June 30, 2004 - Dalhousie Lodge Exhibits Freemasonry at Its Best
Dear friend of the Masonic Angel Fund,
This afternoon we were informed of a benevolence package done by Dalhousie Lodge in Newton, Massachusetts. Dalhousie covers the middle schools in Newton. The elementary and high schools are covered by other MAF's in that community.
The benevolence request came in from the principal of the Bigelow Middle School. Her school has a high population of children in need. As the school year drew to a close, the school found itself short on benevolence work to which it had already committed. Fortunately, the Masonic Angels of Dalhousie Lodge came to the rescue and took care of the school's backlog of benevolent commitments.
The letter below speaks for itself. It has been edited very slightly for content and anonymity.
Regards to all,
Bob Fellows, Co-Founder/Managing Director
Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc.
Dear Masonic Angel Fund,
Bigelow Middle School has many students that live below the poverty line. We have funded many of their activities, bought clothes and supplies for many children. Due to the extreme needs of students this year, we have run out of money to meet all of their needs and we desperately need your support again.
You were generous enough to fund our sixteen students that could not afford our end of the year trip; we still are unable to pay for our eighth graders who went on the Cape Cod trip and are asking you to help us in any way that you can. We are short $1300. Below is a profile of the students and what we have done for them.
A): Moved into the shelter in September. Needed books, a backpack, notebooks, pens, pencils, a coat, boots, gloves, hat.
Bought B) a guitar as a Christmas gift and the music teacher worked to teach him to play. B) need funding for the field trip to the Blue Hills. ($255) B) cannot read , even though he is in the sixth grade. The guitar was used as a reward; after he did all his school work, he could get a lesson. B) is now reading on a third grade level. He receives free lunch and breakfast.
C) also came to the shelter an angry young lady. She was reunited with her mother in the shelter as her mother is now in recovery from drug use. She had been in several DSS homes and arrived with no supplies and limited clothing. We took her clothes shopping, bought clothes and shoes, purchased school supplies, paid for the field trip to Boston. ($371) C) still attends Bigelow, but her mother and she have been relocated to Boston and C) is bussed here daily. Often she needs money for the bus home when she stays for activities and extra help. She receives free lunch.
Three other students have arrived from Second Step since March (D, E, F). This is where children come back from DSS placements to be reunited with their mother, a recovering alcoholic or drug user. The children come back after being in different homes, but with no one taking care of their basic needs of clothing, school supplies, shoes, boots, winter coats. For each of these students, the routine is the same: clothes, book bags, shoes, field trip expenses. They are on free breakfast and lunch, but do not have even the basics for school. Total cost for these students: $775).
A's) mother is divorced and her self own business failed. A's) father has not paid child support in two years and there was no health insurance. I worked with agencies to get him insured so he could be hospitalized. He was hospitalized for depression and violence this year for seven weeks. During the rest of the school year, we paid for field trips and lunches until we got Mom to file the paperwork for free lunches. We paid $139 in lunch money, $98 in free breakfasts, $15 in field trip money, parking fees for staff going to the hospital to see A) $45 and more. total for A: $298).
Z) was also depressed, suicidal and afraid he was going to lose control. He has been adopted and there are serious issues. He has been hospitalized as well. We paid for his field trips, hospital parking. Total for Z): $52.
We have 80 students on Free and Reduced Lunch and they need our help for all trips and school items. The above mentioned are just a few of our many students in need. Many are from single parent families, some have unemployed parents, some are in DSS homes, some have parents that work 2 and 3 jobs for minimum wage that barely covers the rent.
We have other proud parents who will not take free and reduced lunches, but will quietly accept our help for trips and school supplies. These students cannot afford field trips and we pay for them. You were kind enough to pay for 16 of them to go to Canobie Lake Park.
The school has paid for the following: Grade 6 students went to Boston Harbor on a science study. The school raised to pay for all scholarships and used PTO money ($1000).Grade 8 went to Quebec .The school held a raffle to supplement trips. Grade 7 went on a Math Field Trip to Boston. PTO money ($1000) was used to supplement this trip. Grade 8 went to Cape Cod for an overnight environmental study. The school store raised money, PTO contributed ($2000). All grades went to Canobie Lake. We charged extra and asked the MASONIC ANGEL FUND to help us with 16 students. We had 64 other students that could make no payment or partial payment). PTO gave us $4000 for all activities this year. The Masonic Angel Fund gave us $512 for Canobie Lake. We raised $2800 through a school store. We raised $1600 through school dances. We raised $381 in a raffle. Busses for Grade 7 still are not paid completely because of students unable to pay (32 students could not). Busses for Canobie still are not paid for in full as 42 students could not afford this (You paid for; 64 made partial payments or could not afford this and we paid from money we raised, but did not have enough.)$217.47 for science materials for students who could not afford materials has not been paid. (A teacher just walked in and handed me the receipts for materials for science fair projects- boards, batteries, etc. for kids whose parents can't afford to help them.) Currently I have over $1300 in bus bills + $217.47 in science fair materials that I do not have enough money to pay for due to our eighty needy kids. We have more kids in need than ever before. I 'm in need of an angel right now.......
Marie Doyle, Principal
Bigelow Middle School, Newton, MA