Masonic Angel Foundation Special Holiday Broadcast
December 25th - "Christmas 2003"
Dear friend of the Masonic Angel Fund,
Well, we did it! This was the most active holiday season MAF has ever seen. Between the hard work of our constituent Masonic Angel Funds, the generosity of our donors and the dedication of our Foundation-side volunteers, we helped bring holiday benevolence to more children this year than ever before.
Here is a sampling of benevolences since our last broadcast:
St. Andrew Fund (Boston, MA) - Provided funds for the purchase and installation of a handicapped toilet for a fifteen year old boy in Westwood, MA. Other necessary items and work were provided by the local Knights of Columbus.
DeWitt Clinton Lodge (Sandwich, MA) - in their own words... A phone call was received from the school nurse at the Oak Ridge School in East Sandwich Friday. It followed a letter from the Trustees of the MAF reminding the four schools in Sandwich that we were in a position to help any children identified as "in need" at this important time of year. It appears that our letter was just in time as ten "care packages" were being prepared by the school nurse for families that are in need. She told us that it is relatively easy to identify these families as they are usually single parent, have NO insurance, receive free or reduced school lunches, live in the subsidized housing, as well as other obvious signs. The nurse asked if we would consider purchasing Stop & Shop gift cards, one for each "package" to be distributed. They informed us that due to budget constraints this year, the school was not able to provide this particular item as had been done in the past. We agreed to provide ten $50.00 cards. We quickly discovered that the criteria used by the school nurse to identify these families was well structured and easy to prove. The Trustees, concerned that the gift cards would indeed purchase necessary household items, felt reassured by the nurse.
The same day, a phone call was received from the Forestdale School Nurse that a student who was failing many of their subjects needed eye glasses. It was felt by the nurse that poor sight was the main cause of failing grades. The family could not afford the exam and glasses. We have contacted LensCrafters in Hyannis who will supply a free set of frames and lenses. We are now contacting an Optician to see if we can secure a price reduction or consideration. Our hope is to have a package in place for this family by Monday or Tuesday.
A timely letter, addressed to each school Principal, provided information and results at this very important time of year. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL. (R.W. Thomas Hickey, MAF Trustee)
Needham Masonic Angel Fund (Needham, MA) - Provided a number of benevolences in the past week including: dance lesson tuition, YMCA swimming lessons, clarinet rental, pre-kindergarten tuition and numerous Christmas benevolences.
King Hiram's Lodge MAF (Provincetown, MA) - $600 in Christmas benevolences, winter clothing, gym clothing, electronic keyboard for a gifted music student and $400 to help pay for a medical procedure not covered by insurance.
St. Alban's Lodge MAF (Foxboro, MA ) - In their own words - I got a call from the middle school guidance counselor at 1:00 today about a 5th grade girl and a 7th grade girl. The school had just found out this morning that the family had no money for the girl's Christmas presents. Within 45 minutes I was able to drop off $200 worth of Wal-Mart gift cards to the guidance counselor. We're making some great progress with having the schools call us. (Scott Inman, MAF Trustee)
Rufus Putnam Lodge MAF (Rutland, MA) - Provided $500 in Christmas benevolences to students of the Devereux School, a residential facility for children with special emotional and behavioral needs.
Donation Received - Our private Foundation patron in Boston was kind enough to send us another generous contribution today. This package is earmarked for post-Christmas purchases of necessary clothing, outerwear and other essentials provided by Massachusetts MAF's and the USO New England Council. If you discover a number of post-holiday needs, please send us an email to see if we still have money left in this account. Note - The last time we received this funding package, the money was all spoken for in fifty minutes. If you need something please get to us right away!
On behalf of the officers and directors of the Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc., I wish to thank everyone who helped to make our benevolence work such a success this holiday season. We look forward to ever greater things next year.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Bob Fellows, Managing Director/Board Secretary
Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.