January 2nd, 2003 - Masonic Angel Foundation Special Broadcast
Hope Lodge, Gardner, MA brings comfort to over 30 children this Christmas
The Foundation today received the following update from Bro. Kevin Macomber at Hope Lodge of Gardner, Massachusetts. This is another story of the truly excellent work being done by our constituent Masonic Angel Funds.
Since embracing the MAF over a year ago, Hope Lodge of Gardner has grown their participation into a major component of their work. Shortly after holding their second annual Christmas tree sale, which benefits the MAF, they were contacted by a principal of a local Elementary school about the need for coats. Concerned about this being a wider need, Hope contacted two additional Elementary schools to discover that over twenty coats and a cache of gloves and hats were required. A nurse at one of the schools commented "the kids can't even go outside for recess" because of the extreme cold and lack of clothing. With hats being donated by an anonymous donor and Bob's Stores generously discounting the remainder of the items (app. $1300 to $700), Hope Lodge was able to bring comfort to over 30 children. Bro. Kevin Macomber, chair of the local MAF, says "the MAF has been a win-win for everyone . . . of course it helps the children, but it has provided a synergy to the Lodge and other Masonic bodies . . . As an example, over forty-one brothers participated during our Christmas tree sale."
Interestingly, upon opening their Masonic Angel Fund, Hope Lodge added 'angels-at-large' from Jessamine Chapter (OES) and the local Shrine Club. In fact, Jessamine Chapter has developed and managed their own MAF coin canister program which has raised hundreds of dollars. Many other fundraiser initiatives are under way, as well. Bro. Macomber says "our work is common and much is gained by working and pooling our resources . . . the group effort has clearly allowed us to generate more funds and create a much bigger impact." Clearly a significant impact has been made in the community. And though a number of formal 'thank you' messages have been received, the most moving was when one of the principals, who was apparently holding his emotions, said "God bless you."
As a post note, while purchasing the coats at Bob's Stores, one of the employees inquired about the MAF. In later conversations, he disclosed that he had a disabled child and was greatly impressed by the work of the Masonic Angel Fund. He has asked for information about becoming a Mason.
Bro. Kevin Macomber
Hope Lodge Masonic Angel Fund
***End of Report***
The work done in Gardner is exemplary on many levels. First, they have developed the full "circle of community" that is so fundamental to the Masonic Angel Fund program. They engaged the support of their local Masonic "family" by working with Eastern Star and the local Shrine Club. They worked with local merchants to get excellent value for their MAF dollars. Most importantly, they "closed the circle" by inspiring one of their retail partners to inquire about becoming a Mason.
So, here's a big tip of the hat to our Masonic Angels in Gardner, Massachusetts.
Regards to all,
Bob Fellows, Managing Director
Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.