Forum Posts

Amy Ewing
Nov 09, 2021
In Charitable Social Action
Concerned about the Afghan evacuees and refugee? Donate to HFFC’s Thanksgiving Campaign to support two refugee cosponsor groups who are helping them towards self-sufficiency in Fairfield County. Here’s some background: With the stunning fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, many Afghans fear for their lives, especially people who helped the U.S. military or who were vocal in their support of a free press or expanded roles for women. In August 2021 the US government flew 100,000 Afghans out of the country so they could be safe while applying for asylum in the US. Refugee resettlement agencies (and the volunteer co-sponsor groups that work with them) are giving these families a home and helping them get healthcare, employment, English and more to help these families become self-sufficient. In past years, HFFC has made some contributions to Stamford Interfaith Refugee Settlement (SIRS, sirsct.org), which plans to welcome two Afghan families in 4Q 2021. Another group, Westport's Interfaith Refugee Resettlement Council (IRRC) also plans to welcome two families in the same timeframe. Both community co-sponsor groups are trained and supervised by the resettlement agency, IRIS—Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (irisct.org), whose executive director, Chris George, spoke to us during our 11/8/21 program. . HFFC is holding a Thanksgiving Campaign in November 2021 to raise funds from HFFC members and friends for the SIRS & IRRC co-sponsor group. Please donate by clicking on the Donate button on hffcct.org and selecting "Refugee co-sponsor groups." Note: HFFC is a 501(c)(3), so your donation to this activity is tax-deductible. To reach our $2000 campaign goal, we are suggesting individual donations of $50. But we also want to have widespread support for this cause. So if $50 is too rich for your budget, contribute any amount. Click on the big Donate Now button on the hffcct homepage or go directly to this link: Thanks!
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Amy Ewing
Jun 01, 2021
In Legislation
In this CT legislative session Secular CT and HFFC have been closely following and advocating for three bills that interest humanists. Two bills passed, and a third made greater progress than in any previous session. In late May 2021, Governor Lamont signed a bill prohibiting deceptive adversing intended to mislead the public on reproductive healthcare services. We would agree with his press release that it is "abhorrent" to mislead people "during a vulnerable time of their life." In April 2021, the Governor signed a bill removing religious exemptions for student vaccinations. Despite protests from hundreds of anti-vaxxers, the bill passed overwhelming in both the House and Senate. Science prevailed! Unfortunately, in order to pass, a compromise was needed, "grandfathering" un-vaxxed kids currently in K-12. This means others remain vulnerable to the unvaxxed kids for up to 12 more years. But at least the bill finally got passed. We advocated strongly for the Medical Aid-in-Dying bill for terminally-ill patients. The bill successfully got out of the Public Health Committee for the first time in 14 attempts since 1994. However, it died without a vote when it was referred to the Judiciary Committee, whose concerns will need to be addressed in a future legislation session.
Signed! Two 2021 CT Legislative bills content media
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Amy Ewing
Jun 17, 2020
In General
On June 16, 2020 – just before Abby Hafer's talk – HFFC president Cary Shaw conducted our 2020 Annual Meeting. The most pressing order of business was the election of officers, Steering Committee members and committee leads; the entire slate (which was distributed in advance) was approved in a blanket vote. Cary also used the meeting to share what HFFC expenses are – how our membership dues are used. The other HFFC officers and committee chairs then shared their objectives, key accomplishments in the 2019-2020 year and some upcoming plans. HFFC had an active and successful year! Here are two files with more infomation: The HFFC Annual Meeting minutes, when you can see details about these areas of interest: Programming and Events, Communications, Social Action, Outreach (including swag), and the “Books, etc.” and Science Readers discussion groups. The HFFC 2020 election results.
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Amy Ewing
Apr 08, 2020
In Charitable Social Action
Hospital workers are real heroes in this time of pandemic. Their tireless efforts are providing comfort and treatment to many patients, and they are saving many lives. HFFC wants to let our healthcare workers know that humanists care about them. We are expressing our appreciation in several ways. Our first appreciation gift was to two shifts of ICU workers at NORWALK HOSPITAL. For the morning HFFC sent bagels from Liz Sue Bagels; for the afternoon, we sent cheesecakes from Silver Star Diner. HFFC took $200 out of our modest treasury to pay for this. This donation helped both the hospital and two of our local businesses, which are also hurting. With additional donations we can send tokens of our appreciation to the other large hospitals in FAIRFIELD COUNTY, including Stamford, Danbury, Greenwich and Bridgeport. And with enough donations we could even say "thank you" to Norwalk a second time. We will ask each hospital what they would most appreciate — outside of the P.P.E., which we do not have. At this point, it may or may not be food. In some hospitals ICU staff are now fasting during their shift to avoid contaminating their masks, so they may appreciate either having food or drink at the end of their shift -- or maybe something else all together.  We will ask. To fund these expressions of appreciation, we are asking HFFC members and friends to donate — if you can. Please go to this HFFC donation page.
