When I started the Greensboro Atheist Meetup I was, I'll admit, a little manic. I had the energetic urge to get out into the world, make a difference, and bring people together. I thought we'd get maybe a half a dozen members and make a couple of new atheist friends. Just a few people who's company we could be comfortable in.
That was a little over a year ago: February of 2009. Today the meetup group has over 125 members, a twitter account, a facebook fan page and group page and we're working on our own website complete with a constitution and bylaws. My little meetup group has turned into the Greensboro Atheist Organization. And my organization dreams big. One of our goals which we hope to accomplish in fairly little time is to become a legal organization- with help from our assistant organizer George (who has written the majority of the bylaws and constitution for the group). While we have plenty of members who still just want to hang out and enjoy the company of other atheists, we also have a significant portion who want to get out into the community, adopt a highway, put up a billboard, do charity work, protest and counter protest and really be activist atheists.
While we're still relatively small and completely unknown to anyone outside of our group and their friends and family, with the dreams that our members have about getting out there that's likley to change. Should we reach our (expensive) goal of putting up an atheist billboard right here in Greensboro you can bet we'll get some notice then and who's name will be at the forefront of that? Why, Heather Kolaya-Spealman, of course.
How many small groups of people have blossomed into huge organizations throughout the centuries? I know I worry myself too much when I think about possibilities (will we putter out completely? Become big enough to be scrutinized?). I never dreamed that something I did would impact so many people.. or have the potential to impact so many more. To be honest It's exciting and terrifying all at once and a good part of me hopes that this enver grows beyond being an unknown group of friends who get together for movie nights and bowling.