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MASONIC ANGEL FOUNDATION UPDATE - February 22, 2002

In this issue - Welcome to Four New MAFS, MAF in the Press, Commandery Grants, St. Martin's Lodge, Siloam Lodge, "The Other Side of the Desk"

 

WELCOME TO FOUR NEW MAF'S

We are pleased to welcome the following new Masonic Angel Fund's:

#35 Beverly Masonic Angel Fund, Beverly, MA 1/22/2002 (joint venture of Budleigh, Liberty and North Shore Daylight Lodges) 
#36 Wamesit Lodge, Tewksbury, MA 2/4/2002 
#37 Dalhousie Lodge, Newtonville 2/13/02

#38 Damascus-Mount Carmel Masonic Angel Fund, Lynn, MA  02/16/2002

 

 MAF IN THE PRESS
We were very pleased to learn of an article in the Neponset Valley Daily News issue of February 15, 2002 regarding the Orient Lodge MAF in Norwood. You can read the article here

Please share any press clippings the cover the activities of your Masonic Angel Fund. If you need assistance in preparing a press release, please contact our staff for assistance.
 
GETHSAMANE-DEMOLAY COMMANDERY DOES IT AGAIN!

On February 15th we received the following report from Foundation advisory board chairman, Southard Lippincott of Newton Centre, MA:

Gethsemane-Demolay Commandery #7, K.T. of Newtonville recently awarded two "two-for-one" matching grants to local Masonic Angel Funds. The Wellesley Lodge MAF was granted $5,000.00 as it had raised well in excess of $2,500.00. The Needham MAF was granted $4,000.00 as it had received $2,000.00 from Nehoiden Lodge, its sponsor. The matching grants were capped at $5,000. To date Gethsemane-DeMolay Commandery has donated $19,000.00 to three Masonic Angel Funds in its service area. This is a shining example of York Rite support for their local MAF's.

Bro. Lippincott is right! This is another fine case of the York Rite showing support for local Blue Lodge programs. The York Rite recognized very early the potential of the Masonic Angel Fund to re-invigorate our local Lodges. In the areas where York Rite has partnered with local Lodges' MAF's we have seen enormous increases in membership in Chapter, Council and Commandery. 

We are proud to have York Rite as a cornerstone of the Masonic Angel Fund program. 

Stay alert for a major announcement coming from the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts in the near future
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ST. MARTIN'S LODGE BOOK FAIR VOUCHERS

The following message came in yesterday from Richard Woodward of the St. Martin's Lodge (Chatham, MA) Masonic Angel Fund...

Russ Carter, one of our Trustees, was approached by the Community Book Fair Sponsorship Program at the Chatham Schools. This program buys schoolbooks for children whose families are in tight financial circumstances, via a book fair where they are given vouchers (not cash) to buy needed books. We are sponsoring 14 students at $15 each, for a total of $210.00. Other [MAF's] might want to look into similar programs in their communities, since this probably operates in an area that the school nurses might not think of.

Please check in with your schools to see if there is a similar program in your community. This is a perfect reason to do an outreach visit to each school you serve next week. 

We compliment the Brothers at St. Martin's Lodge for their continued creativity. Last month Bro. Woodward approached us with a very unique and innovative program that they are testing for the Foundation at this time. We look forward to more outstanding work from our men in Chatham.
 
SILOAM LODGE LENDS A HAND

Last week the Siloam Lodge MAF (Westborough, MA) assisted a high school student with the final installment for her band trip. Apparently the band takes an annual trip to perform in another state. Each student pays for the trip on a four-payment installment plan. Between the third and fourth installment the girl's father lost his job and the family was forced to sell their home and undergo a dramatic shift in lifestyle. After determining that It was utterly impossible for the parents to pay the final installment, the guidance director at a local high school contacted the Siloam MAF and asked for help. The check was delivered to the guidance office within ninety minutes! 
 
"THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DESK"
In recent months we have written a considerable number of words on the topic of "The MAF Experience". These articles set forth different ways in which Masonic Angel Fund activities helped to build the morale of the Masons involved in granting MAF benevolences to schools in their local communities.

What about the MAF Experience on the other side of the desk? What kind of "experience" should we provide to the nurses, counselors and administrators that are the object of our outreach efforts? As with everything else MAF each contact we have with a school professional should be "uplifting" for both the MAF volunteer and the person on the other side of the desk. 

Since most of us involved at the Foundation level are entrepreneurs of one kind or another, we tend to view our transactions in the school from a "sales" perspective. In a way, after all, we in the MAF are the "outside sales force" for Freemasonry. We are usually the first direct contact that these school staffers have ever had with the Craft. How well we manage that contact not only determines the success of our local Masonic Angel Funds but also presents a lasting impression of Masonry in general.

When you visit a school we recommend that you always bring something with you. Salesman never go anywhere without a sales tool - even if it's just a business card! In the "mother Masonic Angel Fund" here in Orleans, all of our trustees have computer-printed business cards. In most of the nurses' offices you will see one or more of our cards tacked to the bulletin board or displayed on the refrigerator. We long ago provided the one-page "yellow paper" that describes what MAF does and how to contact us (available here). But we always bring our business cards as a continuing reminder that we are ready and willing to help. If someone in your Lodge has a computer with a laser printer you can get blank Avery business cards at any discount office supply store and make your own MAF business cards. It is an inexpensive way to keep your name out in front of the population we serve.

Another part of the experience on the other side of the desk is how we handle their requests for benevolences. It is vitally important that your Trustees be available to receive phone calls. It is even more important that we make the whole process of requesting our assistance a friendly and "easy" call to make. When we first started the Masonic Angel Fund in 1998 we found that the school staffers were often a bit apprehensive when they called us. We imagine that is because they so often heard "no" or were forced to "jump through hoops" that they might have dreaded calling on a community charity program when they needed something. We heard stories about private charities in one community that insisted on a four page application and a home visit before they would make a grant of even $75! Well, we all know that's now how the Masonic Angle Fund works! 

Through a consistent, friendly outreach program over three years' time, John Sherman of the Universal Lodge Masonic Angel Fund has cultivated a collegial relationship with the school staffers in the three towns that we serve. When a staff person calls any one of our three trustees their call is answered and they receive a very friendly welcome. We pride ourselves on responding within an hour or so when a check is needed. Two of our trustees provide their cellular phone numbers as well as business phone and personal email addresses. Our goal is that when a nurse calls the Masonic Angel Fund she knows she will talk to a live person (or have her call returned very promptly), she will be greeted by a friend she already knows (because of our continued outreach program) and will receive the necessary funds instantaneously. 

Whenever we visit one of the schools we serve, whether on outreach or to "deliver the product" we always greet the school staff with a broad smile and a warm handshake. It is amazing how infectious those smiles are!
 
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.