Pagan Charity in Missouri and Australia, plus other Pagan News of Note

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  July 21, 2011 — 24 Comments

Top Story: Though still small religious minorities throughout the world, contemporary Pagan groups have increasingly involved themselves in charitable campaigns, and created charities of their own. In Kansas City, Missouri Gaia Community, a Pagan Unitarian-Universalist congregation, raised a half-ton of food at the 2011 God Auction, which was donated to Harvesters Community Food Nework. It was estimated that the food raised was enough to provide for 795 meals.

Food raised by Gaia Community

“…one of the reasons we schedule this fund raiser in the summer is we know it’s a time when donations to Harvesters tend to be low, while demand for food is high with children out of school.” – David Reynolds, Gaia Community member

You can read more about Gaia Community’s efforts by downloading the press release for the event, or visiting their website. While Gaia Community raised food for an already existing charity, in Australia the Community Church of Inclusive Wicca Inc. (CCIWI) has started their own food pantry, which was just granted full tax deductibility status. The first Wiccan group, though not the first Pagan group, to achieve this. Founder Amethyst Treleven said that she was “very proud” to have her charity receive “the same recognition as other religious based charities which have traditionally been Christian organised.” CCIWI’s food pantry was founded so that Pagans in need could find aid without feeling pressured to “accept the faith of that charitable body,” and won’t have to “compromise their spiritual and religious beliefs.”

Those are just two examples of how Pagans are helping each other, and reaching out to help the communities we live in. Every year Pagans collect tons of food for charity though the annual Pagan Pride days, while several Pagan organizations engage in outreach, fundraising, and volunteer efforts. Back in 2003 Jim Towey, then-Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives, questioned the charitable instincts of Pagan groups. Since then Pagans in the United States, and around the world, have worked to show that though small in number, we have a true commitment to charity and helping others.

In Other News:

That’s all I have for now, have a great day!

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • Hail Gaia Community! Brightens the heart to see Pagans doing good in the world!

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    Thanks for highlighting the UU Pagan charity.

    I was part of the annual Cleveland Public Square Public Samhain from its inception — this was before Pagan Pride Day was invented — and we always donated the unconsumed portion of the feast to the local food bank, as well as urging participants to bring their own canned contributions. This was in the late 1980s, long before Jim Towey was opinionating from the Bush II White House.

  • Morningdove3202

    I like the idea of an Inclusive Wiccan Church, let’s explore that idea in the US of A please! And a big “Thanks, Happy Lammas to you as well!” to our Hindu friends!

  • Kilmrnock

    i believe Mr Jackson needs to read our Constitution . the majority does not get to dictate morals to the rest of us . i too am pleased to see the pagan community involved in charity work . my group , a local ADF grove also supports our local food bank amoungst other things we’re involved with . Kilm

    • Anonymous

      If you think the majority doesn’t get to dictate morals then you’re delusional.

      That’s the problem with democracy. If you’re not in the majority, you’re dependent largely on the goodwill of those who are for your rights. That’s because they get to elect the people who make the laws and appoint the people who adjudicate disputes. They tend to vote for people who share their beliefs.

      We’re a republic so there’s proportional representation and so things get negotiated to a certain extent. It would be much worse if we were a straight democracy and totally at the mercy of the majorities whims.

  • YAY! Mother Grove Goddess Temple has the program In The Arms Of The Goddess. We take in food and clothing donations at our Holy Days and every week at our Sunday Devotionals. These go back directly to our community and to the local women’s abuse shelter. It’s a joy to give back to a family who might really need some help or a woman to gain a strong foundation.

  • Good to see not only food, but soap and TP. This is necessary as government programs don’t provide these items. Great to help the deserving folks who are poor and Pagan.

  • Great focus in this post.. Thank You for providing the community a forum to recognize all the great work Pagans are doing in support of our communities.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing some uplifting news featuring pro-active people.

  • We are so proud to be featured here.

  • Anonymous

    I get all spun around and dizzy when I try to track this zealous Christian thinking.

    When there are a majority, then they are right. Because there are so many of them, more than the rest. But when there are only a few of them, they are equally right. Because they hold firmly to their faith in God’s printed instructions. So the non-Christian majority is not right in these circumstances.

    It’s like a game of spin the bottle where the fix is in, and the bottle always points at the one you don’t want to kiss.

    Ow, my lips are chapped!

  • YAY for giving back! I too am glad to see TP and soap listed, I remember right after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, my friends in Japan whose families were effected said they needed both. I had never thought of that but it makes sense, human needs and whatnot.

