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MASONIC ANGEL FOUNDATION UPDATE – March 29, 2002

In this issue - Welcome to Three New MAFS, Color Brochures, MLI Team Success, MAF and the Military, “Letters from the Field”

 

WELCOME TO THREE NEW MAF'S
We are pleased to welcome the following new Masonic Angel Fund's:

#38 Damascus-Mount Carmel Masonic Angel Fund, Lynn, MA 02/16/2002
#39 Paul Revere Lodge, Brockton, MA 03/05/2002
#40 Pioneer Lodge, Somerset, MA 03/04/2002

 

 COLOR BROCHURES AVAILABLE SOON!

The time has come! The Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. has prepared a four-color brochure for use by the the MAF family in fund raising, community outreach and Masonic awareness programs. The brochure was first distributed at the March quarterly communication of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts.

You can preview this attractive publication at http://www.masonicangelfund.org/2002brochure.htm As you will see, this is a simple and straightforward means of conveying both the Masonic Angel Fund and the overall Masonic message as we move through our communities.

Thus far we have produced very small quantities of the piece on coated brochure stock in our inkjet printers. We are concluding negotiations with a corporate donor for a grant to cover the initial cost of printing 10,000 brochures. The brochure was designed by a two Foundation volunteers in a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon. Other than ink and paper, we have incurred no design costs whatsoever – once again proving that the Masonic Angel Fund provides the best “bang for your buck” in Freemasonry!

We will issue a special broadcast as further developments arise.
 
MASONIC LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE GROUP SHINES!

A big MAF "tip of the hat" to the Masonic Leadership Institute's "MLI 128 Flying Tigers" group! 

This dedicated group of Masonic Leadership Institute participants recently devised and tested the first “packaged” fund-raising program for the Masonic Angel Fund. The campaign they devised is a “coin canister” program where specially-marked donation canisters are placed at the point of sale in various retail locations. 

First of all, we want to thank the MLI team members for their work in developing this new program for our constituent Masonic Angel Funds! "128 Flying Tigers" team members were Brothers Deke Eaton, Tom Fotis, Charlie Gore, Bill McPhee and Jimmy Wong. Their advisor was Bro. Bob Duris.

Phase One of the project was completed by the MLI team in January through February. Their limited test yielded about $1,000, which was donated to the Foundation (more on this donation below!)

Phase Two is to test the campaign with two Masonic Angel Funds that serve relatively small communities. If you would like your Lodge considered for the Phase Two field test, please contact info@masonicangelfund.org with your expression of interest. If your Lodge is not selected for the test, we will keep your application on file for the time when the campaign is fully deployed.

Matching Grants!!! Thanks to the generosity of the MLI team, we have established a small matching grant program for select Lodges. This particular block of grants is administered by Southard Lippincott, chairman of the Foundation’s advisory board. If your Lodge is eligible for one of these grants, Bro. Lippincott will be in contact with you shortly.

To all involved with the Masonic Leadership Institute - thank you! We hope that future MLI classes will chose to work in support of the MAF.
 
MAF AND THE MILITARY

On March 9th, Foundation Directors Lorrimer Armstrong and Robert Fellows attended a conference at Wellesley, MA with representatives of the several armed services. This meeting was arranged and chaired by Bro. Bob Shaughnessey who has been doing extensive work for the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts with the armed services and the USO. Foundation representatives were invited to discuss how Masonic Angel Funds might assist the families of servicemen (especially activated reservists and deployed National Guardsmen) who have suffered financial distress because of income lost during deployment. 

The need here is considerable - and we are told that the Masonic Fraternity is the only organization in Massachusetts that has come forward to offer organized, substantive assistance to our servicemen and their families.

For the time being, the Foundation will serve as a conduit for requests originating at the military family services office in Milford. If we learn of a child in need within the service are of an existing Masonic Angel Fund we will bring that need to the local MAF and invite you to take it from there.
 
LETTERS FROM THE FIELD

March was a very active month for our constituent Masonic Angel Funds. Below are some communications we received in recent weeks.

Broad Ripple Lodge #643 (Indianapolis, IN)

We receive the following letter from Bro. Christopher Hodapp on March 13th:

We have had our first "customer"! We were contacted by Margaret Wilkinson, a social worker at the Indiana School for the Blind concerning the plight of a seven year-old boy. He had been chosen to cut the ribbon for the new school library and to meet the Mayor and other dignitaries - even have his picture in the paper. Problem: he lives at the school part-time and is from a destitute home. His mother is blind and retarded, and is not expected to ever leave long-term medical care. He owns one pair of jeans, a couple of dirty tee-shirts and a pair of girl’s tennis shoes, and instead of being happy about being chosen to be the ribbon-cutter, he was humiliated by his own appearance.

