By June 21, 2018 Read More →

Non-ProfitView: Stanislaus Humanists

Non-ProfitView: Stanislaus Humanists
by Brandilyn Brown

Nearly 10 years ago, a small group of humanists who met through other area groups like the Central Valley Skeptics, Stockton Area Atheists and Freethinkers (SAAF) and the Stanislaus Skeptics formed their own group to find other like-minded folks closer to home. Through events like karaoke night, book club, Sunday morning coffee dates and collaborations with other humanists groups to host lectures, they grew to around 40 attendees. In 2013, the core group (made up of four dedicated members) had decided to become more than just a meet-up group, and became known as the Stanislaus Humanists, filing their articles of incorporation- the first step of becoming a non-profit organization. Five years later, they run their own chapter of the American Humanists Association, and are a new driving force in our community, taking part in Love Modesto, MoPride, and partnering with other local non-profits to make a difference in Modesto’s community, such as World Relief Modesto and the Center for Human Services.

“Humanists are concerned for the well-being of all, are committed to diversity, and respect those of differing yet humane views. We work to uphold the equal enjoyment of human rights and civil liberties in an open, secular society and maintain it is a civic duty to participate in the democratic process and a planetary duty to protect nature’s integrity, diversity, and beauty in a secure, sustainable manner.” (Excerpt from

While they still host quarterly lectures (colloquium) at the Manteca Library with the Stockton Area Atheists and Freethinkers (SAAF) and continue their smaller monthly events, they have grown the most in the last year. Along with their Third Sunday Coffee Klatch at Modesto’s Queen Bean Coffee and Fourth Sunday Brunch at Turlock’s Panera, they are starting an “Intro to Humanism” class on July 17 led by Troy Spears, a founding member, which explores the ideas of humanism. Also on the docket is building and registering their own “Little Free Library” which will be built in Salida, with the goal to be filled with science-related material on a regular basis.

Monthly, the Stanislaus Humanists gather and distribute hygiene items and snacks to our homeless population downtown. Starting this year, they will be picking a local organization to partner with and help in small ways. For the inaugural year of these partnerships they have chosen Pathways, a Center for Human Services project that houses young adults transitioning from homelessness into stable living environments and helps them learn skills like job hunting, balancing a checkbook and budgeting.

Stanislaus Humanists gift a brand new fridge to Pathways

Kicking off this project, they purchased a brand new fridge from Lowe’s for one of Pathway’s apartments. For the rest of the year, they will collect household items and donate them quarterly to the staff at Pathways, such as toilet paper, dish soap, bedding, towels, utensils, etc, to stock the apartments.

They do all this by fundraising. Garage sales, the Manteca Colloquium series and other small special events fund their efforts. Their best fundraising opportunity fell in their lap—a non-profit organization had decided not to have a fireworks booth in Hilmar, leaving an opening for a new group to make itself known in the area. None of the other organizations in town wanted it, so the Stanislaus Humanists were approached with the idea. They signed up for a 2016 booth on Lander and First, and they wound up raising over $5k! Despite the booth being a week-long project, and it being an “all hands on deck” project to boot, they continue to raise most of their funds with it. The booth might seem out of the way for most, but for those on the southwest side of the valley, the booth is literally on their way home. The fireworks booth on First and Lander will be operating from June 28 to July 4. Don’t forget to check your mail for your Phantom Fireworks coupon and bring it with you!

For more information on the group, visit, or like their facebook page To see their calendar of events, you can check out





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About the Author:

Bring on the rain, and a bottle of Wonky & Wry's Honey Braggot Ale. Loves to roast marshmallows over a fire. Enjoys the mix of cigars and whiskey.