penguins to transcribing manuscripts.
Discuss activity ideas with your team to decide next steps and timelines.
Choose an organizer who will delegate tasks and prepare for backup.
Keep up with the latest info from your local public health department.
Check your sources
Communicate timely and accurate information from credible sources. Help counter stigma and discrimination.
Consider partnering with other local groups.
Safeguard your money
Have multiple people collect and record when and where money is spent or distributed.
Bigger Isn't Always better
Events can still be successful with a small dedicated team. Any help makes a needed impact.
Report your impact
Help us celebrate the impact we have when we all act together! When your action is done, remember to report on it so we can share SWoA's total impact.
Spread the Word
Share Secular Week of Action Website
Help raise the visibility of the secular community and SWoA events by sharing our website link.
Engage with Secular Week of Action Facebook Page
Like our Facebook page, tag @secularweekofaction in posts about your actions, and share our content to let your friends and followers know about SWoA.
Let's see your individual and group actions! Share with us and post online to inspire others. See our Taking Great Pictures guide.
Network with other groups
Like, follow, and share other volunteer groups' SWoA activities to support one another’s work. It's a great way to make connections, share ideas, and attract more attention to SWoA's success!
Use the hashtags #SecularAction #SecularValues and #WeekOfAction