Masonic Angel Foundation Update - February 18, 2004
"MASONS MAKING A DIFFERENCE"
WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MAFS
We are pleased to welcome the following new Masonic Angel Fund's:
#73 Frank W. Thompson Lodge, Bedford, MA 12/9/2003
#74 Simonds Lodge, Burlington, MA 11/11/2003
#75 Charles W. Moore Lodge, Fitchburg, MA, 11/21/2003
#76 The Harvard Lodge, Cambridge, MA, 12/18/2003
#77 Golden Fleece Lodge, Lynn, MA 12/15/2003
#78 George H. Taber Lodge, Fairhaven, MA, 12/8/2003
#79 Wilder Lodge, Leominster, MA 2/3/2004
Since the Universal Lodge carries license #0, this places us at 80 Masonic Angel Funds in eight states.
WHAT A GREAT WINTER!
When you see our e-newsletters drop off the radar screen for a few weeks, that usually means we are very busy here at the Masonic Angel Foundation. Indeed, this December and January were the two busiest months we've seen yet. Between helping Lodges with routine questions, technical assistance to our many new MAF Lodges and administering several grant programs our volunteer staff was truly frazzled!
In the "Benevolences" section of this bulletin we have endeavored to "cherry pick" some of the countless benevolences that have come to our attention in the past few months.
It is truly moving to hear the great things being done by so many of our constituent Masonic Angel Funds in their communities. Indeed, it is very humbling to see how many young lives are being touched every week by the "Masonic Angels" in local schools.
BROCHURES AND COIN CANISTERS ARE IN!
If you are in need of coin canisters or MAF brochures, you will be pleased to know that both have arrived here in quantity. Actually, they were here a few weeks ago but co-founder Bob Fellows' office was flooded so we asked the printer to hold them back until the water damage was cleaned up.
Please email with your orders for brochures and coin canisters. The brochures are free but we ask that you reimburse the Foundation for the cost of postage. Coin canisters are $1.17 plus shipping - this reflects our cost to purchase them in bulk.
BENEVOLENCE BUILDER GRANTS
The St. Andrew Benevolence Builder Grant program ended on January 31, 2004. It was a great success!
From October 1, 2003 to January 31, 2004 Masonic Angel Funds across Massachusetts were eligible to receive a 50% replenishment for benevolences they did in their communities. During the grant period, checks totaling nearly $20,000 were issued to constituent Masonic Angel Funds. This means that a total of $60,000 "hit the ground" in Massachusetts and made a difference in the lives of hundreds of local kids.
We were particularly impressed that the Benevolence Builder program inspired our Masonic Angel Funds to "do more" rather than simply collect the replenishment grants. This confirms our belief that those involved with the Masonic Angel Fund try to set a higher standard for themselves... try to "set the bar higher" so that they can do more and better work than they did in the past. Certainly the "rush" that each of us gets when we deliver a check to a school is a splendid motivating factor. Perhaps it is a Mason's need to "improve himself" that makes each of us try to do a little more. Whatever the motivator, each and every one of you actively involved with your local Masonic Angel Fund is making a tremendous difference for local kids and you also bring great credit to the Fraternity.
SPRING 2004 "MAF SUMMIT" PROPOSED
It is proposed that we hold a "summit" meeting for all interested MAF trustees sometime this spring. The purpose of the conference will be to showcase successful fundraising programs (both your local programs and "packaged" programs), to explore new funding opportunities, to hear about successful school outreach programs and to ascertain how the Foundation might better serve the constituent Masonic Angel Funds. We will also be looking to select volunteers for some Foundation-side initiatives.
This day-long conference will be held on a Saturday in April or May at a Masonic building somewhere in Eastern Massachusetts. If you would like to host this conference at your Lodge, please contact Bob Fellows (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss arrangements.
The "MAF Summit" will be a day of work, not a social event nor a lecture series. We want to hear your ideas on how to sustain and grow our Masonic Angel Funds. Some of MAF's most successful programs have originated in constituent Masonic Angel Funds.
