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Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. - "Angel Mail" Update – December 24, 2012

Annual Holiday Wrap-Up Issue

A Glorious Christmas Season!

Can this really be the Masonic Angel Fund’s 15th Christmas?  Once again our volunteers stepped forward to provide Christmas gifts, clothing, food and other basics to thousands of children served by Masonic Angel Fund chapters from busy urban areas to the most pastoral of settings.  We’re also proud to have helped many children whose mother or father is deployed with the armed services or is a veteran of the Iraq/Afghan conflicts. 

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, 2012 to December 31, 2012 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 17th.  The forms are also 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 Thriving 

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. 

2012 was a “break out” year where many of our chapters either joined the LFK program or really got their legs under them.  Chapters like Azure Masonic Angel Fund (Walpole, MA), Celestial MAF (Westwood/Dedham, MA), St. Alban’s Masonic Angel Fund (Foxboro, MA) all secured significant numbers of computers from local businesses and individuals.  Meanwhile, back at the “mother ship” in Orleans, we have seen unprecedented donations of machines from the Cape Cod business community. 

As of December 24, 2012, Laptops for KidZ has placed 407 refurbished computers in schools throughout Massachusetts since May 2010.  The impact on individual children’s lives is immeasurable.  Typical recipients range from a second grader with a handwriting delay to a tenth grader enrolled at a competitive, tech-intensive high school, all in situation where their parents cannot provide access to a home computer.  Better still, MAF’s partnership with the Comcast Internet Essentials program ensures that qualified families can obtain broadband Internet services for $9.95 per month. 

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.) 

Since its inception, Laptops for KidZ has been the subject of dozens of feature stories published by capecodtoday.com , a regional news site here on Cape Cod.  This type of publicity has not only stimulated more computer donations, it has sparked many men’s interest in exploring Freemasonry.  Visit www.capecodtoday.com and do a site search for “Laptops for KidZ” to see examples of the wonderful stories they have published. 

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  

 

Beehive Food Program 

Last spring we pilot tested the Beehive Food Program, a “food pantry” program designed to provide monthly supplemental food packages to families that might not qualify for traditional food assistance programs but don’t make enough money to buy all the food they need.  We tested the program with 30 families receiving monthly “Beehive Packages” and now serve 75 families a month.  MAF leverages its food dollars by purchasing items at Dollar Tree stores and providing a package that consists of ten items per month. 

Beehive was devised to operate in a way that won’t compete with or harm other community food pantry programs.  We purchase all of our food.  Beehive doesn’t accept random food donations nor do we accept state or federal food distributions.  Rather, we receive funding from grants and generous individuals then leverage those funds to get the most servings for our dollar. 

A typical monthly Beehive Package might include: 

·         Bag of rice

·         Box of fruit-filled cereal bars (6)

·         Multi-pack of animal crackers

·         Four-pack of toilet tissue

·         Large package of pasta

·         Pasta sauce

·         Five-pack of Ramen Noodles

·         8-10 oz box of cereal

·         Box of Mac & Cheese

·         Box of “pop tart” style snacks 

Beehive Food is a bit more labor intensive than a typical Masonic Angel Fund program.  Each month two of us visit Dollar Tree on a Sunday morning to purchase the food.  Then we are met by two or three more volunteers back at the Lodge (which holds a food pantry license from the town). We assemble the food packages and pack them in totes labeled for each school.  This takes us from 8 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. on a Sunday, assuming four volunteers and favorable traffic. 

The following morning, three volunteers visit the Lodge to pick up the totes and deliver them to the seven schools that we serve, located in five different towns. 

With the field test successfully concluded, we are ready to offer Beehive to subordinate Masonic Angel Fund chapters.  Please contact us for information on how you can operate your own Beehive Food Program at your MAF chapter. 

Many of our chapters are spending a lot of money on grocery cards.  Beehive affords us an excellent way to leverage our food dollars.  Email info@masonicangelfund.org or call 508-255-8812 if you’d like to talk about this new program. 

