Holiday Wrap-Up 2009
Welcome to Our Newest
Masonic Angel Funds
We are pleased to welcome the following new Masonic Angel
Masonic Angel Fund
Since the Universal Masonic Angel Fund carries the
designation of MAF #0, this places us at 141
Masonic Angel Funds in thirteen
Benevolence Builder Grant Series
Both current Benevolence Builder Grant (BBG) series
continue. The "St. Andrew BBG" series is for Masonic Angel Fund's in
Massachusetts and offers 50% replenishment of benevolences with a limit of
$1,000 per MAF chapter. The "Founders' Fund BBG" series is for MAF's
outside Massachusetts that belong to our group exemption. It also
provides 50% replenishment up to a limit of $1,000.
Each grant series is slated to run through January
but will conclude early if the allocated funds have been expended. Do
not hold your benevolence submissions. Submit them immediately via
email or telephone to ensure that your grant is funded.
As always, we
express our sincerest thanks to our Brethren in The Lodge of St.
Andrew for their continued generosity to Massachusetts' Masonic Angel
Funds and to the friends and family
of John Alden Sherman for establishing the Founders' Fund.
MAF and the Military
We take great
pride in the Masonic Angel Fund's consistent commitment to helping the
families of our men and women in the armed services. This is the eighth
year that we have worked with groups like the USO/New England, military
family service groups, the Veterans Outreach Center and the military
This month the
Masonic Angel Foundation and several local Masonic Angel Fund chapters
joined forces with a very generous private foundation donor to provide
Christmas gifts for 105 children from 53 families.
December were also our busiest months ever with the family services and
chaplains' offices at the Massachusetts Military Reservation. Virtually
all of the requests from those two offices were for groceries and for
clothing. Special thanks go to Bill and Joanna Reade along with Don and
Deb Kochka for making themselves available to purchase and deliver gift
cards on just a moment's notice.
Last month Lt.
Col. William F. Reade, Jr. (USAR, Ret.) and I traveled to the
Massachusetts Military Reservation to meet with family service personnel
from military units all over eastern Massachusetts. The message from
them was clear: many enlisted military personnel are unable to feed
their families this year. Especially hard-hit are the National Guard
and reservists who were called up from their civilian jobs with a
resulting loss of household income. Every professional who spoke with
us expressed a need for alternate means of providing food. Apparently
the military families are patronizing the local food banks to an extent
that the food pantries are running out of food. This explains why the
huge increase in requests for grocery cards.
As we told the
military last month, MAF cannot feed the whole military but we will do
the best that we can with the resources available to us.
On a happier note,
Universal Lodge in Orleans, MA paid for the food and entertainment so
that the military could hold a Christmas party for all the kids who were
to receive gifts this year. Toys for Tots provided toys, various MAF's
in the area (plus the Foundation's donor) paid for grocery and clothing
vouchers and the Universal Lodge Charity and Benevolent Fund sponsored
We also note that
Mount Horeb Lodge in Dennis, MA provided Christmas trees to 30 military
families as part of their "Masonic Dream" program which saw
approximately 90 trees given to families in need.
2009 was a
challenging year for all Masonic Angel Funds. With the ever-worsening
economy, we have all seen an incredible increase in benevolence requests.
We have also noticed that most requests are for food or clothing this year,
which is a bit of a departure from prior year.
never been a big part of our suite of benevolences, as it has been covered
through local food banks and other groups. This year things have turned a
lot different. If you have not already seen our
SERVICE ADVISORY on food requests, please be sure you
Below is a
representative sampling of recent benevolences:
(Winchendon, MA) - Provided USO Christmas packages to four local
children and over $2000 in gifts for multiple local children's holiday
Azure MAF (Walpole, MA) -
Provided Big Sisters Christmas packages to two local girls
Boston First Fund (Boston,
MA) - Multiple holiday gift packages through Big Sisters of Greater Boston
and holiday gifts for approximately fifteen children served by the Roxbury
Department of Youth Services.
Cochichweick MAF (North
Andover, MA) - Holiday gifts for students at North Andover High School plus
youth center program fees for five children as well as athletic user fees
for a senior at North Andover High School.
Haverhill MAF (Haverhill,
MA) - Provided USO Christmas packages for five local children.
John Cutler MAF (Abington,
MA) - Eyeglasses for three children and basketball fees for one.
Joseph Warren-Soley Lodge MAF
(Lincoln, MA) - USO Christmas packages for 15 local children.
(Shrewsbury/Worcester, MA) - Provided winter coats for multiple children,
USO Christmas packages for three children, clothing for two children,
clothing for three children, clothing for three more kids/
Marine Lodge MAF
(Falmouth, MA) - Program fees, eyeglasses for two children, Big Brothers/Big
Sisters Christmas packages, holiday gifts for twelve kids, eyeglasses for
Mariner's MAF (Cotuit, MA)
- Big Brothers/Big Sisters Christmas packages for thirteen children, holiday
gifts for an additional nine children
Mount Horeb MAF (Dennis,
MA) - Thanksgiving packages for 13 local families through the local Head
Start program, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Christmas packages for our children,
Mount Washington Valley MAF
(North Conway, NH) - Clothing and food cards for multiple families,
clothing and personal items to a displaced family.
Mt. Carmel MAF (Lynn, MA)
- Provided assistance to three children who lost everything in an apartment
fire and provided holiday gifts for multiple children referred through a
local church program.
Mystic Valley MAF
(Arlington/Somerville, MA) - Provided Big Sisters Christmas package to eight
local kids and provided Christmas gifts to over 40 children in Somerville.
North Quabbin MAF (Athol,
MA) - Christmas gifts for over 40 children.
Olive Branch MAF
(Millbury, MA) - Provided assistance with after school tuition and
participated with other charities in the purchase of a specialized
wheelchair for a profoundly disabled child. Olive Branch also provided
funding for some emergency therapy sessions for a severely depressed child.
Oxford MAF (Oxford, MA) -
Participated with other charities in the purchase of a wheelchair for a
Simon W Robinson MAF
(Lexington, MA) - USO Christmas packages for 15 children at Hanscom Air
(Somerville, MA) - Provided the funds for Big Sisters holiday gifts for two
St. Alban's MAF (Foxboro,
MA) - Funded the acquisition of winter coats for FORTY local children.
St. Aspinquid's MAF (North
Berwick, ME) - Provided holiday gifts to three families referred by the
Universal MAF (Orleans,
MA) - Provided Thanksgiving dinner packages to thirteen local families
through the Head Start programs on Cape Cod, provided clothing/food to
multiple families, after school tuition assistance for one child,
Weymouth MAF (Weymouth,
MA) - Provided Big Sisters Christmas packages to several local kids.
Semi-Annual Reports for the Fall Semester Due
Semi-annual report packets will be mailed out
sometime in December. The reports are exactly the same as they were last
semester. Please remember that the reports for July 1, 2009
to December 31, 2009 are due at the
Foundation's office by January 31, 2010.
In addition to the mailed packet, the forms will be posted on our web site
for download as soon as they are published.
Note that group exemption members were notified in September that there are
now late fees charged to those members that do not file their reports by the
deadline. The forms are available for
download on our web site.
Military Benevolence Program
A reminder, if you have any children of
military personnel who are deployed or were
deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan a generous private foundation patron
has made a fund available to help local Masonic Angel Funds who are
providing assistance to children of these brave men and women. Contact the
Foundation if you have a benevolence request that might qualify for 100%
reimbursement under this program.
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