Masonic Angel Fund News
Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. - "Angel Mail" Update – December 23, 2013
Holiday Wrap-Up Edition
Benevolence Builders Conclude
The St. Andrew Benevolence Builder grant series has concluded. Our profound thanks go to The Lodge of St. Andrew for their continuing support of Masonic Angel Fund chapters in Massachusetts. The Benevolence Builder program helps new chapters to get started and established chapters to grow.
The BBG program is unique among most charities in that it reimburses chapters for benevolences they have given out. Most traditional charity grant programs would reward a chapter for raising money but set no bar for providing actual charitable assistance. In MAF we want our chapters to spend their money helping children. A plentiful bank account helps no one if the funds just sit there.
Semi-Annual Reports for the Spring Semester Due January 31st
Semi-annual report packets were mailed out in mid-May. The reports are exactly the same as they were last semester. Please remember that the reports for July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013 are due at the Foundation's office by January 31, 2014. 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.
The forms are also available for download on our web site.
The back of the cover letter includes some “helpful hints” to make it easier for you to decide what kind of transactions go on each line of the report.
Laptops for KidZ Places 750th Laptop
On December 12, 2013 the Laptops for KidZ Project placed its 750th refurbished laptop. This placement was covered by the Cape Cod Today news site: http://www.capecodtoday.com/article/2013/12/16/23225-wellfleet-gets-750th-masonic-angel-laptop
We continue to recognize the exemplary work of Laptops for KidZ volunteer Ben Richardson of Mount Horeb Lodge in Dennis, MA. Ben has dedicated most of his garage and a good portion of his home to Laptops for KidZ refurbishing. His skill at finding life in the most “hopeless” computers is legend among the LFK team.
If your MAF chapter is a member of the group exemption and would like to participate in Laptops for KidZ please contact firstname.lastname@example.org The Laptops for KidZ brochure may be accessed on the Downloads page of www.masonicangelfund.org
1,500 Beehive Food Packages
Within the next two weeks the Beehive Food Program will have placed its 1,500th “Beehive Food Package”.
Beehive is 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 now serve 107 families a month during the school year. MAF leverages its food dollars by purchasing items at Dollar Tree stores and providing a package that consists of ten items per month.
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 email@example.com or call 508-255-8812 if you’d like to talk about this new program.
Yarmouth MAF Honored
Volunteers from the Yarmouth Masonic Angel Fund were recently recognized by the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School Committee. Howard Lodge members David Blake and Frank Mirisola received the school district’s “Above and Beyond” award in recognition of their recent purchase of 25 winter coats for children at two elementary schools and providing school supply kits for kids at both schools back in September.
The Yarmouth MAF chapter has served Yarmouth children since 2000.
MAF Observes 15th Anniversary
On December 12, 2013 MAF volunteers, school officials and family members gathered to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Masonic Angel Fund’s establishment at Universal Lodge in Orleans, MA. We heard from our school partners, shared anecdotes from 15 years, reflected on what we learned and where we’re going from here.
MAF was recognized by the Massachusetts House of Representatives for its 15 years of service to Massachusetts’ children in need. A certificate was presented by Ms. Dorothy Smith, chief of staff to Rep. Sarah K. Peake.
Suffice it to say, the honor is ours for the opportunity to help so many kids over the past 15 years.
Two news stories on the 15th anniversary:
For the past fifteen years this program has operated on a shoestring budget, entirely staffed by volunteers. One of the most crucial of those volunteers is our Treasurer, Lorrimer Armstrong, Jr. Lorry has served in his role since the very beginning and as worked quietly, behind-the-scenes to keep us efficient and accountable.
At this time of year Lorrimer’s role is virtually a full time job with the added work load of Benevolence Builder grants and Christmas benevolences galore – all that in addition to “business as usual” transactions that now included hundreds of Laptops for KidZ parts purchases, complex grant administration and madcap Beehive Food transactions. He manages this pandemonium with the style and grace of a great Mason and a gentleman of the old school.
