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Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. - "Angel Mail" Update – January 2, 2011

Annual Holiday Wrap-Up Issue

Benevolence Builder Grant Series Conclude

This Christmas we were privileged to offer three Benevolence Builder Grant series.  The Lodge of St. Andrew once again sponsored their holiday BBG series, the friends and family of John A. Sherman offered a Founders Fund BBG series and the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts offered its first BBG series.  All three series concluded early when the funds allocated by each donor were exhausted.  The holidays this year brought some of the strongest demand experienced in the twelve-year history of the Masonic Angel Fund program.  We express our sincerest thanks to our generous patrons for making these BBG series possible during a time of such critical need.

Benevolence Stories
It is both difficult and emotionally draining to read through hundreds of benevolence reports and choose which stories will be published in an Angel Mail bulletin.  We think the presentation below reflects a good cross section of the excellent work that was done over the past two months.

Below is a representative sampling of recent benevolences:

Artisan MAF (Winchendon, MA) – USO Christmas gifts for five local children whose parent is deployed, holiday gifts for 70 children, holiday gifts, personal items and clothing for nine additional families. 

Boston First Fund (Boston, MA) – Holiday gifts for 14 children at the Roxbury DYS facility, gifts for dozens of children served by Big Sisters of Greater Boston, replacement bedding for a Head Start family suffering from a bed bug infestation.

Charlton MAF (Charlton, MA) – Clothing and holiday gifts for multiple children

Corinthian Lodge MAF (Concord, MA) – Clothing and holiday gifts for multiple children. 

Daniel Webster MAF (Marshfield, MA) – USO Christmas packages for three children of deployed military personnel.

Fraternal Lodge MAF (Centerville, MA) – Holiday gifts for eight children served by Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Cape Cod

Golden Fleece Lodge MAF (Lynn, MA) – Eyeglasses for one child and USO Christmas packages.

Greenwood MAF (Greenwood, IN) – Winter outerwear for three local children

Henry L. Palmer MAF (Wauwatosa, WI – just outside Milwaukee) – Hats, gloves, outerwear for eleven children.  Hats, mittens and personal hygiene kits for 50 homeless children. Hats/gloves for 50 children at a single school.  Hats, gloves, personal hygiene kits for 100 children and hats/gloves for 50 children at another Milwaukee school.  Winter outerwear and warm clothing for two girls whose mother is terminal with Leukemia.  Holiday gifts for 72 homeless children.  Hats, gloves and personal hygiene kits for 100 children at yet another homeless facility in Milwaukee. We asked the H. L. Palmer trustees how they could afford this kind of generosity to over 400 children and the nice lady who puts together the kits referred us to www.dollardays.com – the source for the hats, mittens and material for the hygiene kits.  www.dollartree.com also offers values like this in bulk.

John Cutler MAF (Abington, MA) – Program fees and/or clothing for five children.

Military Assistance Program (Otis ANG Base, MA) - $800 in food assistance for deployed National Guard families in distress, $250 in food assistance to the family of a veteran of Iraq/Afghan deployments.

Level MAF (Shrewsbury/Worcester, MA) – Winter coat for a first grade girl in custody of her grandmother, winter coats for three elementary school children, food and clothing for a five-year-old girl, holiday gifts for 100 children at five different schools.

Marine Lodge MAF (Falmouth/Mashpee, MA) – Christmas packages for five children served by Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Cape Cod, holiday gifts for 42 local children, holiday gifts for a military family at Otis ANG base.

Mariners’ MAF (Cotuit/Barnstable, MA) – Thanksgiving packages for 48 families served by Head Start/Cape Cod Child Development, food cards for fifteen families, Laptops for KidZ computers ($6 each) for two Barnstable children.

Mount Bigelow MAF (Carrabassett Valley, ME) – Winter clothing for three children

Mount Carmel-Damascus Lodge MAF (Lynn, MA) – Holiday gifts for multiple children, wheel chair for a disabled child.

Mount Hollis MAF (Holliston, MA) – Christmas gifts for multiple children.

Mount Horeb MAF (Dennis, MA) – Holiday packages for five children served by Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Cape Cod, Thanksgiving packages for three families, Laptops for KidZ computer ($37.75) for an eighth grader.

Mount Washington Valley MAF (North Conway, NH) – Clothing, winter outerwear, field trip fees, gas cards, emergency assistance, and holiday gifts for multiple children.

