Dear Friends and Pagani and U.U.’s,
So like any self respecting member of the online contingent of the Pagan community I am signed up for a nigh-ridiculous number of lists and newsletters and things. A lot of times I let these connections lay dormant and focus on a few well worn paths in this World Wide Web Between the Worlds…
Recently however I received some very interesting news from an organization I’d like to highlight, the Officers of Avalon.
An international organization for Pagan Law Officers and Emergency Workers
The charitable works arm of the Officers of Avalon, they have done some great work and are worth checking out!
~taken from the Chrysalis Online Pagan Resources Page…
That is the short version, their own website says more…
“The Officers of Avalon is a fraternal, educational, and charitable organization. We seek to provide a community and network for Pagan first responders and to serve as a voice for them. We seek to provide accurate information and improve public perception about Pagan spirituality through education. We seek to defend followers of Pagan spirituality by working against misinformation, discrimination, defamation, harassment and intimidation. We are an outreach to Pagans in the Emergency Services. We also seek to demonstrate that Pagans are a charitable people. To that end, we work on the collection and distribution of donations to communities in need for natural disaster relief. Join us today as an Officer of Avalon or a Friend of Avalon.” ~from the Officers of Avalon site, accessed 11:16 am 2/23/10
OoA is one of the few Pagan Professional organizations founded in the 1990’s to still be going and growing strong. This alone is worthy of some praise, the fact that they have expanded beyond merely advocacy and support for their own community but have sought to do good in the wider world through non-profit charitable work is doubly praiseworthy.
Avalon Cares is the charitable wing of the OoA and, last I looked into it, they were working on their 501c status (legal/tax code designation for non-profit status, and thus freedom from taxes, here in the U.S.). They trucked in disaster aid to a small town in Louisianna after Katrina, they paid for and shipped new uniforms for members of the New Orleans Police dept., they worked to raise funds for disaster relief after the California Wildfires a few years ago, and the brush fires in Australia last year. They are now establishing a fund for aid in the face of the ongoing disaster in Haiti!
“Avalon Cares Update
Avalon Cares, the charitable branch of Officers of Avalon,
is accepting donations for Earthquake Relief and
rebuilding in Haiti. Our goal is to help communities recover
as quickly as possible and to fill in needs not met
by larger organizations. In the short term, we will make
donations to Doctors without Borders on behalf of our
membership and Pagan communities in general. We
also plan to look into ways to support the first responders
already there, particularly in the military, with care
packages. It will take years to rebuild Haiti. In the long
run, we plan to support like-minded groups going in to
do direct relief work by providing supplies, volunteering,
and assistance with shipping and travel. We will
partner with one or more groups to help with rebuilding
in the months to come.
There are many ways to help us help others. 100% of all
direct cash donations earmarked for Haiti will be used
exclusively for relief work. Consider doing a fundraiser
for Avalon Cares. Set out a jar at a gathering and send
us a check for the proceeds. Those quarters, dimes, and
dollars add up quickly. Donate items for our upcoming
charity auction. Finally, join us on Facebook (group
name Officers of Avalon) or ask to subscribe to our
announcement list (firstname.lastname@example.org) and
watch for opportunities to volunteer your time.
Please donate $5, $10, $25, or more via PayPal (http://
officersofavalon.com/avalon_cares.html) or postal mail
Officers of Avalon
PO Box 22
Baraboo, WI 53913″
~accessed from their Feb 2010 newsletter on 2/23/10 at 11:26 am
Membership as a “Friend of Avalon” is only $15 dollars and the money goes to support this organizations work.
Why support them? Well in Paganism and the Pagan movement and our many faiths and communities we face an uphill battle in a society where our numbers and motives are often called into question.
In supporting an organization like Officers of Avalon we can not only do good in the world, we can not only stand up for our beliefs and for the values we hold dear, we can also stand up and show the larger world who Pagans really are and what we are really about! Even if our numbers are small we can have an incredible impact for good in the world, but by supporting some of the few extant Pagan specific charitable organizations we can empower them, and our community and the next generation of Paganism as a network of World Religions.
(Friend of Avalon as of his next paycheck and the response time from OoA)