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Amy Ewing
Apr 08, 2020
In Charitable Social Action
There are over 21 million refugees, people who have fled their countries due to war, persecution or a natural disaster. The numbers and the need can feel overwhelming. But we can make a difference – one life, one family at a time. HFFC supports a volunteer group, Stamford. Stamford Interfaith Refugee Settlement (SIRS), which works with Integrated Refugee Services (IRIS, irisct.org) as a co-sponsor to settle refugee families in Stamford and to help them become self-sufficient. SIRS is responsible for many tasks including Finding and settling up housing Securing good healthcare Finding employment Enrolling adults in English classes (ESL/ESOL) and children in school and providing homework help Amy Ewing, a HFFC Steering Committee member, volunteered to be HFFC's member in this interfaith group and has been very involved since early in 2016. In 2018 Amy became SIRS co-lead with Jean Meyer. SIRS has worked with two families to-date: a Syrian family of six, starting in April 2016, and an Afghani family of three, starting in January 2019 and continuing in 2020. SIRS's current client had helped the US-led security task force in Afghanistan, so came to the US on a Special Immigrant Visa. He and his family are doing well, but employment continues to be a challenge. Since he cannot find work in his field, finance, he has accepted part-time jobs – one of which he lost due to COVID-19. He continues to contribute to rent, but SIRS needs to pay the balance. The group also hopes to find a donated car, so he can get to better-paying jobs that are not available by bike or public transportation. HFFC's Social Action Committee decided to contribute to SIRS. In December and January HFFC members donated a total of $510 to SIRS: $110 from donations collected through tee shirt sales through December; $100 in matching funds from our limited HFFC treasury; and $300 from individual HFFC members. Refugees coming to the US are our newest Americans and are our oldest tradition. If you can donate to SIRS, please go to the HFFC Donation page, and select “Stamford Interfaith Refugee Settlement (SIRS)” as your donation preference. Thanks for helping HFFC help others.
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Amy Ewing
Feb 04, 2020
In Legislation
One of the topics Bob Duff covered (in HFFC's January meeting) in his preview of the CT "short session" was the Health Committee's consideration of the repeal of the religious exemption for vaccines. The Stamford Advocate had a long article, "Both sides ready for battle over repeal of religious exemption for vaccines." It's interesting reading, especially for those of us who plan to go to the Wednesday 2/19 hearing in Hartford. Read it. Join us?
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Amy Ewing
Jan 18, 2020
In Legislation
Here is the Proclamation of January 16, 2020 as a Religious Freedom Day in Stamford, CT: I gave my thanks to Mayor Martin's office for responding to this request so quickly.
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Amy Ewing
Sep 16, 2019
In General
A friend brought this August 3, 2019 article to my attention -- Source: https://mailchi.mp/pewresearch.org/trust-and-mistrust-in-scientific-experts?e=e0522db5c6 "In an era when science and politics often appear to collide, public confidence in scientists is on the upswing, and six-in-ten Americans say scientists should play an active role in policy debates. At the same time, partisans are divided over how they view the value and objectivity of scientific experts. Americans often trust practitioners more than researchers but are skeptical about scientific integrity Americans say open access to data and independent review inspire more trust in research findings More Democrats than Republicans trust the objectivity of scientists and the scientific method"
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Amy Ewing
Sep 16, 2019
In Legislation
The repeal of the religious exemption against required vaccines is one of the CT Legislative actions the HFFC Social Action committee supports. On 9/13/19 the Stamford Advocate posted good news, which should help spur action when the CT Legislature sits in February: "After months of prodding by lawmakers to take a stance on repealing Connecticut’s religious exemption from vaccines, state Health Commissioner Renee Coleman-Mitchell is expected to announce Monday that she is supporting the rollback. "Coleman-Mitchell will be joined by Gov. Ned Lamont, who also is backing the repeal. Their disclosure will come two weeks after the public health department released data showing the number of students who had claimed the religious exemptions rose by 25 percent between the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. "“I’ve always thought that it was important to have the Department of Public Health weigh in, so I’m glad they are weighing in in a very detailed way,” House Majority Leader Matthew Ritter, a proponent of wiping out the religious exemption, said Friday." source: https://www.ctinsider.com/local/stamfordadvocate/article/CT-health-chief-to-support-repeal-of-religious-14437898.php
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Amy Ewing

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