February 20th - FREEMASONRY AT ITS BEST!
Welcome to Our Newest Masonic Angel Funds
We are pleased to welcome our new Masonic Angel Funds:
90 Bethel-Souhegan Lodge New Ipswitch NH 11/17/2004
91 Vincennes Lodge #1 Vincennes IN 12/06/2004
92 Oxford Lodge Oxford MA 12/27/2004
Since the Universal Lodge carries license #0, this places us at 93 Masonic Angel Funds in eleven states.
Mount Horeb Provides Medication
Last week Jim St. Pierre, trustee of the Mount Horeb Lodge (Dennis, MA) Masonic Angel Fund received the following email from one of his school nurses:
I need some assistance for one of our students. "A" is an 8 year old boy who is being treated for [omitted by editor]. He is followed at Children's Hospital monthly. His medical treatment includes daily medication Presently, the family has no insurance. They are in the process of re-applying for Mass Health. The medication cost is $47.09. The refill is waiting at CVS in South Dennis. Mom says that she is able to afford $20.00 toward the prescription cost. School is closing for the February break. Please call me at (xxx-xxx-xxxx). "A" is a really fabulous kid. Thank you for any assistance that you are able to give to this family. Look forward to hearing from you.
We are pleased to hear that Jim was able to handle this request immediately.
A Card of Thanks
All of us that work in local Masonic Angel Funds know that the holidays are our very busiest time of year.
We receive dozens of thank-you cards every year but most especially right after the holidays. Below is a representative sampling of the letters received by one Masonic Angel Fund:
To all of you Angels,
We wanted to send our thanks to you, the angel fund, the wonderful staff at [school name omitted] who have helped make our Thanksgiving feast and our Christmas day that much more bright in the lives of my son "C" and my foster daughters "A" and "P". We really appreciate all of the kindness and caring and support you have all shared with us not only throughout the holidays but since the beginning of the school year. Thank you so very much for what you do.
Paul Revere Lodge Shines
We print below an excerpt from the notice of the Paul Revere Lodge in Brockton, MA. Presiding Master Bruce Pratt started their Masonic Angel Fund several years ago and has expanded it to serve nearly all of a city where the need is very great indeed. Paul Revere Lodge is an excellent example of a MAF that started small and then grew into a tremendous force for good in its community.
The Paul Revere Lodge Masonic Angel Fund has had many requests for assistance this past January. I will share a note with you, sent to the Lodge from Melissa Shea, School Adjustment Counselor, Brockton Public Schools, and Guidance Service Department at the Plouffe School:
"To the Masons at Paul Revere Lodge, once again I must say thank you for your unending generosity. Because of you, a family received $200 in a Shaw's gift card. A child received eyeglasses from Lens Crafters and another child received a $100 gift card for clothing at Wal-Mart. Enclosed are their thank you notes. Again, thank you... Melissa Shea"
The three children wrote their personal notes of thanks and they [the cards] will be at the Lodge for your viewing. Brethren, as this program continues to grow throughout the school system, it makes you cherish your membership in the fraternity a little stronger. Many thanks to all who continue to send your donations to the Paul Revere Lodge Masonic Angel Fund.
We note that each month Paul Revere Lodge includes a piece on MAF in their notice. Virtually all of the funding for the PRLMAF has come from members of the Lodge.
Excerpted from the February notice of Universal Lodge (Orleans, MA):
Your Masonic Angel Fund just completed a very active Christmas season. Once again this year, the Universal Lodge MAF helped a number of Brewster, Orleans and Eastham families who "would not have a Christmas" without the assistance of the "Masonic Angels." In each case, we received a request from one of the school nurses who then volunteered to shop for the children with the funds that MAF made available.
In recent weeks we provided assistance with after school program tuition to several children in Brewster and Orleans whose families were suffering financial hardship due to medical expenses or from a parent not being able to work due to illness. We also have one or two more pairs of eyeglasses in the works, as well.
Our Masonic Angel Fund is now in its seventh year of operation. Through the generosity of our donors, the ULMAF has made a critical difference in the lives of many local children.
Hope Lodge MAF (Gardner, MA) provided cats, hats and mittens for a total of ninety-three children at Christmas.
Mount Horeb Lodge MAF (Dennis, MA) provided Christmas to a family with two children and a widowed father. The family had just moved into town and the father was financially strapped. MHLMAF provided a $25 gift certificate to Toys-R-Us, a $50 grocery certificate and a $50 certificate to a local store that sells household items.
Marine Lodge (Falmouth, MA) provided Christmas benevolence packages to fifteen children spread amongst six local families. One of these families consisted of a great grandmother raising three children (ages 9, 11, and 12) from two different mothers. Another was a family of three boys whose father is incarcerated. Perhaps the most moving (to this editor) was the family of three children (7, 11, 12) where one child has cancer and the family is reeling under the financial and emotional pressure of such severe medical issues.
Please share your benevolence stories with us via firstname.lastname@example.org - we want see everyone get to share the exemplary work all of us do in the Masonic Angel Fund.
Sometimes You Must Say "No" - But You Can Still Help...
One recent afternoon we received a call from one of the few non-school partner agencies with which the Foundation works. We have worked extensively with this particular agency for over a year and hold its staff in very high regard indeed.
This request was a little bit too far outside the box, though... apparently the caseworker had a client family of three girls and a widowed father. The family was having major issues due to the girls' un-neutered pet cat that was constantly spraying everything in the house. Everyone's clothing had begun to acquire the odor of cat spray.
The father could not afford the $120 to have the cat fixed. The agency had negotiated a 50% discount from an animal hospital, but the dad really could not afford even $60.
Let's make this perfectly clear - MAF does not provide funds to spay or neuter a cat.
Still, we did not want to see these girls lose their cat soon after suffering the loss of their mother. What to do?
Fortunately, several of us here at the Foundation are patrons of the Animal Rescue League of Greater Boston. A few emails was all it took to arrange for the cat to be treated by the ARL's "Spay Waggin'" mobile spay/neuter unit. Because this program is designed for pet owners in financial need, we understand that there will be no cost for the procedure and that the vets will also give the kitty a check-up and review of its inoculations.
Sometimes we must say "No" because a need just doesn't fit with the mission of the Masonic Angel Fund. However, it doesn't mean we cannot refer a deserving recipient to another potential source of assistance.
New Reporting Forms in the Mail
This week we will mail out packets of new reporting forms to each constituent Masonic Angel Fund. Please read the cover letter which explains the new forms and how we will all benefit from this further standardization of reporting. Please feel free to call us if you have any questions.
Regards to all,
Bob Fellows, Co-Founder/Board Secretary
Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.