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MASONIC ANGEL FOUNDATION UPDATE June 6, 2002

Welcome to Five New MAFS, Citizens Bank Grant, Car Repairs, LenseCrafters, Grand Master's Fair, Summer Programs

 

WELCOME TO FIVE NEW MAF'S

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

#41 May Flower Lodge, Middleboro, MA 04/02/2002
#42 John Warren Lodge, Hopkinton, MA 04/09/2002
#43 Manchester Lodge, Manchester, MA 12/17/01
#44 Phoenix Lodge, Hanover, MA 5/2/2002
#45 Meridian Lodge, Natick, MA 5/15/2002

 

CITIZENS BANK AWARDS GRANT TO FOUNDATION

Citizens Bank recently awarded the Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. a grant to underwrite the production of 10,000 four-color brochures for the Masonic Angel Fund. These pieces are in production now - we'll notify you as soon as they are available for distribution.

You can preview this attractive publication here.

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.

We thank Citizens Bank for their consistently strong financial support of the Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.
 
WHEN IS IT APPROPRIATE TO PAY FOR CAR REPAIRS?

Anyone who has been part of the MAF community for very long knows that there are often exceptions to every rule. Part of the "power" of the Masonic Angel Fund program is that we allow the local Trustees reasonably wide latitude in determining what does and does not qualify for MAF benevolence based on the unique needs of the their community.

Generally speaking, virtually everyone in MAF agrees that it is not appropriate for a Masonic Angel Fund to put a new alternator in a parent's automobile. But what about if that car is being used to transport an ill child to Boston several times a week? 

This is exactly the situation we ran across three weeks ago - a family has a father away on military duty and the mother is home with two chronically ill kids that need to be in Boston for medical treatments several times a week. The woman's car broke down on the Southeast Expressway, leaving she and the kids stranded for several hours before a tow truck came.

The repair and towing bill was about $500, which the family did not have. In this situation the use of the car was essential to the kids' medical care, so the MAF funded the repairs - and also bought the mother a one-year AAA membership.

It is so very important for us always to look at the whole situation in cases like this. We encourage you to think outside the box when confronted with an unusual situation.
 
LENSECRAFTERS REVISITED

Back in April 2001, Jim St. Pierre of the Mount Horeb Lodge Masonic Angel Fund (Dennis, MA) negotiated an arrangement with LenseCrafters to provide free eyeglasses to children referred by a Masonic Angel Fund.

Since many Masonic Angel Funds have launched since that time, we remind everyone that this program is available. If you have questions about how it works, please contact the Foundation staff for information.

Many MAF's have arrangements for free or discounted eyeglasses through a local optometric professional. If you have such an partnership, by all means continue it. However, if you do not have such a resource available to you, the LenseCrafters program is a viable alternative to provide eyeglasses for a child in need.
 
GRAND MASTER'S FAIR

Once again this year, the Foundation will have a booth at the Grand Master's Fair in Charlton, MA on Sunday, June 9th. If you have questions about your MAF operation or if you would like to introduce yourself, please stop by and say hello. This is a rare opportunity for us to meet one another!
 
SUMMER CONCERNS

Just because our Lodges "go dark" for the summer and school shuts down does not mean that your Masonic Angel Fund will lie dormant during the summer "intersession". Many constituent MAF's are busy already in their funding of summer campership programs and other recreation programs. Summer is also an excellent time for fundraising!

The Foundation has received a few calls regarding support of summer programs. One of the questions we hear is "Am I sending this kid on a vacation or what?"

The answer is "no" - you are not sending the kid on a "vacation". Many of our Masonic Angel Funds send children to specialized summer camps for kids with certain medical conditions, most especially diabetes. The Clara Barton Camp (for example) is most certainly not a vacation! The children go through an intensive program to teach them how to cope with and manage their diabetic condition. We know one seven-year-old girl who is severely diabetic yet manages her nutrition and medication almost entirely on her own - and does it very successfully. This is a child we sent to Clara Barton last summer when she was only six!

For children who do not have a specific medical condition, a campership is still very often appropriate. In the summer of 2000 Universal Lodge's Masonic Angel Fund joined with several other local charities to fund an entire summer of day-camp and sleep-over camp for two boys who were alone with their father. Dad is a construction worker and needed to work from dawn to dusk. The boys (ages six and nine) were not able to be alone during the day, most especially because they were in danger from their mentally-ill mother. Summer camp was the only way the father could work and the boys could still be safe during the day.

Still other kids may need assistance to participate in summer programs at their school. These are often a mix between academic and recreation activities, providing the child with necessary instruction while affording some time for structured recreation, as well.

As we said above, this type of decision is a local matter. If you believe that the child will benefit academically or socially - or if she will be "safer" - in a summer program, it is perfectly appropriate for your Masonic Angel Fund to provide some or all of the financial assistance needed to make this possible for the youngster.

SHARE YOUR GOOD NEWS!
Please use our list server to share your benevolences and news with others in Masonic Angel Fund family. You may email your questions and stories to this address. Just click here and an email will be sent to the entire MAF community

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.