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Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. - "Angel Mail" Update – December 24, 2011

Annual Holiday Wrap-Up Issue

A Rewarding Holiday Season

What can be more rewarding then helping children in a time of great need?  With the economy still very weak, we salute our Masonic Angel Fund chapters for continuing to step up to help so many children in need.  The holidays are an especially emotional time for all of us and this year the demand was greater than ever.  Fortunately our donors have stood with the families we serve and were most generous in their support.  From Christmas gifts to the basics of food/clothing to the extraordinary needs of a family with a medically fragile child, the Masonic Angel Fund rose to the challenge this year and made us all even more proud to call ourselves Freemasons.

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, 2011 to December 31, 2011 are due at the Foundation's office by January 31, 2012. In addition to the mailed packet, the forms are posted on our web site for download.  Note that group exemption members were notified in September 2009 that there are now late fees (minimum $100) charged to those members that do not file their reports by the deadline.  

Report packets were mailed December 23rd.  The forms are now 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.

 Laptops for KidZ is Growing Fast
As most of you are aware, the Masonic Angel Foundation launched the Laptops for KidZ Project in March of 2010 and took the program “live” in January 2011 after a nine-month pilot test. 

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 or Windows 7 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 two years, 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.  Visit www.capecodtoday.com and do a site search for “Laptops for KidZ” to see examples of the wonderful stories they have published on LFK. 

The Brooks family at eCape, Inc./capecodtoday.com have supported MAF ever since it was established in 1998.  Through sponsorship of our printed brochures, generous donations and media advice, Walter Brooks and Pat Brooks have helped us in more ways than we can count.  With some 80,000 readers a day, Cape Cod Today’s continuing coverage of Laptops for KidZ helped establish the program’s credibility early and has attracted many donations of computer hardware.

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  

MIT Lincoln Laboratory Donates 15 Laptops
We are proud to report that MIT Lincoln Laboratory donated fifteen high-end Dell laptops to Laptops for KidZ in November.  We were introduced to MIT Lincoln Laboratory by our Brother and MAF military family services liaison officer Lt. Col. William F. Reade, Jr. (USAR, Ret) who made the necessary contacts to secure what we hope will be a continuing donation of these wonderful computers.  All of the MIT computers were placed within days of their arrival at “Santa’s Workshop” here on Cape Cod.
 

Benevolence Stories
Below is a representative sampling of recent benevolences.  We tried to chose these both for their diversity as well as to give newer MAF trustees some anecdotal accounts of what other chapters are doing for the children they serve.  One fact we noted this year is that there are far fewer toys or toy gift cards being distributed at Christmas – the schools are requesting assistance to fund more of the basics such as clothing and food.

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.

Military Assistance Program (Otis ANG Base, MA and Taunton FSO, Taunton, MA, Veterans’ Outreach Center, Hyannis, MA) – Thousands of dollars in food assistance for deployed National Guard families in distress and the families of recently discharged veterans of the Iraq and Afghan campaigns.

USO New England (Boston, MA and serving military families state-wide) – Holiday gift packages for 77 children of a deployed military parent.

Boston First Fund (Serving the immediate Boston area) – Holiday gift packages for 56 children served by Big Sisters of Greater Boston and 14 children served by the Roxbury DYS Center.

Artisan MAF (Winchendon, MA) provided assistance to a family with two children whose father was killed in an auto accident over Thanksgiving.

Amity Mosaic (Dedham, MA) provided holiday gifts and necessities for multiple families.

MAF Chapters on Cape Cod participated in a joint effort to provide Thanksgiving dinner packages to 67 families served by Cape Cod Child Development’s Head Start program.

Celestial MAF (Westwood/Dedham, MA) provided holiday gifts for five children in three families.

Charlton MAF (Charlton, MA at the Masonic Home) provided winter outerwear for multiple children in the Charlton Public Schools.

Level MAF (Shrewsbury/Worcester, MA) purchased gift cards to provide holiday gifts and warm clothing for children at four different schools in Worcester.  Level also provided holiday gifts for 52 children at the Midland Street and Nelson Place Schools in Worcester.

Marine MAF (Falmouth/Mashpee, MA) provided eyeglasses for one child and holiday gifts for six families.

Mariner’s MAF (Barnstable, MA) provided Thanksgiving dinner packages to 31 families, holiday gifts for 17 families and four Laptops for KidZ computers for two elementary school students and two high school students.

Mount Hollis MAF (Holliston, MA) purchased holiday gifts for multiple families and funded two Laptops for KidZ computers for middle school students.

Mount Carmel-Damascus (Lynn, MA) funded education program fees for multiple children, underwrote four Laptops for KidZ computers, eyeglasses for one child and winter coats for multiple elementary school students.

Mount Horeb MAF (Dennis, MA) funded thanksgiving dinners and holiday gifts for multiple children.  They also underwrote a Laptops for KidZ computer, food cards and gasoline cards for a medically fragile high school student who will soon require a heart transplant.  The school reported that the laptop would enable the student to keep up with his studies and graduate on time with his call.

North Quabbin MAF (Athol, MA) funded holiday gifts and winter clothing for over 50 children.

Pacific Lodge MAF (Amherst, MA) provided emergency assistance to a family that was burned out of their home.

Phoenix MAF (Hanover, MA) funded education program fees for an elementary school boy.

St. Alban’s MAF (Foxboro, MA) provided gasoline cards for a homeless child who is transported by a parent from outside town so he can remain in his school.  St. Alban’s also purchased winter clothing for 60 children.  St. Alban’s has originated, underwritten and placed 33 Laptops for KidZ computers this year.

Yarmouth MAF (Yarmouth, MA) has funded 60 Laptops for KidZ computers in the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District as well as holiday gifts and 21 Thanksgiving dinner packages.

Universal Masonic Angel Fund (Orleans, MA) has placed ten Laptops for KidZ computers since August.  UMAF also provided program tuition for one child and hundreds of dollars in food cards.  Universal also provided food and gas cards for the family of a boy who was operated on for a brain tumor Thanksgiving week.  Just before Christmas Universal fulfilled a request for last-minute holiday gifts and “struck gold” purchasing 20 back packs for $3.28 each (retail was $49.99 each) at Staples.  The backpacks were delivered to Orleans Elementary School as holiday gifts.


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