As stated above, there are far too many recent benevolences afoot to list them all individually. Here we list a few "bullet items" to illustrate the work our constituent MAF's are doing:
Eyeglasses continue to be a staple of Masonic Angel Fund benevolence. System-wide, eye exams and glasses remain our highest-volume benevolence.
Russell Lodge (Arlington, MA) provided tuition assistance for a six year old boy to continue to attend an afterschool program. This child is being raised by his great-grandmother, who only could pay a portion of the program tuition. Afterschool activities for this child helps him with his social skills and gives his great-grandmother a necessary respite.
Mount Horeb Lodge (Dennis, MA) provided clothing for several kids in the same family. The mother and children had escaped from a domestic violence nightmare in another state and had come to Dennis in order to be near family.
Russell Lodge (Arlington, MA) funded tuition to send a youngster to a four-day, three-night "science camp". This child had the devastating experience of finding his mother after a failed suicide attempt and is now living with his father, a disabled veteran who is in both narcotics and alcohol recover.
St. John's Lodge (Newburyport, MA) purchased winter coats, shoes and other necessary items for three middle school boys. With some sharp negotiations, the nurse was able to acquire these items for the highly discounted price of $429.62. Our school nurses continue to be angels in the thrifty way they shop with MAF money. St. John's Lodge MAF also funded tuition for a brother and sister to attend a YWCA afterschool program.
Charles C. Dame Lodge (Georgetown, MA) assisted a child with counseling fees after the family's insurance ran out. The insurance picked up the fees after January 1st.
Universal Lodge (Orleans, MA) provided afterschool tuition for a total of eight children and partial scholarships for five kids' dance lessons at the Academy of Performing Arts.
Friendship Lodge (Wilmington, MA) helped with the tuition for an early morning program to help a boy get off to a better start for learning each day.
Joseph Warren-Soley Lodge (Lincoln, MA) purchased an art basket and art supplies for a six year old girl and eyeglasses for a little boy. They also provided tuition to the Boston University outdoor learning center for four seventh graders. JWS/MAF also made a difference for a middle school boy when they funded the purchase of his winter and spring clothing.
St. John's Lodge (Newburyport, MA) provided partial funding for a second grade girl's vision therapy.
The St. Andrew Fund helped several children in Head Start programs who needed supplemental programs such as karate and dance lessons. We note that these programs were recommended by Head Start staff for help in developing the children's motor skills, not as a "fun only" program.
Darcy Lodge #37 (Flemington, NJ) provided clothing for two elementary-aged siblings.
Paul Revere Lodge (Brockton, MA) purchased clothing for dozens of children in the past several months as well as specialized medication (not covered by insurance) for two children. PRMAF made a difference in the lives of two children by enabling them to take music lessons. Several camperships, including one to Tanglewood, are also in their list of recent benevolences.
Needham Masonic Angel Fund (Needham, MA) purchased ice skates for a fourth grade boy. Here, NMAF "filled in the cracks" because the school had already arranged free tuition to the town skating program - the MAF simply purchased the necessary skates.
We continue to be impressed with the breadth of benevolences supported by our constituent Masonic Angel Funds.
LETTER FROM A SCHOOL NURSE
The Washington Lodge Masonic Angel Fund recently receive the letter below from a school nurse in Lexington, MA:
Thank you for the donation from your Angel Fund to a student from the Bowman [Elementary] School [in Lexington]. The Angel Fund paid for a pair of glasses that the family could not afford. This second grader will now succeed in school because she has the glasses she needs.
I appreciate [the trustee's] willingness to meet on the coldest morning in the region for many years. The family asked me to extend their thanks for your help. The mother had tears of gratitude in her eyes when I gave her your check.
Today the second grader came to school beaming with her new glasses.
I appreciate the ease of accessing the Angel Fund for this family. Thank your for your generosity. The Angel Fund has made a big difference for this student and her ability to see in class and working to her full potential.
With sincere appreciation,
Lynn Tabor, RN/School Nurse/Bowman School"
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 email@example.com - 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) to share your benevolences and news with others in Masonic Angel Fund family. You also may email your questions and stories to email@example.com
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,
Managing Director/Board Secretary
Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.