Masonic Angel Fund News Articles

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In this issue: New MAF Adoptions * Looking Towards Summer * Lycos Fundraiser Report * Grand Master's Fair * Joint Sponsorship of MAF's * Our "Work Force"


#22 Jordan Lodge, Peabody, MA 4/18/01
#23 Oriental-Vineyard Lodge, Oak Bluffs, MA 4/23/2001
#24 Rufus Putnam Lodge, Rutland, MA 5/7/2001
Many would assume that Masonic Angel Fund's "go dark" during the summer months as do our Lodges. Well, in this case "assumption is the mother of all misunderstandings" because nothing could be less true!

The summer months present particular challenges to our school staff members. We all know about the "latch key child". How many of our MAF's have provided scholarships to after school programs to address the specific needs of one or more "latch key" kids? Well, what is done with these same kids during the summer? Are they left at home unsupervised and unprotected? We certainly hope not!

Here at the "Mother MAF" in Orleans, we have provided scholarships for summer recreation programs, summer educational programs and even partial tuition for the "day camp" offered by the local "Academy for the Performing Arts" group. Generally, we provide a portion of the funds needed for a child to participate in one or more of these programs - the child's family and other community groups provide the balance. We also work extensively with Big Brothers/Big Sisters (through the schools, of course) to help with their "campership" program that sends a child to a YMCA summer camp in New Hampshire for one week at a cost of only $130!

Another area of concern for "summer MAF activities" is the oft-stated request for a bicycle helmet and associated safety equipment for skateboarding and other outside activities. These often end up on the desk of a school principal because the youngster needs the equipment in order to participate in a certain school-sponsored summer program.

Finally, there are always the usual MAF requests for clothing, educational and medical items. These needs to not "go on vacation" when school closes - they are with us at all times.

Summer is also an excellent time to perform outreach with your school principals. Once school is closed they are nowhere nearly as busy as they are during the academic year. However, we recommend you make an appointment as opposed to "popping in" since many of these administrators work a reduced schedule or are off to attend graduate courses during the summer.
A big "well-done" goes to Jim St. Pierre and the Masonic Angels of Mount Horeb Lodge in Dennis, MA for their successful fund-raising breakfast. The speaker for the June 4th event was Bob Davis, founder of Lycos and a true visionary in the so-called "new economy". The event was well-attended by the local "techie" community and raised significant new revenue for the Mount Horeb Lodge Masonic Angel Fund. (Photos and more details to come)
The Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. will be a prominent presence at the Grand Master's Fair in Charlton, MA on June 10th. The DDGM and Lodge officers of the Provincetown 32nd Masonic District decided that the district's booth this year would feature the MAF since the P32nd is the birthplace of the Masonic Angel Fund. We are told that the MAF "booth" will be on the porch at Overlook next to the entrance to the bloodmobile.

We would love to meet anyone interested in the Masonic Angel Fund. If you're a trustee of an existing MAF, stop by and introduce yourself. If you or your Lodge is interested in sponsoring a Masonic Angel Fund we will have sponsorship literature with us. MAF founders John Sherman and Bob Fellows will be on hand to answer your questions and consult with you on the future of your local Masonic Angel Fund.
Over the past several weeks, we have received several inquiries regarding joint sponsorship of Masonic Angel Funds. The most common question is whether a group of several bodies that meet in one building can jointly sponsor a Masonic Angel Fund for the entire community.

The answer is a resounding YES! We encourage Masonic groups to work together whenever possible in a community of any size. After all, the Masonic Angel Fund is about the kids - not which Mason or what Lodge "gets the credit". 

If you have questions about a joint MAF sponsorship in your community please feel free to consult with the Foundation staff about the mechanics of joint sponsorship. Fear not! We are the "picture of flexibility" on this topic.
Those of us who operate Masonic Angel Funds already know that an MAF can be a very hungry beast at times - especially during the holidays or in the current "recessionary" climate. While fundraising for the MAF is much easier than raising money for other Lodge projects, it still requires work.

A great un-tapped resource is the wives, widows and children of our members. Certainly here in Orleans our MAF would not be as successful as it is without the very active participation of about half a dozen wives and daughters who work for MAF just as hard as the Masons. Several of our major fund raising campaigns both for the local MAF and for the Foundation itself were coordinated by the ladies. Our appeal mailings are done by our volunteer executive director (a Masonic widow) and the wife of the Foundation Treasurer. A lot of the behind-the-scenes work for the Foundation is performed on her own time by my office secretary, who is the daughter of a Mason and a long-time member of Eastern Star.

The Masonic Angel Fund is a community program. As such, it should be inclusive of all who wish to assist. Some of our best new ideas and perspectives have come from our wives, sons, daughters and friends in the business community.

The care and feeding of a Masonic Angel Fund should be both fun and fulfilling. We encourage you to make a special effort to include our "extended family" in this most rewarding work.
After completing the lengthy process required by the IRS, we are pleased to report that the Foundation holds 501(c)(3) status. If you have a patron who wishes to make a charitable donation for tax purposes, please contact the Foundation for information on how we can make this happen to the benefit of your local Masonic Angel Fund.
It should come as no shock to anyone that there are a number of organizations that have "Angel" or "Angel Fund" in their names. Our "brand" is "Masonic Angel Fund". To avoid your being confused with other organizations, we encourage you to use the whole name "Masonic Angel Fund" or the abbreviation MAF and to banish the stand-alone term "Angel Fund" from our collective vocabulary. "Masonic" is just as important a part of our "product identification" as is "Angel Fund".

Another "vocabulary" term we hope to banish is the word "needy". Children served by MAF's do not always (and usually do not) meet the traditional view of "needy". They are "children in need" who have fallen through the cracks all-too-often intended to catch the "needy" but not the working families that suffer from their paycheck to paycheck existence when things start to go wrong in their household. We encourage you to revise your literature as you re-print it to substitute the term "children in need" for "needy children" wherever appropriate.