All masons are engaged in charitable and
philanthropic activities. While
Masonry is essentially a fraternal order the members of Belleview Lodge and all
Masons and appellate orders have a record of outstanding philanthropic service
to our local communities and world wide charities. In addition to local
charities many Masons belong to appellate bodies like the Scottish Rite and
Shrine Club that support the well know Shrine Burn and orthopedic centers and
the Scottish Rite Hearing impaired treatment and research facilities.
The Shrine supports 19 orthopedic units and three burn institutes across the United States helping thousands of children each year, absolutely free of charge. Other Masonic bodies support their own statewide and national foundations for research, teaching, and treatment for rehabilitation services for children with learning or speech disorders, cancer, visual problems, and need of dental restoration. Altogether, the budgets for these community services exceed two million dollars per day, which Masons support without regard to the Masonic affiliation of their recipients. With this spirit of working together to serve mankind, brotherhood works well, indeed.
Below is information and links to these charities.
For those living in Mexico, the US or Canada, these hospitals are pretty well known.
What is not always known is that all Shriners are
There are 22 hospitals throughout the United States: three for treatment of burns and 19 which address crippled children's medical problems.
The first Shriners Hospital opened in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1922 and the first Burns Institute opened in Galveston, Texas in 1966. To date, the Shriners have spent over $3 billion dollars on hospital operating costs and over $7 million on construction and renovation.
The number of children helped to date is nearing 550,000 and all care is free! The one department which is never found in a Shrine Hospital is a billing department. Funds for this come from gifts, bequests, income from the endowment fund, hospital fund-raising events, and the annual hospital assessment paid by every Shriner (of which there are approximately 600,000).
If you'd like to find out more about the Shriners Hospitals, you can also go to the
Shrine Hospitals web site.
The GROTTO is a great fraternal Order with an even greater charitable program. The organization started as a fun Order in 1892 and although not a Masonic organization per se, it's membership is strictly and exclusively limited to Master Masons. Its humanitarian project began in June 1949 when it adopted as its national objective the cause of Cerebral Palsy and to this day continues support to find a cure for this dread disease. The Supreme Council has contributed over a half million dollars to the United Cerebral Research Foundation and these funds are used exclusively for research purposes.
In addition, the Grotto sponsors an extensive program of Dentistry for the Handicapped.
The image of a handicapped child evokes immediate sympathy Some of the needs of these special children are clearly obvious and easily met: wheel chairs, prostheses, and crutches. Other needs are not as obvious but are just as important. Dental care is one of these significant but often overlooked necessities for good health that is being provided by the Masons in the Grottoes of North America.
The Supreme Council, Mystic Order Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm (to use the Grotto's formal name), saw a need and took the opportunity to meet it. Because of their handicaps, many children cannot receive traditional dental services; their muscle control simply will not let them keep their mouths open for a dental exam. Dentists with specific training are needed to provide this care and it is the goal of the Grottoes of North America to provide these special services to children who need it.
This dental care is available to any child 18 or younger with cerebral palsy muscular dystrophy mental retardation, or myasthenia gravis. The dentistry program is administered locally through a network of volunteer members known as Doctors of Smiles. Applicants must be sponsored by a local Grotto, though in areas where no Grotto is convenient, parents can apply directly to the Grottoes' Humanitarian Foundation.
In addition, the Grottoes of North America have two National Regional Treatment Centers: one at the Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago and the other at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. In either location, the Grottoes can supply the most advanced dental treatment possible to patients who are severely medically compromised. Also, dentists who have hospital privileges in their respective communities often utilize hospital facilities to serve children who would otherwise be untreatable in a regular office environment .
Whatever the service, the only return on their time and money expected by the Masons in the Grottoes is intangible - the smile of a child they helped.
The National Masonic Foundation For Children is a non-profit, charitable organization supported by Masonic Grand Lodges and allied Masonic organizations created to establish programs, particularly "Masonic Model" Student Assistance Training programs in schools, which will help youth lead productive, useful, and healthy lives.