So, at this special time of the year, we tip our hats to Lorry Armstrong for his dedication, efficiency and devotion to the children we all serve.
USO “Operation Little Elf”
For the past decade MAF has partnered with the USO New England chapter to provide holiday gifts for children of a deployed parent. This year the Foundation and many local chapters provided approximately $8,000 in funding to enable the USO to purchase gifts for some 137 military children in Massachusetts.
Below is a sampling of recent benevolences. We tried to choose 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.
Celestial MAF (Dedham/Westwood, MA) – Holiday gift cards for 8 families, grocery cards to 10 families, extracurricular program fees for 2 children, $800 worth of holiday gifts to 4 Dedham families, 4 Laptops for KidZ computers
Charlton MAF (Charlton, MA) – Clothing for multiple children, holiday gifts for 15 families, a winter coat and emergency undergarments for the elementary school nurse’s office.
Elm-Belcher MAF (Agawam, MA) – Holiday gifts for 40 children
James H. Campbell MAF (Natick, MA) – Program fees for child attending Learning Center for the Deaf, afterschool tuition for a struggling family, grocery cards for 12 families. Special thanks to M.W. Albert Ames, who originated over 100 Laptops for KidZ computers this year.
John Cutler MAF (Abington, MA) – Eyeglasses for a five-year-old boy, afterschool tuition assistance and winter outerwear for three children
King David MAF (Taunton, MA) – USO Christmas packages for 13 children.
Marine MAF (Falmouth, MA) – Laptops for KidZ computer, holiday gifts for six families, hygiene kits for NEED Collaborative students.
Mariners MAF (Cotuit/Barnstable, MA) – Monthly Beehive Food Packages for ten families, $800 in holiday gifts, 4 Laptops for KidZ computers, grocery card for a family, $1,050 in Head Start Thanksgiving packages.
Mount Carmel-Damascus (Lynn, MA) – Winter coats for five boys, clothing for multiple children, Scholastic magazine for multiple children and a pair of crutches.
Mount Hollis MAF (Holliston, MA) – Multiple Laptops for KidZ computers
Mount Hope MAF (Somerset, MA) – Emergency items for a child whose house burned down, eyeglasses for two children, USO Christmas packages for 6 children
Mount Horeb MAF (Dennis, MA) – Two Laptops for KidZ computers, Thanksgiving packages for 12 families.
Pilgrim MAF (Harwich, MA) – Three Laptops for KidZ computers, hygiene kits for students at NEED Collaborative
Pythagorean MAF (Marion, MA) – $900 in holiday assistance for multiple families
St. Alban’s MAF (Foxboro, MA) - $1,000 in holiday gifts, 4 USO holiday gift packages. Special thanks to Bro. Bob Churchill, who has facilitated the donation of well over 100 Laptops for KidZ computers this year.
St. Martin’s MAF (Chatham, MA) – 5 Laptops for KidZ computers, Beehive monthly food packages for 3 families, clothing/holiday gifts for 2 families, hygiene kits for NEED Collaborative students
Tahattwan MAF (Littleton, MA) – Holiday assistance for multiple families, afterschool tuition assistance, tuition for music lessons
Thomas Talbot MAF (Billerica, MA) – Holiday gifts, winter outerwear, food, underwear, clothing to multiple families along with USO Christmas packages for 5 military families.
Universal MAF (Orleans, MA) – Holiday gift cards for multiple families, monthly Beehive Food Package for 60 families, hundreds of dollars in grocery cards, Beehive School Tools school supply kits for 99 children, afterschool tuition assistance, 42 Laptops for KidZ computers.
Wellesley MAF (Wellesley, MA) – Eyeglasses for twins
Winslow Lewis-Adams (Wellfleet, MA) – Beehive Food monthly packages for 7 families, back-to-school supply kits for 7 children, 2 Laptops for KidZ computers.
Yarmouth MAF (Yarmouth, MA) – Hygiene kits for NEED Collaborative students, winter coats for 25 children, Beehive School Tools kits for 100 children.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass them along to your colleagues.
Regards to all,
Robert W. Fellows