Mystic Valley MAF (Arlington/Somerville, MA) – Holiday gifts for approximately 40 children.

North Quabbin MAF (Athol, MA) – Over $5,300 in holiday gifts, warm clothing and other necessities for more than 250 children in their service area.

Phoenix MAF (Hanover, MA) – Holiday gifts and warm clothing for multiple children.

Pythagorean Lodge MAF (Marion, MA) – Holiday gifts, clothing, art supplies, program fees, books, grocery cards for a total of 15 children. 

Quaboag Lodge MAF (Warren, MA) – Laptops for KidZ computer ($21.70) for a child at Warren Community School.

Rising Star Lodge MAF (Stoughton, MA) – USO holiday gift packages for six children of deployed military personnel.

St. Alban’s MAF (Foxboro, MA) – Holiday gifts for 40 children, YMCA program fees for a seventeen year old girl, eyeglasses for a high school girl, Laptops for KidZ computer ($24.65) for a high school student, tires for a family fan that transports two special needs children,

St. Aspinquid MAF (North Berwick, ME) – Food cards for a family in crisis, tutoring fees for a sixth grader.

St. Martin’s Lodge MAF (Chatham, MA) – Holiday gifts for a family in crisis.

William Parkman Lodge MAF (Winchester, MA) – Holiday gifts for twelve families.

Winslow Lewis-Adams MAF (Wellfleet, MA) – Gasoline assistance and tire replacement for a family with a daughter suffering from cancer who needs to travel to Boston several times a week and emergency assistance for another family in crisis.

Laptops for KidZ Goes “Live”

As most of our regular readers are aware, the Masonic Angel Foundation launched the Laptops for KidZ Project in March of 2010.  We ran a field test of LFK from April to December in the Cape Cod region.  As of January 1, 2011, the project is now “live” and available system-wide to members of the Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.’s group exemption.  A separate email broadcast was sent out to group exemption members on January 1st explaining how a chapter can register for Laptops for KidZ. 

The Laptops for KidZ Project’s volunteers refurbish donated laptop computers and places them with schools served by local MAF chapters.  Laptops are to be sent home with children who would not otherwise have access to a computer outside regular school hours.

MAF/Laptops for KidZ is a member of the Microsoft Registered Refurbisher program.  This allows us to provide very low cost “Citizenship Licenses” for Microsoft Windows XP Professional to be install on computers refurbished under the LFK program guidelines.  Volunteers typically add Avast! anti-virus software, Open Office and Adobe Reader on each computer.  LFK’s machines are provided to recipient schools absolutely free of charge.  (Our cost to put a refurbished computer in front of the child is between $6 and $30 in most cases.)

Over the past ten months, Laptops for KidZ has received some wonderful publicity in the form of a continuing series on capecodtoday.com , a regional news site here on Cape Cod.  Cape Cod Today has covered the placement of many computers that were placed through Laptops for KidZ.  On December 2, 2010 they ran a wonderful “exposé” article about “Santa’s Workshop on Cape Cod” in which they chronicled the work of LFK volunteer Benjamin Richardson, our primary refurbishing technician.  The Santa article includes a link to other stories Cape Cod Today published about LFK.

If your MAF chapter is a member of the group exemption and would like to participate in Laptops for KidZ please contact info@masonicangelfund.org   The Laptops for KidZ brochure may be accessed on the Downloads page of www.masonicangelfund.org

Semi-Annual Reports for the Fall Semester Due January 31st

Semi-annual report packets were mailed out in mid-December. The reports are exactly the same as they were last semester. Please remember that the reports for July 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010 are due at the Foundation's office by January 31, 2011. 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 (minimum $100) charged to those members that do not file their reports by the deadline.  The forms are available for download on our web site.

This year we have added some “helpful hints” to the report packet to make it easier for you to decide what kind of transactions go on each line of the report.  Click here to view the document or paste http://www.masonicangelfund.org/downloads/FinancialReturnHelpfulHints-122010.pdf into your browser.

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.

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 info@masonicangelfund.org and we will pass them along to your colleagues.

Regards to all,
Robert W. Fellows, Co-Founder/Board President
Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.
info@masonicangelfund.org

www.masonicangelfund.org / www.laptopsforkidZ.org