Mystic Valley MAF Shines at Christmas 

This morning we were delighted to receive the wonderful message below, forwarded to us by Ted Wilson at the Mystic Valley Masonic Angel Fund.  We will let the school social worker’s words speak for themselves: 

Dear Mr. Wilson, 

Like last year, many families are struggling financially and some are homeless. Your donation went to 48 East Somerville Community School students from 22 families who had a very difficult time buying gifts for the children. Gifts included: games, toys, gift certificates for food, and plastic mattress covers. The families were: 

7 children, (18, 16, 13, 11, 8, 7, 6) homeless, living with their mother

5 children (13, 9, 8, 4, 3) living with both parents with limited resources

2 children (11, 7) living with a single mother with limited resources

2 children (13, 11) living with a single mother in an apartment in very poor condition

2 children (11, 9) living with a single mother with limited resources

2 children (12, 9) living with a single mother with limited resources

2 children (8, 7) living with a single mother with limited resources, since her husband has been hospitalized

4 children (12, 9, 5, 4) living with their mother with limited resources,

2 children (13, 11) living with father and grandmother with limited resources

1 children (9) living with both parents with limited resources

2 children (12, 4) living with a single mother with limited resources

1 child (8) homeless, living with a single mother

1 child (12) living with both parents with limited resources

1 child (12) living with both parents with limited resources

1 child (12) living with a single mother with limited resources

1 child (14) homeless, living with a single mother

2 children (9, 7) living with a single mother in an apartment in very poor condition

3 children (12, 14, 16) living with a single mother with limited resources

2 children (11, 9) living with both parents with limited resources

1 child (8) living with both parents with limited resources

2 children (8, 6) living with both parents with limited resources

2 children (8, 3) living with a single mother with limited resources

 

Your gift made all the difference to these families this year. 

Thank you so much for your help.  

Sincerely,

Jean Devanthery

School Social Worker

East Somerville Community School 

 

Benevolence Stories 

Below is a 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.  Once again this season the work of our Massachusetts chapters was supported by the steadfast generosity of The Lodge of St. Andrew’s “benevolence builder” grant program. 

Azure MAF (Walpole, MA) 10 Laptops for KidZ computers  

Celestial MAF (Westwood/Dedham, MA) 3 Laptops for KidZ computers  

Corinthian MAF (Concord, MA) food and clothing for multiple families  

Marine MAF (Falmouth, MA) Thanksgiving food packages for five families through Head Start, eye exams/glasses for two children, assistance to fire victim family, holiday gifts for six families  

Mariner’s MAF (Cotuit/Barnstable, MA) Thanksgiving food packages 29 families  through Head Start and holiday gifts for ten children  

Mount Horeb MAF (Dennis, MA) Thanksgiving food package 10 families  

North Quabbin (Athol, MA) $3,500 for holiday gifts to cover over 100 local children. 

MAF Military Fund (Foundation-administered) Holiday gifts for 100 USO children, two Laptops for KidZ computers, over $4,000 in grocery and general merchandise cards for emergency assistance to active duty military and veteran families. 

Pacific MAF (Amherst, MA) Winter clothing, boots, shoes, coats and essentials for 16 children living in shelters plus eyeglasses/exam for one child  

Universal MAF (Orleans, MA) Over 500 Beehive Food packages (<>$5,000), 43 Laptops for KidZ computers, eye exam ($75), Stop and Shop grocery cards for 2 families and Thanksgiving food packages for 8 families 

Yarmouth MAF (Yarmouth, MA) Thanksgiving food packages for 35 families  

Bristol MAF (North Attleboro, MA) Holiday gifts, clothing and winter outerwear for 5 children  

Celestial MAF (Westwood/Dedham, MA ) Food assistance for multiple families, clothing/winter outerwear multiple families, 19 Laptops for KidZ computers  

Cochichewick MAF (North Andover, MA) Diapers and winter clothing for a profoundly ill child under the care of UMass/Community Case Management

Framingham MAF (Framingham, MA) Winter clothing for a profoundly ill child under the care of UMass/Community Case Management  

Fraternal MAF (Centerville, MA) Thanksgiving food packages for 14 families  

Mystic Valley MAF (Arlington/Somerville, MA) Holiday gifts for 48 children  

Winslow Lewis/Adams MAF (Wellfleet, MA ) Holiday gifts for five families  

Charlton MAF (Charlton, MA) Winter outerwear, clothing, footwear and holiday gifts for children at three schools  

St. Albans MAF (Foxboro, MA) Holiday gifts for 35 children 


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 / www.beehivefood.org