    Re: Christian Day. I got nothing. He seems to have realized some folks take arguments as threats so I guess he’s learned his lesson? I dunno.

  • Rajan Zed is the idiotic prude who tried to organize a boycott against Sacred Source because they sell Hindu statues that celebrate the sacredness of sexuality.

    The man is a master of the art of self-promotion, and nothing more.

  • Charles Cosimano

    Well, you have to give Harry some credit for being honest.

  • Go Ga-ia!

    Now is a good time for me to mention that if you are solitary and still want to help with charity but don’t have a lot of money to donate, Lori Dake has put together a way you can help our troops just by clipping coupons and mailing them to the PNC. Check out her article at:

    • Thanks for mentioning it 🙂 After I get these guys off to their jobs here, I’ll be writing up this week’s status on that, and it’s a good one 🙂

  • I’m so happy to see year-round Pagan food pantries taking off and hope they continue their momentum!! You guys GO! And yeah, it’s great to see other items are being donated besides non-perishable groceries, because they’re often overlooked:TP, toothpaste, soap (bath/shampoo, dish, laundry), diapers, baby formula, aspirin/Advil, pet food (dog/cat, since it’s usually better their human companions care for them than a shelter). Also, some people forget staples and a few spice ingredients go a long way toward helping folks out: baking soda, flour, salt, oats, dried beans, etc. So when donating to a food pantry, see if you can ask them what’s on their wish list. They may have plenty of peanut butter but no jelly. 😉

  • Kilmrnock

    agreed , we as a minority are almost at the whim of the majority . but our constutution does guaranteed our right to pray or not and believe and live as we see fit w/o meddling from the majority religions , altho many times we have to fight to get and maintane these rights .a small meet up group i belonged to was picked by a local baptist church and the kkk , seems these folks didn’t like our small pagan meet up . was only once but now i understand religous bigotry and how it makes you feel . morals cannot be legislated , morals come from you heart. and soul . Kilm

  • Thanks so much for recognising the work that Pagan charities do including the Community Church of Inclusive Wicca Inc.’s Food Pantry in Australia. CCIWI tries it’s best to provide to Pagan families groceries and support when they need it and we’re alos very proud to be the first Wiccan charity in Australia which has acheived full taxations status as a charity.
    Smiles and blessings to all,

  • Rajan Zed is constantly sending out greetings, congratulations, declarations, and pronouncements of every conceivable variety. This relentless hyper-active self-promotion campaign is one important part of the necessary context for comprehending the importance (or complete lack thereof) that should be attached to the “early greetings” that he has extended to Pagandom in anticipation of Lughnasadh.

    But another important part of the context is the things that Rajan Zed has nothing to say about. Like the recent reports of Hindu thugs physically assaulting Christians in the state of Maharashtra. These good Hindus then went on to stage a public book burning to destroy over a thousand copies of books that they had forcibly seized from the Christians. This blatant attack on religious freedom was praised on the website of the “Forum for Hindu Awakening”, an outfit that has ties to Rajan Zed.

    Sadly, the twitter feed for Hinduism Today magazine also praised the book-burning/mob-violence incident that is reported to have occurred in Nashik, Maharashtra on July 11 of this year.

    When can we expect to see press releases from Rajan Zed deploring the outrage of religiously inspired mob-violence and book burning? Also, when can we expect to hear from Zed condemning the death threats that were part of the “boycott” movement against Sacred Source that occurred last Summer (a movement initiated and led by both Rajan Zed and the Forum for Hindu Awakening)?

    • I’m in no way excusing violence or religious hatred, but I have to wonder if this is a reaction against forced conversion and coercive faith-based aid? There’s generally two sides to any story.

      • I am always extremely skeptical of claims about supposed “persecution” of Christians, and I am even more skeptical when such reports originate from India.

        However, this report comes from Hindus themselves who are proud of what has been done. They make no claims of any kind of force or coercion or enticements being used by the Christians. The version of the story at the Forum for Hindu Awakening website clearly states that the Christians in question were distributing literature, and doing nothing more than that.

        There is another similarly worded story at the same website from April. This story praises the actions of a mob in Jalgaon, Maharashtra, for a violent attack on a Christian missionary named Viju Jones, who was preaching peacefully at the home of a recent convert named Mahajan: “they went to Mahajan’s house and thwarted the plan of the Christian missionary and took Viju Jones to task beating him up. They damaged his Maruti car. Even earlier a Christian missionary has tried to convert Hindus in a program held at Hari Vitthalnagar in Rameshwar Colony when Shiv Sainiks had dragged the missionary to MIDC Police Station; but police intervened and patched up the matter.”

        Here’s a a link to that story.