By now, I’m sure you have heard that Woody Kaplan died last month. Woody was a great friend of the Secular Coalition for America and all of our member organizations.
I first met Woody in 2000, when the national ACLU sent him to Charleston, South Carolina to try to teach our state chapter how to fundraise. A couple of years later, Woody and I met again by chance when we both attended the Godless Americans March on Washington. I invited Woody to join me and other secular leaders for breakfast the next day. At that breakfast, we set in motion the founding of the Secular Coalition for America.
The Secular Coalition started with an all-volunteer staff, but with Woody’s help, eventually we could afford to hire our first lobbyist to take our issues to Congress. Woody helped us meet the right people on Capitol Hill. He advised and helped fundraise for many of our SCA members.
Woody’s legacy reminds us of the power of individual action and the importance of coming together as a community. His dedication to secular activism and his work in championing the rights of atheists, agnostics, and humanists has truly helped shape the secular community we see today.
On a personal note, next to my wife, Sharon, I considered Woody my best friend. I don’t use the word “love” lightly, but I loved Woody.
I’m reaching out to you today with a challenge. In honor of our dear friend and fellow advocate, Woody Kaplan, I am making a personal donation of $100,000 to the Secular Coalition for America Education Fund.
I encourage each of you to contribute whatever you can – whether it’s $200, $20,000, or any amount that resonates with you – to honor Woody’s memory and continue the vital work of the Secular Coalition for America. Let’s ensure that his dedication lives on through our actions.
The work goes on and, together, we can continue making a lasting difference that reflects the values we hold dear. Thank you for your support and for embracing Woody’s legacy and secular causes.