Masonic Angel Fund News Articles

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July 23rd, 2003 - Masonic Angel Foundation Update
"Masons Making a Difference" 

In this issue - Summer Benevolences 

BENEVOLENCE STORIES
As we have said many times in the past, summer is one of the busiest times of year for a Masonic Angel Fund. Many families require assistance to keep their kids in safe, supervised programs so that the parents can continue working. Below we offer a representative sampling of what our MAF's have been up to this summer.

Cape Cod's Masonic Angels Provide Camperships
The many Masonic Angel Funds on Cape Cod have helped dozens of children to attend camp and recreation programs this summer. Through a special arrangement with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Cape Cod, the Foundation coordinated requests to many of the region's Masonic Angel Funds as well as the St. Andrew Fund to provide a total of over $5,000 in campership assistance this year. Big Brothers/Big Sisters has an arrangement where a child can receive up to three weeks of camp for only $180 - this is done through scholarship funds at cooperating YMCA camps and a fund held by BB/BS. The Masonic Angel Funds provided assistance where it was needed to subsidize the families' contributions towards the tuition. Cooperating in this way with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, one can see that $5,000 indeed can send a lot of kids to camp!

Boston First Fund Helps Foster Children
The Boston First Fund is making a difference for several children who are presently in foster care. Through our contacts with Tri-County Youth Services, the BFF this week provided the following benevolences:
A $100 YMCA membership so a fifteen year old girl in foster care may continue to participate in her school's swim team 
A $359.16 campership for a sixteen year old Dorchester boy to attend ten days of "Horizon for Youth" camp. 
A $79.96 bicycle for a fourteen year old Roxbury boy who has never owned nor learned to ride a bike.
In addition to these three benevolences, we are awaiting information from Tri County regarding a mattress needed for a sixteen year old boy who was wounded by a stray bullet from a drive-by-shooting. While he was on a colostomy bag the leakage ruined his mattress and the foster family cannot afford a replacement. The social worker is negotiating prices with various bedding vendors as this broadcast is written.

The Tri-County Youth Services program serves children across Massachusetts who are in foster care, often because they were in some way abused or neglected by their parents. TCYS has placed an excellent support system around these youngsters, so the MAF/BFF is simply "filling in the cracks" as Masonic Angel Funds do so very well.

You may recall that the Boston First Fund is working with non-school social service agencies in Boston. The groups reasoning is that to work with the Boston Public Schools would drain the fund in a week or so. By working with TCYS, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Clubs...etc. we can focus these funds in places where they will make a crucial difference to children in the direst need.

Star-Athol Lodge Hockey Scholarship
The Star-Athol MAF (Athol, MA) recently provided $150 to enable five children from the same family to continue to participate in a street hockey program. 

Universal Lodge Does It Again
In Orleans, MA Universal Lodge's Masonic Angel Fund has once again assisted the sixth grade boy who is suffering from pediatric bone cancer. ULMAF provided another $200 to cover the family's gasoline for the many trips to Boston during July/August/September.

Universal also provided tuition assistance for a girl to attend a special summer "creativity" program for talented young people.

Needham MAF Thank-You Letters
We do not re-print thank-you letters as often these days, however the letter below is especially moving. It was received last month by the Needham Masonic Angel Fund (Nehoiden Lodge/Needham, MA). It is presented without comment:

On behalf of the many families at Newman (elementary school) who have been blessed to have your help, I want to say thank-you. As a counselor in a school, it is difficult to see families in need and frustrating to be unable to help them financially. In the past two years, you have enabled me to tell families in need that assistance IS available, and you have provided funding for summer school, camps, tutoring, even a lift to help a disabled child into her van. You have always been there when we have needed you, and we want you to know how grateful we are. Some of the families may not have the where-with-all to thank you personally, so I want to thank you from them. I know from seeing the children that your efforts make a huge difference in their lives. And you have helped me to rest easier, knowing that these children will have camp or summer school to improve their summer. Thank-you, from the bottom of my heart. I wish you all an enjoyable summer.Gratefully,Katy Reid, Newman E.S. Counselor

DUES BILL INSERTS
Many Lodges with Masonic Angel Funds now include a "donation sheet" with their summer dues invoices. Here in Orleans, Universal Lodge has received thousands of dollars in the past few years for its CHIP program, scholarships, Masonic Angel Fund, widows' program...etc. 

We encourage you to check with your Worshipful Master and see if a donation sheet can be included with dues bills this year. If the Lodge already has a donation sheet, check to see if MAF is one of the designated items. (If you have a Brother who wishes to make a donation of $500 or more, feel free to contact the Foundation on how he can make a tax-deductible "donation in trust" through the our 501(c)(3) charitable foundation.)


FOUNDATION ANNUAL MEETING - August 4, 2003
The annual meeting of the Masonic Angel Foundation will be held on Monday, August 4, 2003 in the Board Room at the Sheraton Four Points hotel in North Eastham, MA. The meeting will convene at 7:00 p.m. and will be followed by a meeting of the Board of Directors. Agenda items include annual reports, balloting on new member petitions, election of officers and directors as well as any other business that may legally come to the floor. Dinner will be available on the premises at Bellamy's Restaurant from 5:00 p.m. onward. We thank Bro. Steve Golden (Food and Beverage Manager at the Sheraton Four Points) for allowing us to use his excellent - and air-conditioned - facility in lieu of our roasting at the local Lodge building.


BECOME A MEMBER OF THE MASONIC ANGEL FOUNDATION, INC.
As of a recent by-law revision, any member in good standing of a Lodge that holds a Masonic Angel Fund License may apply for membership in the Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. Annual dues are $25. Members are entitled to participate in meetings of the corporation and to attend meetings of the Board of Directors.

If you would like to become a member, please send an email to info@masonicangelfund.org - we will email you an application form in MS Word format. Generally, new applications for membership will be acted upon at the next meeting of the membership held after the application is received. New members must pass a unanimous ballot of the Foundation members present.

SHARE YOUR GOOD NEWS!
Please use our list server (angelfund@listserver.blackwidowweb.net) to share your benevolences and news with others in Masonic Angel Fund family. You also may email your questions and stories to info@masonicangelfund.org 

Better still, if you hold a fund raiser or do some special project in your community send us photographs and a "press release" for the web site.

Remember, the web site and these email broadcasts are everyone's forum to share and learn about how we all operate our Masonic Angel Funds.

We thank one and all for your outstanding support of the Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. 

Regards to all,
Bob Fellows
Managing Director/Board Secretary
Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.