Masonic Angel Fund News

Up ]

Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. - "Angel Mail" Update – July 29, 2012

Summer Vacation Edition

Benevolence Stories 

We know everyone enjoys the benevolence stories so we’re running those first.  Please read on for other important topics of interest of friends of the Masonic Angel Fund program 

Below is a representative sampling of benevolences from the spring semester: 

Bristol MAF (North Attleboro, MA) – Camperships for eight children, summer art program fee for one child, summer program fees for eight children. 

Charlton MAF (Charlton, MA) – Provided camperships for multiple children to attend various summer programs. 

Celestial MAF (Westwood/Dedham, MA) – 7 Laptops for KidZ computers placed at Westwood High School.  Celestial also provided financial assistance to fund driver’s education for a sixteen year old girl whose mother is seriously ill with cancer – the girl needed her license to take over family transportation duties because of her mother’s illness.  (See “benevolence showcase” story below) 

Corinthian MAF (Concord, MA) – Prescription assistance. 

James H Campbell MAF (Natick, MA) – A Total of $2,750 in summer program fees for multiple children. 

Marine Lodge MAF (Falmouth, MA) – Eye exam/eyeglasses for an elementary school child and school supplies for multiple Head Start children. 

Mount Carmel-Damascus MAF (Lynn, MA) – Campership for one child, funds to provide a bedbug-proof mattress and box spring covers, $500 in program fees for children to participate in the schools’ summer reading program. 

Mount Hollis MAF (Holliston, MA) – Laptops for KidZ computer and shoes/clothing for two elementary school children. 

Mount Hope MAF (Somerset, MA) – Partial funding for a hearing aid and grocery cards for two families.  Camperships for two children. 

Mystic Valley MAF (Arlington, MA) – Summer program fees for multiple children. 

Pacific Lodge MAF (Amherst, MA) – Summer program fees for multiple children. 

Philanthropic MAF (Marblehead, MA) – CVS and grocery gift cards for a family with cancer-stricken mother. 

Phoenix MAF (Hanover, MA) – Preschool tuition assistance, one campership and program fees for two students. 

St. Alban’s MAF (Foxboro, MA) – Multiple summer program fees and 9 Laptops for KidZ computers. 

Universal MAF (Orleans/Brewster/Eastham, MA) – Beehive Food packages for 62 families for one year, grocery cards for family with cancer-stricken child, grocery cards for multiple families, summer program fees for one middle school child, partial payment of summer school tuition, 38 Laptops for KidZ computers. 

Wellesley MAF (Wellesley, MA) – Summer academic enrichment program fee for one child, eye exam/eyeglasses for two children, campership assistance for multiple children. 

Winslow Lewis-Adams (Wellfleet, MA) – Beehive Food packages for five families for six months, financial assistance for counseling a child who suffers from post-traumatic stress. 

Benevolence Showcase – Celestial Masonic Angel Fund 

Celestial Masonic Angel Fund serves families in Westwood and Dedham, Massachusetts.  A young MAF chapter, Celestial was launched in March of 2010.  It has distinguished itself as a fast-growing, outreach-aggressive chapter.  When we looked for a chapter to showcase this month, we kept coming back to Celestial’s 48 page report for the spring semester.  

From January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012, Celestial Masonic Angel Fund dispensed $5898.63 in benevolences.  These included: 

·         Assistance with a child’s medical bill deductibles

·         School lunch assistance for family living in a shelter

·         Eye exam/eyeglasses for one child

·         Field trip fees for thirteen children

·         Urgent dental care for two children

·         Grocery cards for family with two children

·         Winter clothing for four children in one family

·         Athletic fees for two high school students whose father was laid off

·         Grocery cards for family with three children

·         Computers for seven children through Laptops for KidZ

·         Computer for one child with specialized need (purchased new)

·         Driver’s Ed for child whose father died last year and mother is seriously ill with cancer

·         Summer program fees for a child being raised by his grandparents

·         Youth baseball program fee for one boy 

As one can see, Celestial MAF’s trustees had a busy spring!  The children in Westwood and Dedham are truly fortunate to have such hard-working Masons looking after their needs. 

Over 300 Laptops for KidZ Now Placed 

As most of our regular readers are aware, the Masonic Angel Foundation launched the Laptops for KidZ Project in March of 2010.  Later this week we will place our 300th computer.

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 average 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 some of the excellent coverage they’ve given this program 

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

 Beehive Food Program is Buzzing! 

In March of this year the Foundation began pilot testing the new Beehive Food Program.  Beehive is a non-traditional food pantry program run in conjunction with schools served by Masonic Angel Fund chapters.  The pilot test was run in the Nauset Regional School District and was funded by Universal Masonic Angel Fund and the Winslow Lewis-Adams Masonic Angel Fund. 

The Beehive Food Program was formed in response to an alarming increase in the number of food-related requests received by most of our MAF chapters.  Since the recession began in 2008 we have seen exponential growth in food assistance benevolences to a point where many chapters have stopped funding “anything but the basics”.   

When we give a grocery store gift card to a family, they visit the store and pay full retail price for the food items they purchase with the card.  The idea behind Beehive is to purchase supplemental food items from Dollar Stores in order to better leverage our food dollars.   

During the pilot test, we have worked with Dollar Tree stores.  Each month we purchase $10 worth of food items for each family included in the test group.  On average, we’re obtaining close to $30 worth of food (at grocery store retail) for our $10 expenditure.   

Beehive is a “supplemental” program as opposed to a traditional food pantry’s “sustenance” program.  Our typical recipient is a family that makes too much money to qualify for traditional food assistance programs but not enough to buy all the food they need.   

Food packages are prepared by our volunteers (in Dollar Tree shopping bags) and delivered to our partner schools.  As with all other MAF benevolences, the school staff select the recipients and deliver the food to those families.   

Detailed information about Beehive is available at www.masonicangelfund.org – you can also read two excellent articles from CapeCodToday.com by clicking the links below: 

http://www.capecodtoday.com/news/headlines/2012/05/01/masonic-angels-launch-new-beehive-food-p

http://www.capecodtoday.com/news/headlines/2012/06/14/masonic-angels-expand-beehive-food-progr 

Beehive is a much different program than Masonic Angel Funds have offered before.  This is because it’s a more labor intensive process and requires manpower to accomplish it.  Service for 62 families in May required a Sunday morning (8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) for three volunteers and then three other volunteers delivered the food to the schools the next morning. 

The initial field test was planned for thirty families.  Thanks to an unsolicited donation from a private family foundation, a grant from a local corporation’s philanthropy program and numerous individual donors we were able to expand the program to serve 72 families in four towns for the 2012-2013 school year. 

We will soon be offering the Beehive Food Program to other MAF chapters.  If you would like to be considered for inclusion please contact the Foundation office at 508-255-8812 or via email to info@masonicangelfund.org   

Outreach as School Opens 

School will be open before we know it!  That means it’s almost time to plan your fall outreach visits.  As we’ve said for the past fourteen years, frequent, consistent school outreach is key to a MAF chapter’s success.  Please take a moment to re-read our “Comprehensive Guide to School Outreach” at http://www.masonicangelfund.org/downloads/outreachbroadcast01282008.pdf  

If you don’t feel you’re reaching the right people in your schools, please feel free to call upon the Foundation staff to discuss your situation.  We are always happy to offer suggestions to those wishing to broaden their chapter’s outreach. 

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