Masons to the rescue! In addition to the set of nice clothes that were first requested for the special event, a subsequent outpouring of generosity by Brethren after a recent meeting resulted in more funds to see to it this young man has everyday clothes, shoes, toiletries - all those things we take for granted. This is exactly what the Angel Fund was designed for - to make a difference in a child's life. This is a blind boy, from a fatherless home, essentially raised by his grandmother. He does not ask for toys or trifles. Instead, he wishes for huge extravagances - like his own tube of toothpaste or a clean pair of underwear. 

Margaret expected forms to fill out, meetings to be held, and a waiting period of weeks. Instead, she got instant results and not just what she asked for, but more. And we have a new friend or two whose lives have been changed by Masonry. 

(See Broad Ripple's MAF brochure here - Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)


Wellesley Lodge Masonic Angel Fund (Wellesley, MA)

The following arrived on March 5, 2002 - On Monday, March 4, 2002 the Wellesley Lodge Masonic Angel Fund provided a check in the amount of $150 to the school principal of the Wellesley Middle School. The check was to pay for eyeglasses for a student whose family could not afford the expense and have no health coverage for eyeglasses. The Principal, John D'Auria has indicated that the student should be fitted for the eyeglasses before the end of the week.


St. Martin's Lodge MAF (Chatham, MA)

This communication from Trustee Richard Woodward arrived on Wednesday, March 13th 

Hi Bob - Two new items. We gave $250 to the Chatham Elementary School to buy tickets to a production of Brigadoon for children in classes where they are the only ones whose families can't afford to send them. 

A French class in the middle school is taking a trip to Quebec City to "immerse themselves" in French culture. One student's family can't afford to send him. ...his parents scramble just to pay the rent. We're sending him to Quebec City!


Mariner's Lodge Masonic Angel Fund (Cotuit, MA)

From Treasurer Robert Greenfield on March 23rd...

Our Angel Fund is alive and well, we have done a few things with Marstons Mills Elementary School and the Cotuit Elementary School as the both have the same Principal. We have given $75.00 for a youngster to keep up his after school art lessons that the Principal says is helping him to stay mentally healthy during his family situation, We gave $200.00 to a family of mother and 2 elementary school girls for food because they did not have any for a few days, We have given $75.00 to the school because they have been providing a young boy with Breakfast every day at school because he was not getting it at home at all.


Mount Horeb Lodge MAF (Dennis, MA)

Letters from school staff - 

March 18th (nurse Baker Elementary School) - I am once again calling upon the wonderful Masonic Angels to [help a child in need] Brianna is a second grader... she was diagnosed with diabetes in December 2000. At that time I called upon the Masons to purchase a blood sugar testing kit (glucometer) for school time use. Your response was immediate...the kit was purchased through the generosity of the Masonic Angel Fund. 

Brianna is again in need of a new glucometer. Mom is very hard-working (single mom with 2 girls) [but] her insurance will not cover a machine for school. [Editor's note - the cost of the new machine was $75.99 and was granted immediately by the Trustees of the MHMAF]

Please tell the wonderful angels how thrilled we are with the new one touch blood glucose monitor that they so graciously purchased for school time use...we are truly fortunate to live in such a close knit community having organizations like the Masons to help our children in times of need.

[signed] Francine A. Searles, RN, School Nurse [the letter was accompanied by a artfully-drawn thank-you note from young Brianna to "the angels"]


Universal Lodge MAF (Orleans, MA)

On March 21st Universal Lodge's Masonic Angel Fund provided $850 tuition to the Clara Barton Summer Camp for Diabetic Children to a severely-diabetic student at the Eastham Elementary School. Universal also provided partial tuition to several students enrolled in the Academy of Performing Arts, from whence the letter below was received on March 26th...

Once again, I would like to thank you for coming to the rescue of students in need. You have no idea how much your donation means to these students and their families. This particular check will help two boys ages 8 and 10 who are in the middle of a family crisis. At times like this it is so important to keep activities and schedules going for the children. The other check is for a 16-year-old girl whose father lost his job on Sept. 11 and whose mother has been diagnosed with cancer.

You are making a difference in the lives of these families and I can't thank you enough for being so generous and quick with your response. It is a treat to us to be able to facilitate this help without going through complicated and time consuming paper work.

Thank you for being such an asset to our community!

With appreciation,
Patricia Ares
Director of Education and Outreach


FRATERNITY AND FULLER LODGE MAF (Newton, MA)

We received the following note from Bro. Southard Lippincott on March 25th

The Fraternity and Fuller Lodge Masonic Angel Fund recently made a $1,325.00 payment to the Charles River ARC on behalf of two special needs students in Newton in response to a request from the Special Education Supervisor for Medical Services of the Newton Public Schools. 


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.