Masonic Angel Fund News

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May 7, 2004 - Masonic Angel Foundation Update -
MASONS MAKING A DIFFERENCE"

WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MAFS
We are pleased to welcome the following new Masonic Angel Funds:
#83 Botetourt Lodge #7, Gloucester, VA 04/02/2004
#84 Winslow Lodge #260, Winslow, IN 04/06/2004 (This is our 4th MAF in Indiana)
#85 Madison Lodge #93, Madison, NJ 03/24/2004
Since the Universal Lodge carries license #0, this places us at 86 Masonic Angel Funds in nine states.

BENEVOLENCE STORIES
There are far too many recent benevolences to list them all individually. Here we list a few "bullet items" to illustrate the work our constituent MAF's are doing:
Nauset Light Lodge (Orleans-Chatham, MA) and The St. Andrew Fund provided tuition for a four-year-old girl to attend Tae Kwon Do lessons. Why would a four-year-old girl want to do that? Well, the Head Start program staff recommended that she take dance or ballet in order to improve her movement and motor skills (far less expensive than formal therapy). However this youngster is more of a "tom boy" and wanted to take the program the boys in her situation usually take.
Joseph Warren-Soley Lodge (Lincoln, MA) provided assistance for three boys (5, 5 and 6) requiring deep sensory vests, orthodics for a six-year-old girl and assistance for a family with one child critically ill in a Boston hospital. JWSMAF is one of our newer groups but has served over thirty youngsters since November 2003.
Universal Lodge (Orleans, MA) purchased eyeglasses for two boys, assistance to a family with a cancer-stricken seven-year-old boy (with siblings at home) and for child advocacy services for a nine-year-old boy with severe emotional problems.
St. Alban's Lodge (Foxboro, MA) offered tuition assistance to enable six children to participate in the Southeastern Massachusetts Arts Collaborative's "summer institute" program. The Foxboro Masons provided a campership for a sixth grade boy to attend a specialized summer camp to help with his social and emotional issues and helped a fourteen-year-old boy attend an afterschool archery enrichment program.
Needham Masonic Angel Fund (Needham, MA) provided more summer camperships than we can count! NMAF also purchased clothing for a third and fourth grade boy. Through the usual creative shopping done by our nurse-liaisons, both youngsters were outfitted for the princely sum of only $83.78.
Please share your benevolence stories so that we might share them with others in the MAF community.

SUMMER BENEVOLENCE REQUESTS
If you haven't already gathered it from the benevolence stories above, we are well into "campership season"!

Many new to the Masonic Angel Fund do not realize that late spring and early summer are a very busy time for MAF trustees. Every community we serve has literally dozens of children who need to be in a safe, structured summer program so that their parents may work and continue to earn a living. For some kids this takes the form of a "summer rec program" in the local community, for others it has a more academic slant. Some youngsters will benefit from a "sleep-away camp" experience - most especially those with self esteem and socialization issues.

Are we "sending kids on vacation" during the summer? Absolutely not! These benevolences are recommended by our professional contacts in the schools often because the child will be virtually unsupervised if not for enrollment in summer programs. Other kids are referred to such programs because of their own unique social and educational development issues.

Between now and June 1st all of us should outreach our schools to determine where summer program assistance is necessary.

"HELPFUL HINT" ON OUTREACH
When we come across the annual report of a somewhat inactive Masonic Angel Fund, we usually contact them to see where the Foundation can help to make them more active. Every time we call one of these groups, we hear the same thing - "We talked to the principal and no one every called us."

That probably means they talked to the wrong person!

When your MAF first accesses a school it is appropriate to introduce the "Masonic Angels" to the principal - and then find out who is to serve as contact for the school. In most cases, the principal is far too busy to take this upon himself/herself. Often these administrators have regrettably little direct contact with the children on a day-to-day basis. In small schools, we have found it best to suggest that the nurse might be the best person to work with MAF. In larger school districts, there is often a social worker who can serve as liaison with MAF.

If you're not hearing from your schools then go visit them and take a more proactive stance. Some of our MAF trustees even share the benevolence anecdotes from these broadcasts to give their school contact a flavor for what MAF can do for the children they serve.

BOSTON FIRST FUND'S FIRST ANNIVERSARY
Thursday, May 27th at 7:30 p.m. - Grand Lodge Masonic Building

The Boston First Fund will host "An Evening of Sharing for a Year of Sharing" on May 27th at the Grand Lodge building in Boston. The purpose of this event is to share stories of the Boston First Fund's first year of MAF charity. Speakers from several children's programs served by the BFF will be present to share their experiences with the excellent work of the Boston First Fund. The evening is underwritten by Mount Lebanon Lodge. The program will be followed by light refreshments and a chance to get to know the folks who made the BFF's first year a splendid success. Donations are most welcome.

BENEVOLENCE BUILDER GRANTS!
We are pleased to report a new round of Benevolence Builder Grants have been funded by The Lodge of St. Andrew. This grant program runs from April 1, 2004 through June 30, 2004 or until the funds are exhausted. As with the fall-winter BBG program, Massachusetts Masonic Angel Funds may apply for a 50% reimbursement of benevolences conferred during the grant period.

To apply for a Benevolence Builder Grant simply email the particulars to info@masonicangelfund.org

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.

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.


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


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