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MASONIC ANGEL FOUNDATION UPDATE - October 22, 2001

 

FUND RAISERS GALORE!

We are delighted to see how many individual Masonic Angel Funds and regional York Rite groups are working hard to support their charitable efforts! Here is a run-down of what is happening in different areas:

Cape Cod - Sylvester Baxter Royal Arch Chapter
held the second annual John Hockman Memorial Golf outing on October 14th. Proceeds from this event will fund matching grants to the seven Masonic Angel Funds in the Provincetown 32nd Masonic District.

Charles C. Dame Lodge (Georgetown, MA) -
On November 3rd this Lodge will hold an Italian buffet dinner with Shrine Clowns entertaining for the first two hours. This family event will raise necessary funds for the MAF that serves children in the Georgetown and Groveland public schools.

Third Capitular District (Royal Arch) -
Check out the www.masonicangelfund.org web site for information on the November 10th fund-raising concert held by the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons in Massachusetts, organized by District Deputy Bill Epp of the Third Capitular District. This sounds like a terrific event both for Masonic Awareness and MAF fund-raising.

Masonic Leadership Institute -
We learned last week that an MLI group is working on a "packaged" fund raising program to benefit MAF. This looks like a program that could be duplicated in any community. As we hear more on this exciting project, we will pass along the information.

GRANT FROM THE LODGE OF ST. ANDREW

On October 13th the Foundation received a grant from The Lodge of St. Andrew in Boston. The purpose of this grant 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. Many thanks to our Brothers in The Lodge of St. Andrew for their vision and generous support.

 BUILDING A MASONIC ANGEL FUND IN A "POOR AREA"

A few weeks ago we were surprised to learn of a few Lodges in a particular location that decided not to initiate Masonic Angel Funds because the area was "too poor to support it".

Friends, these are exactly the areas where we should be launching Masonic Angel Funds! There must be hundreds of children in need in such a community! 

We recently conferred with Lodges from the two "poorest" towns in Massachusetts. Our suggestion to them was to build their MAF one school at a time. One particular Lodge decided to launch it's Masonic Angel Fund in conjunction with a single elementary school building. As they determine the actual need and their ability to raise funds, they will branch out into other schools as their MAF matures. This is how we all should view MAF development in an economically-distressed community - one child at a time, one school at a time.
LETTER OF THANKS TO KING HIRAM'S LODGE

Below is a letter that was sent back to the King Hiram's Lodge Masonic Angel Fund (Provincetown, MA) from a parent whose child was assisted by an MAF grant. The letter is written to Wor. Matthew Monroe, MAF Trustee and presiding Master of KHL:

"I just wanted to take the time to thank you so very much for your help. Being a first-time single parent has been difficult for me and I'm learning as I go. I find it more difficult when I can't always give my daughter what she wants. God has given me the most wonderful precious gift ever and I try to tell myself that love alone will prevail. Knowing there are Angels like yourself who do care about others gives us much more confidence in life. I hope to some day re-pay those who have reached out a helping and caring hand like yourself. Employment is difficult to find in this economy, even to just make ends meet. Hopefully, with your precious gift to us, we will find luck in our search."
[content edited for confidentiality]
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.
PRAYER BOOK PUBLISHED - PROCEEDS BENEFIT MAF
We are pleased to announce that A New Collection of Masonic Prayers was released on June 23, 2001 by the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts.

Profits from the sale of this book will be donated to the Masonic Angel Foundation by the Grand Royal Arch Chapter.

Compiled by David A. Schofield of the GRACE education and awareness committee, the book includes approximately 300 prayers taken from books of proceedings, collections from individual chaplains and other historical sources. The collection includes prayers of openings/closings, holidays, special events and challenges, invocations, memorials and more.

This book is available from the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts for only $10 plus $4.00 shipping/handling. All profits from sales of the prayer book will be donated to the Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. 

To order your book, please send your payment to: Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts Attn: Prayer Book order 186 Tremont Street, Suite 703 Boston, MA 02111