Masonic Angel Fund News Articles

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IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS!
November 30, 2001

 

When we in MAF-land recall that line from the popular song of the season, we don't think of trees and baubles - we think of "Masonic Angels" and the challenges they all face at this time of year. 

During the week of December 2, 2001 we ask that all Masonic Angel Fund trustees be certain to contact their schools to see where holiday assistance might be required. Last year, most of our MAF's had their busiest time during the two weeks leading up to Christmas. We have seen the "season" starting a little early this year, as the calls for winter coats and other necessary items begin to roll in.

This year we ask that each MAF pay special attention to the needs of families affected by the war on terrorism. Our contacts in the Massachusetts National Guard tell us that there are many children in need as a result of one or both parents being called to active duty. Be sure to ask your school liaisons to keep their eyes open for kids affected in this way. Thanks to the work of Wor. Bob Shaughnessey, an official contact was established between the Masonic Angel Foundation and the Mass. National Guard to make us aware of children in need within the state's military "family". If we hear of a child in your area, we will be certain to contact you to discuss their needs.

 
NAUSET LIGHT LODGE PROVIDES CLOTHING

There is a 16 year old girl presently attending the Latham School in Brewster who was recently traumatized by being virtually abandoned by both of her parents. The school recently contacted the Nauset Light Lodge Masonic Angel Fund looking for assistance for this young lady who was virtually without any decent clothing to wear. Nauset Light's Masonic Angel Fund provided $300 immediately and a school staffer took the girl shopping that very same day. The student was able to obtain a new pair of sneakers, a warm jacket, several pairs of slacks and some other basic items. The school reports that the girl has recovered some of her self-esteem and is doing much better. Nauset Light has applied to Grand Lodge for a matching grant to make additional funds available for this young woman in the direst of circumstances.

We salute Nauset Light for it's lightening fast response to this alarming situation.

 

MOUNT HOREB LODGE PROVIDES WINTER COATS

Jim St. Pierre of Mount Horeb Lodge reports that his MAF just purchased winter coats for two youngsters in Dennis. They are also poised to provide tuition assistance for a little girl who must attend a diabetic education program this summer.
 
UNIVERSAL LODGE PURCHASES MEDICAL FREEZER

A few weeks ago Lorry Armstrong of the Universal Lodge MAF received a call from a nurse at the Stony Brook Elementary School in Brewster, who presented a rather unusual situation. A ten year old boy with a severe diabetic condition had just moved into town. The only child on "the needle" for insulin at the school, his medication is required to be kept in the nurse's refrigerator. State law mandates that she maintain the insulin at a particular temperature - however, when she set the unit to maintain that temperature the machine would not keep the ice packs in the freezer frozen.

After some quick research, Lorry provided the school with the funds to purchase a small chest-style freezer from a local appliance store for approximately $200. Had the MAF not been available, the school would have been required to expend its entire annual medical supply budget to pay for this necessary - but un-funded - piece of medical equipment.

We commend MAF Trustee Armstrong for once again "thinking outside the box" and coming up with a creative solution to serve the students in one of his schools.
 
GRANT FROM THE GRAND LODGE OF MASSACHUSETTS

On November 16th the Foundation received a grant from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, matching a grant we received last month from The Lodge of St. Andrew in Boston. The purpose of this grant package is to assist children in communities where we do not yet have a Masonic Angel Fund. The primary means of identifying children in need at those locations will be by the Foundation working together with the visiting nurses from Overlook Home Health Care as well as our contacts in the Massachusetts National Guard. Many thanks to our Brothers in The Lodge of St. Andrew for their vision and generous support - and to Grand Lodge for matching that significant contribution.
 
SHARE YOUR GOOD NEWS!

Please use our list server (angelfund@listserver.blackwidowweb.net) to share your benevolences and news with others in Masonic Angel Fund family. You may email your questions and stories to this address. 

Better still, if you hold a fund raiser or do some special project in your community send us photographs and a "press release" for the web site.

Remember, the web site and these email broadcasts are everyone's forum to share and learn about how we all operate our Masonic Angel Funds.
 
THE "MAF EXPERIENCE"

Recently, we were challenged by a request for advice on the first possible "big city" MAF adoption. The challenge was "how does one Lodge service a whole city of elementary schools?"

Well, we did a lot of talking. We talked primarily about how to get checks out to schools in a prompt, efficient manner. We talked about all kinds of ways of doing this - from electronic fund transfers, to school district inter-office mail to sending checks in the mail. As we explored these logistical issues we re-discovered a core value of the Masonic Angel Fund program. We call this the "MAF Experience".

The MAF Experience is the process of personal contact that accompanies each step in the fulfillment of a request for MAF assistance. This is a multi-step process:

Request - Someone from the school calls a Masonic Angel Fund trustee and asks for MAF assistance.
Approval - The MAF trustees make a very quick decision - which is usually "yes" - and inform the school staff person that the request will be fulfilled.
Fulfillment - A representative of the Masonic Angel Fund visits the school, is greeted by the staff and presents them with the check to fulfill the request for assistance.
This personal contact is absolutely essential to the core function of the Masonic Angel Fund - "Masons helping children in our community". The school staff and MAF volunteers maintain close, regular contact and develop a rapport over many months. The most important part of the MAF Experience - the "fulfillment" phase - is a necessary "uplifting experience" (to steal a term from AMWAY) that makes both the school and the Mason feel good about the program and about themselves for helping a child. 

Ask any Mason who has delivered an MAF check to a school. He will tell you that he wants to do more - he wants to bring more checks to that school to help more kids.

When we consider launching MAF in a larger community, it will be necessary to preserve the "MAF Experience" by involving a sufficient number of volunteers in the outreach phase of the MAF so that all schools can be covered by a person the staff recognizes and gets to know as a friend. 

We do not propose that you have a dozen MAF trustees or anything like that. Where trustees are concerned, smaller is better. However, you can gather a group of "MAF Ambassadors" around your trustees. Have each Ambassador adopt a few schools (perhaps three) where they will be the primary MAF contact. The Ambassador can receive requests for benevolence and then contact a Trustee to see about fulfilling the request. The Ambassador can then get the check from the Trustees and deliver it to the school in person.

The personal contact cornerstone of the "MAF Experience" is not just about everyone feeling good about a particular request fulfilled. It is about Masonic Awareness. The school staff will soon start to recognize their MAF Ambassador. This leads to contact in the community outside the school and the propagation of Masonic Awareness in that community. Good Masonic Awareness begets membership. Membership begets healthy, growing Lodges. Healthy, growing Lodges can do even more for their community....etc.

Who would like to write more about the MAF Experience? Send your thoughts to angelfund@listserver.blackwidowweb.net and we will pass them on to your colleagues in other Masonic Angel Funds.