"Angel Mail" Update - March 24, 2005
Freemasonry at its Best!
Featured Masonic Angel Fund - Sanctuary Lodge #347 (Eau Claire, WI)
From time to time we feature a particularly successful or unique Masonic Angel Fund in an Angel Mail broadcast. This time we're featuring the excellent work of Sanctuary Lodge #347 in Eau Claire, WI. We just received their semi-annual return and are very impressed by the work of this relatively new Masonic Angel Fund. Below is a sampling of the benevolence stories from Sanctuary #347:
Clothing - caps, mittens and boots for children at Pederson Elementary School - $64.54
Clothing - "warm clothing for several students" at Sherman Elementary School - $157.89
Books - replacement of textbooks a child had lost and mom could not afford to replace - $30.00
Medical - purchased sanitary products for a little boy with a serious incontinence problem - $21.76
Glasses - purchase new eyeglasses for a little girl - $114.99
Glasses - purchased a special contact lense for a little girl who could not see without it - $100.00
Medical - helped with a little boy who was suffering from severely bleeding gums. Sanctuary worked with the school professionals and found a Brother Mason who is a dentist and agreed to take care of the child at no cost. - $ PRICELESS
Clothing - "warm clothing" for "several grade-schoolers" - $30.89
Clothing - purchased appropriate clothing for a three little boys (single mother) so they could attend school - $96.02
Clothing - more "warm clothing" - $50.67
Clothing - assisted a family with five young children who were burned out of their home - $375.00
Clothing - purchased snow pants, jacket and boots for a little boy in kindergarten who was coming to school with jacket sleeves up to his elbows and pants that were so tight that he could not get up if he fell down - $62.61.
Glasses - eye exam and glasses for Elk Mound Elementary student - $174.00
Clothing - purchased shoes for a little boy whose own pair did not fit properly - $26.24
Food - provided school lunches for the rest of the school year for a kindergartner and a fourth grader whose mother could not afford school lunches - $150.00
This is a very impressive start for any Masonic Angel Fund! As we read through the reports, it is impressive to see the commonality of purpose in each of our affiliate MAF's. Everyone seems to be funding almost exactly the same type of benevolences. Perhaps this speaks to the "universality of Freemasonry" that each set of MAF trustees seems to value the same good works.
Mt. Ararat Lodge #44 MAF (Bel Air, MD)
Another of our newer Masonic Angel Funds is located at Mt. Ararat Lodge in Bel Air, Maryland. This Lodge just did its first benevolence in December. Here is a sampling of their benevolences over an eight day period in December
Clothing - purchased winter coat and gloves for an eight-year-old girl whose mother is not receiving child support - $45.00
Clothing - obtained an outfit for a ten-year-old girl to wear so she could perform in her Christmas concert - $30.00
Clothing - winter clothing for a five-year-old boy who has no winter clothing of any type - $75.00
Clothing - winter clothing and outerwear for an eleven-year-old girl who lives with her single mother - $150.00
Clothing - shoes for an eight-year-old girl whose family was evicted from their home for non-payment of rent - $15.74
Clothing - winter clothing for a nine-year-old girl whose 44-year-old father is dying of cancer - $100.00
Azure Lodge Helps Fire Victim
Our Masonic Angel Fund at Azure Lodge in Walpole, Massachusetts recently assisted an eight-year-old boy whose home was destroyed by fire. This only child of a single mother lost virtually all of his clothing, toys and personal items. Azure Lodge MAF responded immediately with a gift card to Kohl's department store so that school staff could help the mother purchase replacement items for this little boy.
Boston First Fund
Over the past few weeks, the Boston First Fund has helped two children in need of clothing. The first was a five-year-old Dorchester girl whose clothing and shoes were stolen and the second was a five-year-old South Boston boy in dire need of a winter coat.
Have you ever wondered how the teachers, nurses and social workers spend our money? It usually amazes us how resourceful they are in their shopping. In the case of the five-year-old girl above, Head Start requested and the Boston First Fund provided $50. What did we get for our $50? In the words of Mrs. Raynor, the social service/mental health supervisor at Gertrude Townsend Head Start Center, "We were able to shop in two stores and four three pairs of shoes and three pairs of pants, socks and hair barrettes. As it turns out, this is her birthday week."
Mrs. Raynor sent us copies of her sales receipts from the stores. One store was Payless Shoe Source and the other was the local Goodwill thrift shop. We note that Mrs. Raynor spent a bit more than the $50 we provided. Our professional partners contribute their own money along with MAF funds to complete the package for a child in need.
MAF Web Site Passes 20K
We are pleased to report that our web site recently logged its 20,000th unique visitor. As of this writing, the counter stands at 20,213.
Anyone who works in the MAF program is well aware of the vital role our web site plays in this program. Because of the exemplary work of our volunteer webmaster Mario Mere (firstname.lastname@example.org) we save thousands of dollars each year by using the web site and the Angel Mail system as the primary medium of information for our Masonic Angel Funds around the country. It is not an exaggeration to say that the MAF program would not have spread so far without the efforts of our webmaster and the power of this wonderful medium called the Internet.
If you are new to the Masonic Angel Fund system we encourage you to take a browse through the Angel Mail archives. Those archives hold five years of news articles. The search function available in the archive is quite useful when one wants to know how someone else might have handled a particular benevolence. Our volunteer staff here at the Foundation uses the news archive extensively in our day to day work. Many of our partner agencies also use the archive search when they are tracking the history of their organization's relationship with the Masonic Angel Fund program.
Semi-Annual Reports Due March 31, 2005
A reminder... semi-annual reports are due next week. Please read the cover letter in your packet 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.
Share Your News!
Do you have benevolence stories you would like to share with the rest of the MAF on-line community? If so, please email them to email@example.com and we will pass them along to your colleagues.
Regards to all,
Bob Fellows, Co-Founder/Board Secretary
Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.