Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. - July 25, 2005
Freemasonry at its Best!
100 Masonic Angel Funds!
Saturday, July 23, 2005 was a special day, for it was on that day the Foundation received adoption paperwork from the one hundredth Lodge to adopt a Masonic Angel Fund.
The original Masonic Angel Fund was established on December 10, 1998. The first affiliate Masonic Angel Fund was adopted by Mount Horeb Lodge on September 6, 2000. MAF spread through Massachusetts very quickly and before long drew the attention of Masons in other states. The first non-Massachusetts MAF was voted at Lafayette Lodge in Sebastopol, California on April 9, 2001. Indiana has shown the most promising growth outside Massachusetts, with seven MAF's now extant and more on the way. Indeed, our 100th Masonic Angel Fund came from Cynthiana Lodge #710 in Cynthiana, Indiana.
For those of us who have been with this program since its inception in 1998 this is quite a milestone. Thanks to the hard work of dozens of volunteers, we have seen the Masonic Angel Fund grow from a modest seed that John Sherman and I planted on Cape Cod in 1998 to one of the most exciting, successful programs in Freemasonry today. Along the way all of us have helped hundreds of children in need at a critical time in their young lives.
Zip Code Directory
Several people in the MAF community have asked for an easier way to find out if a particular community is covered by an extant Masonic Angel Fund. Our current directory of Masonic Angel Funds lists the city where the sponsoring Lodge is located. However, there are many of our constituent MAF's that serve children in several towns.
In order to come up with a "zip code search engine", our webmaster needs a list of all zip codes that are served by each Masonic Angel Fund. Please save us some postage by emailing your MAF name and the zip codes/city names it serves to firstname.lastname@example.org - information should be submitted as it is in the following example:
Universal Lodge Masonic Angel Fund
02643, East Orleans
02662, South Orleans
02651, North Eastham
Thank you for providing our webmaster with the information necessary to fuel this new search engine.
Benevolence Stories from Siloam Lodge (Westborough, MA)
This month we shine the spotlight on the Siloam Lodge Masonic Angel Fund of Westborough, MA. In keeping with the history surrounding our 100th Masonic Angel Fund, we note that Siloam Lodge was the first Massachusetts Lodge outside of the Cape Cod region to adopt a Masonic Angel Fund back on October 9, 2000.
Siloam has run a consistently excellent program for nearly five years. As they grew, the Lodge added schools in neighboring Northboro. Below are some benevolences extracted from their "second semester" filing with the Foundation:
● Afterschool program tuition for two siblings from a highly dysfunctional family
● Two payments for the same twelve-year-old boy with a severe eye condition - one to the ophthalmologist for his eye examination and one to the optometrist for frames/lenses
● Provided tuition assistance for a group of boys to attend a special afterschool program to help them socially interact and to interact with their peers. This program meets several times throughout the school year.
● Assisted a family with the cost of an eye exam and glasses for a child with a special vision problem. SLMAF paid a portion of the bill and the parents paid the other part.
● Afterschool tuition for a ten-year-old and an eleven-year-old
● Paid for vaccinations required for a Westborough High School student to attend a special program at Tufts Veterinary School. Because the program requires contact with un-vaccinated animals, it was necessary for the young lady to have a series of Rabies vaccinations for her own safety.
● Provided tuition for two students to attend a summer education program sponsored by the Northboro School System. This program will help to keep these two at-risk children "off the streets" and occupied during the summer months.
We congratulate Siloam Lodge Masonic Angel Fund on their upcoming fifth anniversary. Theirs is a program that was grown gradually and carefully - and blossomed into an invaluable asset to their community's children in need.
After reviewing a number of "spring semester" reports from our Masonic Angel Funds, we have noted with great interest that the period from January to June appears to be the busiest time for most local MAF's. Part of this is, of course, the need for tuition assistances with summer programs. We also note that January, February and March are especially cruel months in terms of weather and home energy costs. Observations show a lot of folks needing help with afterschool tuition in the final months of the school year and also with "basics" such as clothing and eyeglasses. We hear stories of families placed on Draconian payment plans by energy suppliers as the fuel costs rise. This spills over into a sad circle of families unable to pay the full cost of summer programs that keep their children supervised while the parents work to earn a living. Thankfully, our Masonic Angel Funds have risen to this challenge - summer and afterschool program tuition seem to be fast becoming our number one benevolence system-wide.
As part of the process to prepare our application for group exemption status with the IRS the members of the Foundation adopted some revisions to the Ten Standards at our annual meeting of July 12, 2005. Most of these are in the category of "housekeeping" changes. The two most significant changes were in Standard 3 and Standard 9. The first relates to the protection of monies held by affiliated Masonic Angel Funds - the intent of the revision is to ensure that the day-to-day charitable funds all of us hold are placed in a safe, insured "bank account" and not an investment that could lose value. The change to Standard 9 relates to the semi-annual reporting process.
A complete copy of the revised Ten Standards is available at http://www.masonicangelfund.org/ten_standards.htm
At the annual meeting of July 12, 2005, the members of the Foundation voted to increase dues for affiliated Masonic Angel Funds from $35 to $50. Dues for Foundation members were increased from $25 to $50. This is our first dues increase since the Foundation was incorporated in 2000. It resulted from the added expenses necessitated by the regulatory filings required of a charitable foundation that has grown to the size that we now enjoy. While we still operate with a 100% volunteer staff, it became necessary for us to engage the services of a CPA firm that specializes in the practice of non-profit accountancy.
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 our listserver and we will pass them along to your colleagues.
Regards to all,
Bob Fellows, Co-Founder/Board Secretary
Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.