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MASONIC ANGEL FOUNDATION UPDATE - December 9, 2001

 

WINSLOW LEWIS/ADAMS LODGE MAF HITS A HOME RUN!
We are delighted to share with you the story of a most generous gift by the Winslow Lewis/Adams Lodge Masonic Angel Fund.

Early last week MAF Trustee Fred Schulenburg was contacted by the Wellfleet Elementary School in regard to a young child with a degenerative neuro-muscular disease. Fred learned that local donors had arranged for a van in which to transport the youngster but the school still was in need of necessary funds with which to install a wheelchair lift. The school staff hoped that the local Masonic Angel Fund might contribute a portion of the $3,000 to help acquire the equipment. After consulting with his fellow trustees, Bro. Schulenburg delivered to the school a check for the entire $3,000! All of this was accomplished within one business day of the formal request.

Of note, this child is not expected to live a very long life. If and when something happens to the boy, the van and chair lift will be transferred to another family in need.

The Winslow Lewis/Adams Lodge Masonic Angel Fund represents a partnership between Winslow Lewis Lodge of Boston and Adams Lodge of Wellfleet. This is an excellent example of how an inner-city Lodge can join with a "rural" Lodge in the service of children in need.

Bro. Schulenburg reported the following to us in an email of December 6th that "the check for $3,000 has been delivered... I received hugs and many thank you's...[the school psychologist said] you are truly Angels from Heaven..."

We commend this remarkable group for helping with such a worthy benevolence!

 

SCOOTERS!!!!
Idle Times Bike Shop, Inc. of North Eastham, MA recently donated several scooters to the Foundation for distribution to Masonic Angel Funds in the Lower Cape Cod region. Each public elementary school from Dennis to Provincetown will receive at least one scooter to provide to a family in need that's looking at a lean Christmas this year. The scooters will be provided to the schools through their local Masonic Angel Funds which will pick up the scooters from the Foundation.

Each local MAF will provide a helmet or a voucher for a free helmet to accompany the scooter presentation. The recipient parent(s) will sign a release form prior to delivery. (While this is a departure from the usual "anonymity" this is an exception we must make due to the litigious-ness of our society.)

The scooters are "bike shop quality" scooters that retailed for as much as $99. Idle Times owner Don Watson (a retired local police chief) has a long record of support for MAF and the CHIP program. The donation was arranged by Wor. Al Perperian of Universal Lodge (a/k/a Deputy Grand High Priest of Massachusetts Royal Arch's Grand Chapter).

If you find a retailer in your community who wishes to donated overstocked Christmas merchandise to your MAF please contact the Foundation to go over the logistics of arranging a tax-deductible donation for that retailer.
 
WELCOME TO WASHINGTON LODGE AF & AM
We are pleased to welcome Washington Lodge AF & AM of Lexington, Massachusetts as Masonic Angel Fund license #30. They adopted their MAF on October 10, 2001.

We are pleased to welcome Washington Lodge AF & AM of Lexington, Massachusetts as Masonic Angel Fund license #30. They adopted their MAF on October 10, 2001.
 
CHARLES C. DAME LODGE RAISES FUNDS 
This week we received word from Bro. John Fennessey that his Georgetown, MA Masonic Angel Fund raised some $900 with a dinner fund-raiser last month. According to Bro. John, this is the first time the Lodge has "gone public" with a charity fund raiser in quite some time. He also adds that "it has struck a chord with our own membership...I heard from people I never heard from before on this one."

Congratulations to Charles C. Dame Lodge for a terrific Masonic Awareness effort!

 

SILOAM LODGE RECEIVES KUDOS
Last week Siloam Lodge (Westborough, MA) shared with us a letter they received from the principal of the Marguerite E. Peaslee School in Northborough. We quote it below verbatim:

On behalf of a family at the Peaslee School, I want to acknowledge and thank you for your recent financial support for one of our students. I met the parent, who said that she could not afford the cost of a pair of glasses for her son. The glasses cost $120. A call to your organization, and a check for the glasses was at the Peaslee School one hour later! If you could have been hear to hear the thank you and see the look on the face of the little boy's mother! I know it made her day! The boy is wearing his new glasses every day and they remind me of your generosity. You have a truly remarkable organization and mission. I appreciate your kindness and desire to provide assistance to children in need at our school. Sincerely, Donald R. Holm, Principal

Well done, Siloam Lodge! Now... did anyone talk to Mr. Holm about becoming a Mason? :)
 
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 angel fund@listserver.blackwidowweb.net and we will pass them on to your colleagues in other Masonic Angel Funds.