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Masonic Angel Foundation Update - May16th, 2003
"The Masons That Make A Difference"

In this issue - New MAF's, Helpful Hints, Tips, Benevolences

WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MAFS
We are pleased to welcome the following new Masonic Angel Fund's:

#60 Rising Star Lodge, Stoughton, MA 4/10/2003
#61 Gardner Lodge #65, Gardner, KS 4/17/2003
#62 Wollaston Lodge, Quincy, MA 5/6/2003

A DEBIT CARD FOR YOUR MAF?

Every Masonic Angel Fund has a checking account. How many have bank debit cards attached to those accounts?

A bank debit card works just like a MasterCard or Visa and is welcome wherever those cards are accepted. When you make a purchase with your debit card the money is automatically withdrawn from your MAF checking account.

Here at Universal Lodge our MAF trustees have used MasterMoney debit cards for several years. These come in very handy when we need to order something for a school (i.e. occupational therapy toys) or for certain other urgent matters (i.e. emergency repairs on a car used for medical transport). The cards are also excellent for calling a trusted merchant to say "The nurse is bringing a child in this morning. You may charge up to $100 on the following credit card...".

Consider whether a bank debit card might make you Masonic Angel Fund's service delivery more efficient.

GRAND ROYAL ARCH GRANTS

A reminder... the Grand Royal Arch Chapter has made available twenty (20) matching grants of $100 each. We publicized this last month and thought it would be worth a reminder.

SUMMER APPROACHES

With the onset of summer, those new to the Masonic Angel Fund family often feel that their program will "slow down" once school is closed. Those of us who have been "in the Angel business" for a while know this simply is not true!

The most common request for assistance MAF's receive during the school vacation is for assistance in funding summer recreation programs for children in need. The typical situation is a child with a single parent who must find someplace safe for the youngster to stay while "mom" works at her job. Many schools offer subsidies on their summer "day camp" recreation programs. In many cases, a school might ask your Masonic Angel Fund to assist with the family's co-payment. We emphasize "assist" because we have found that most parents are able to pay something towards the tuition - and then MAF picks up the portion that bridges the gap.

Another popular request during the summer is for bicycle helmets and safety pads for rollerblading. Once in a while we might receive a request to help with a bicycle repair for a child that wants to participate in a bike hike or something similar.

For whatever reason, summer also sees a number of requests for new or replacement blood glucose monitors. We don't know why this happens but it is a pattern that has held consistent over the past four summers.

It is safe to say that "MAF trustees never rest". Summer brings its own unique set of children's needs. Summer also affords an excellent time for fund-raising to grow and replenish the coffers of your Masonic Angel Fund.

DUES BILL INSERTS

Many Lodges with Masonic Angel Funds now include a "donation sheet" with their summer dues invoices. Here in Orleans, Universal Lodge has received thousands of dollars in the past few years for its CHIP program, scholarships, Masonic Angel Fund, widows' program...etc. 

We encourage you to check with your Worshipful Master and see if a donation sheet can be included with dues bills this year. If the Lodge already has a donation sheet, check to see if MAF is one of the designated items. (If you have a Brother who wishes to make a donation of $500 or more, feel free to contact the Foundation on how he can make a tax-deductible "donation in trust" through the our 501(c)(3) charitable foundation.)

GARDNER, KANSAS MAF STARTS OFF STRONG

We are pleased to welcome Gardner Lodge #65 of Gardner, Kansas to the MAF system. The Gardner MAF has already received a substantial donation of startup money from one of its Brethren. These funds were duly passed through the books of the Foundation as a donation-in-trust and 100% of the money was returned to the GMAF for use in the local community.

STAR-ATHOL MAF PROVIDES SUMMER TUITION

We received the following message yesterday from Charles Montalbano of the Star-Athol Masonic Angel Fund (Athol, MA):

Last week Star-Athol Lodge received a call from Value Our Children in Athol. We were told that a first grader would benefit greatly from a summer camp program and asked if we could assist. The Salvation Army in Athol runs a seven week day camp at $45.00 per week. We mailed a check in the amount of $315.00 to the Salvation Army for her tuition the following day. I think that Value Our Children is an excellent place to help children in need and believe we will be hearing from them on a regular basis.

