There is a myth in America that only people motivated by religion (specifically Christianity) do good works; i.e., help other people. Which is why I volunteer for as many philanthropic activities scheduled by the Atheist Community of San Jose as I can.
This past Sunday I and three fellow ACSJ members helped improve the home of a 84 year old woman in our community. Most of the other volunteers on this project were there representing the Kiwanis. While it was clear that most of them were not atheists (based on conversations I had) they too were there not because God said so but because they were motivated by humanist values.
This was our first partnership with Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley but I doubt it will be our last. The project involved painting the house exterior and repairing the bathroom floor. In fact the damage was so bad many of the tiles had cracked and you could feel the floor move when you walked on it. In this picture you can see what things looked like after we removed the tile, two layers of underlayment (the second layer tells you the problem existed a long time) and rotted subfloor (the person in the picture is a fellow ACSJ member):
This is what it looked like after we repaired the subfloor and were just about to install the new vinyl flooring (sadly the budget didn’t allow for tile):
You can see more pictures showing the work done by the volunteers here.
So the next time you hear someone saying that atheists are selfish and only do things that hurt others while making themselves feel good don’t believe it.