The Foundation builds on Freemasonry's centuries-old tradition of helping the most vulnerable in our society. Today, more than ever, children need help in becoming responsible adults as they face countless challenges: broken homes, patterns of substance abuse in families, and a complex world with many traditional nurturing institutions shaken. Freemasons are sensitive to the fundamental belief that children are our future. We cannot neglect the needs of today's children if we expect them to grow up to be happy, healthy, productive stewards of our future.
Every year addiction claims younger victims. And there are the tragedies associated with addiction, such as suicide (a leading cause of death among adolescents), pregnancy (more than a million teenage girls become pregnant each year), violence, physical and sexual child abuse, homicide, depression, tragedy on the highways, mental and physical illness, birth defects, and on and on. Everyone is being called on to help confront these addiction-associated tragedies and the Foundation is Freemasonry's contribution to this vital effort. In 1987, the Foundation opened its offices near the White House in Washington, DC and works through and with individual Grand Lodges to establish substance abuse programs designed to reach young people. In certain circumstances, the Foundation also works with state government and education officials, prevention professionals, health systems, and the general public to help foster addiction prevention activities.
The Foundation's long-term goals involve organizing prevention programs in all 50 States, and Canada and Europe, and to communicating the success of these programs. By publicizing the positive results, the Foundation hopes to stimulate further community action.
The "Masonic Model" Student Assistance Training programs originated in the early 1980's. "Masonic Model" programs train a core group of five to seven educators (administrators, teachers, school nurses, guidance counselors, etc.) from an individual school in how to identify those children most likely to succumb to addiction and in how to successfully intervene to help these young people. The intensive training, which usually lasts from three to five days, involves practice sessions designed to simulate real events, along with presentations on such subjects as "Characteristics of an Addictive Family, "Pharmacological Effects of Drugs," "Creating a Crisis Response Team," etc.
Experience with schools with "Masonic Model" trained teams in place shows that most children who are identified as potentially at-risk, or who are in the early stages of addiction, can be successfully steered away from the addictive cycle. The prevention approach works. Freemasons contribute in a number of ways. Grand Lodges may provide initial organizational and community guidance, or financial support and materials. Individual Lodges may supply meeting space, help with food or meeting materials, or volunteer help. In many cases, Lodges have acted as sponsor for a nearby school building with positive results ultimately extending throughout the entire community. It has been shown time and again that Freemasons can also provide a positive presence and a motivating influence on group activities. With Masonic Lodges (over 13,000) located in virtually every community or region in the United States, Freemasons are uniquely positioned to have a dramatic impact on improving the lives of our nation's young people.
As a result of its efforts, the Foundation is establishing a national identification for Freemasonry on the subject of adolescent drug and alcohol abuse. Yet another example of our 'Caring Concern'.....
Head to the National Masonic Foundation For Children and read more about this wonderful Masonic charity benefiting all....
As a Knight Templar Mason, one has many opportunities to help others who are less fortunate. One way is through the Knights Templar Eye Foundation. The Eye Foundation is a great humanitarian charity whose purpose is to provide research, surgical treatment and hospitalization to those who suffer from diseases or injury to the eyes. Cross-eyes, which occurs in children under 16 for example, is one affliction that can lead to blindness if not treated properly and is just one of the eye afflictions for which the Foundation provides considerable research and treatment funding.
Concern For Others
Since its inception, the Knights Templar Eye Foundation has spent more than $35 million dollars to help provide medical treatment for those unable to afford it. Today, over 44,000 people have directly benefited from this financial assistance. And as always, treatments are provided regardless of race, color, creed, age, or national origin.
Research grants, totaling over $2.5 million dollars, have been made to institutions working in the field of Eye Research. Informative films are also available through local commanderies for presentation to churches, PTA meetings and other interested organizations. To this end, the Knights Templar, through the efforts of all its members, is committed to "Helping Others To See."
You can contact the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. at
5097 North Elston Avenue, Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60630-2460
Phone: (773) 205-3838
Fax: (773) 205-1689
or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
or you can visit their web site at http://www.knightstemplar.org/ktef/index.htm to read much, much more about this wonderful charity.
