Masonic Angel Foundation Bulletin
December 13, 2003
"A Good Day to Be a Mason" - Part II - "What's a Christmas Benevolence Package?"
During the holiday season, our broadcasts make frequent use of the term "Christmas benevolence package" or "holiday benevolence package". Yesterday, a "civilian" I met at Wor. Gerald Downs' funeral asked me to describe these benevolence packages.
Holiday benevolence packages vary from community to community based on the needs of the families and the school or agency that is purchasing the gifts. A good representation of this year's Christmas packages is the description given to me by Alice Harkins of the USO New England Council.
Alice shops at Lord & Taylor, FAO Schwartz, Macy's, and Kaybee Toys. These stores have a history of working well with charities such as MAF and USO. Even though they are in Chapter 11, FAO Schwartz was willing to help!
MAF gives the USO $75 per child. This money comes from local Masonic Angel Funds, the St. Andrew Fund, the Boston First Fund and from a private foundation's annual contribution. Here is what Alice Harkins purchases for $75:
One learning toy
One play toy
One family activity toy (board game or something else the whole family can use)
3 complete outfits OR 1 winter coat and 2 complete outfits
Grocery gift card
The retail value of this package averages between $190 and $225. This means that MAF funds are purchasing up to three times their dollar value. When you include the fact that 100% of a dollar donated to the Masonic Angel Fund goes to the kids, you see what a truly excellent value our program offers to potential donors.
So... that's what a Christmas benevolence package looks like.
Please email us with stories of your local Masonic Angel Fund's holiday exploits. We look forward to sharing them with the rest of the MAF community.
Regards to all,
Bob Fellows, Board Secretary/Co-Founder
Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.