October 2, 2003 - Masonic Angel
Foundation Special Broadcast
"Boston First Fund - Making a Difference in the Hub"
Dear friend of the Masonic Angel Fund:
We are pleased to announce three donations to the Boston First Fund totaling $7,000. Last week contributions were received from The Lodge of St. Andrew ($5,000), The Massachusetts Lodge ($1,000) and St. John's Lodge ($1,000).
The Boston First Fund is a partnership license Masonic Angel Fund established and funded by Lodges in the First Masonic District of Massachusetts. The BFF was organized by the First District's DDGM R.W. David Howard and Wor. Robert Shaughnessey of Mt. Lebanon Lodge. It serves children in the immediate Boston area and is administered by the volunteer staff of the Masonic Angel Foundation.
Right on the heels of last week's donations came a benevolence request from Tri-County Youth Programs, a social service agency that works with Masonic Angel Funds in eastern Massachusetts. The story was well-presented by caseworker Amanda Benyo:
"One young boy in our program has to move to another new foster home on Tuesday (tomorrow). Miraculously we were able to find a placement where he and his older sister can remain together and remain in the city of Boston, however the placement is outside of the zone which his school, The Trotter school is in and it would mean he would have to switch schools for the second time in less than a year. This boy is doing better in this school than he has ever done anywhere else, and I am reluctant to make a change for him when he is doing so well. Additionally, this boy is in the Technology Goes Home program, which is a program for kids to learn to use computers as a part of their every day school program, and he is really enjoying working with computers and getting to do some different things in school. Finally this boy's goal with DSS is adoption and there may be a family appropriate for him and his sister. However, the family lives outside of Massachusetts. So if this boy switches schools now he has the possibility of having to switch schools again in the near future. Stability is a precious thing when you are a foster child. I know that if I can promise to get this boy transportation he can stay at the Trotter. The problem is that I can't seem to work anything out for the mornings. The afternoons are taken care of, he takes a bus from Trotter to the Shelburne after school program, and then his foster parent can pick him up from there. Would the Masonic Angel Fund be able to support some transportation for this boy to get to school in the mornings? "
Ms. Benyo was able to secure safe transportation for this nine-year-old boy at a cost of $40 per week. The Boston First Fund has provided $480 to transport the youngster to school until Christmas vacation. At that time Tri-County will know where his adoption stands and we can re-evaluate the situation.
This benevolence is an excellent example of where we "catch" a kid who has fallen through the cracks. The very resourceful caseworker found a solution to virtually every challenge facing this boy's situation except for his morning transport to school. With the BFF's $480 we are able to complete the circle for this child by keeping him in a successful school environment and keeping his adoption cycle on track.
It is truly moving to know what a mere $480 can do to help the right child at the right time.
The caseworkers at Tri-County Youth Programs asked me to pass on to the Masons of the First Masonic District - and to all "Masonic Angels" - their sincere thanks for all MAF has done to help the children they serve.
The Boston First Fund is truly making a difference!
Regards to all,
Robert W. Fellows, Co-Founder/Board Secretary