Value our Children is a local children's services group with which the Athol-Royalston schools have asked the MAF to work - some readers may recall the excellent "Christmas gift" partnership between the SAMAF and Value our Children back in December.

UNIVERSAL LODGE HELPS

In Orleans, MA the Universal Lodge MAF recently provided a pair of glasses to a severely diabetic girl. This child was one of the first recipients of Masonic Angel Fund benevolence back in 1999. The "Angels" have since purchase two blood glucose monitors for her (the first one wore out), several eyeglass prescriptions (as her eyesight continues to deteriorate) and has helped with tuition to send her to the Clara Barton Camp for diabetic children over the past three years.

Universal's Masonic Angel Fund is also working with the nurses to aid a sixth grade boy who has a severe form of bone cancer. Fortunately, the family has adequate medical insurance. However, the expenses of repeated trips to Boston have created a financial burden, most especially since his mother cannot work when she must spend three or four days at a time with him at Boston area hospitals. ULMAF is helping the nurses assemble a package to provide some assistance with the gasoline and parking costs associated with this youngster's care - which is anticipated to last at least one year.

NEHOIDEN LODGE DIABETIC ASSISTANCE

In Needham, MA our Needham MAF (operated by Nehoiden Lodge) has completed their 18th benevolence. This is for a partial "campership" for a fourth grade girl to attend the Clara Barton Camp for diabetic children.

ADAMS LODGE HELPS AGAIN

As we've said in these e-letters, many times a Masonic Angel Fund will form a continuing relationship with a child. Here is another fine example...

Quite some time ago the Winslow Lewis-Adams Lodge Masonic Angel Fund (Wellfleet, MA) helped to purchase a wheelchair lift for a young boy with a degenerative neuro-muscular condition. The community had gotten together to purchase a van for the family and then Fred Schulenburg of Adams arranged to purchase the wheelchair lift necessary to render the van usable.

Through the school nurses, Bro. Fred has followed the progress of this child for the past two years. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this young man and his condition has deteriorated to the point where he must make repeated trips to Children's Hospital (Boston) and other medical facilities approximately forty miles away.

The child's now-acute illness prevents the mother from working and has cost his father many days out of work, as well. The biggest single need the family has right now is for assistance with gasoline to fuel the "thirsty-but-necessary" van.

Bro. Schulenburg is working with a local gas station (Mason-owned, by the way) to provide a certain amount of gasoline each month to be funded by the Masonic Angel Fund.

Postscript - Sadly, this child is not expected to live very long. When the van and lift were purchased, the parents indicated that, upon their son's passing, they will return the van to the town for use by some other disabled child. The members of Adams Lodge and Winslow Lewis Lodge should derive great satisfaction from their ability to make this child's waning days more comfortable and as mobile as possible.

BECOME A MEMBER OF THE MASONIC ANGEL FOUNDATION, INC.

As of a recent by-law revision, any member in good standing of a Lodge that holds a Masonic Angel Fund License may apply for membership in the Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. Annual dues are $25. Members are entitled to participate in meetings of the corporation and to attend meetings of the Board of Directors.

If you would like to become a member, please send an email to info@masonicangelfund.org - we will email you an application form in MS Word format. Generally, new applications for membership will be acted upon at the next meeting of the membership held after the application is received. New members must pass a unanimous ballot of the Foundation members present.

WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST BOARD MEMBER

The MAF community is pleased to welcome Vartkes A. "Al" Perperian as the newest member of the Foundation's board of directors. In addition to many distinguished years of service to Universal Lodge, Al has served the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts in escalating capacities culminating in a term as Deputy Grand High Priest two years ago. He holds the distinction of having served longer than any other person as Master of Universal Lodge (four years, non-consecutive).

Al will be working with us on administering our local, "packaged" fundraisers (i.e. "Coins for Kids") and will shortly join our speakers' bureau.

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 also may email your questions and stories to info@masonicangelfund.org 

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.



We thank one and all for your outstanding support of the Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. 

Regards to all,

Bob Fellows

Managing Director/Board Secretary

Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.