In 1913, a friend of Forrest Adair, an Atlanta, Georgia (USA) financier and Scottish Rite Mason, suffered a dislocated hip in a train accident. Adair engaged orthopaedic surgeon Michael Hoke, M.D., to care for his friend. Through this connection, Dr. Hoke and Adair began a long friendship resulting in the involvement of Masons in the founding of the Scottish Rite Convalescent Hospital for Crippled Children.
That same year, Dr. Hoke treated a college student for a bone infection. During his treatment, the student stayed with his aunt Mrs. William C. (“Bertie”) Wardlaw, Sr., a neighbor and friend of Dr. Hoke. Wishing to express her appreciation for Dr. Hoke’s treatment of her nephew, Mrs. Wardlaw asked what she could do to honor him. He said if she would raise the money for the hospital expenses of indigent, crippled children, he would volunteer his time to treat those patients.
In 1915, The Scottish Rite Convalescent Hospital for Crippled Children was founded in Decatur in two rented cottages after funds are raised for the care of needy children by Mrs. Wardlaw and other philanthropic Atlantans. The facility gave indigent, crippled children a place to recover after having surgery at Piedmont Hospital and Wesley Memorial Hospital (now Emory University Hospital). It accommodated 18 patients, 20 in case of urgency. Michael Hoke, M.D., was named Medical Director.
In 1918, a new 50-bed building was opened in Decatur. The name was changed to Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children, honoring the Masons who raised money to build the facility. It is now an orthopaedic surgical hospital for those who cannot afford to pay for care.
In 1933, Scottish Rite Mason Tom Slate convinced Georgia Tech Athletic Director Bill Alexander to allow the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech’s freshman teams to play on Tech’s Grant Field free of charge to benefit Scottish Rite. This begins the Scottish Rite football festival. Over 50 years later, it has evolved into a year-long series of fund-raising events involving hundreds of volunteers.
Finally, in 1966 the hospital began taking paying patients so that specialty pediatric care would also be available to those who can pay. Other surgical specialists joined the orthopaedics on staff as new surgical clinics were added and in 1971, additional services were developed including a Pediatric Continuity Clinic plus neurology, allergy, and cardiology clinics.
The Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital moved to a new, 50-bed facility on a seven-acre site in north Atlanta in 1976 and the Intensive Care Unit opened as a four-bed unit.
In 1985, the Emergency Department saw 5,000 patients in its first year of operation and the following year, a Pediatric Pulmonology Program was started. A year after that, Scottish Rite was one of Georgia’s first hospitals to receive state designation as a pediatric trauma center.
In 1989, the name was changed to Scottish Rite Children’s Medical Center, comprising the Scottish Rite Children’s Medical Center Foundation, the Meridian Mark Corporation (the holding company for the Children’s Medical Center Professional Building), and the Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Hospital for Children.
In addition, Scottish Rite was the first children’s hospital to have national “Miracle Children” in the Children’s Miracle Network telethon for two consecutive years.
They also opened The Center for Craniofacial Disorders and started the Dorsal Rhizotomy Surgery Program and Sleep Disorders Program.
In 1991, “Immunize Georgia’s Little Guys,” a state-wide coalition to increase immunization rates for children age two and under, was launched by Scottish Rite and in 1992, the Medical Center received Accreditation with Commendation, the highest rating possible, from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Fewer than four percent of the hospitals surveyed nationally during the same period received this honor.
That same year, the Child Advocacy Center, which serves sexually abused children, opened with funding from the Employee Annual Fund Campaign and the School Outreach Program starts, reaching over 84,000 children in its first two years.
Statistics from the National Pediatric Trauma Registry show that Scottish Rite trauma patients are more seriously ill or injured than the national norm but, in the majority of areas, have superior outcomes.
In 1994, a national study of pediatric intensive care units published by The Journal of the American Medical Association, patients treated in Scottish Rite’s intensive care unit had the best outcomes and the following year Scottish Rite receives its second consecutive Accreditation with Commendation rating from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).
These are just a few of the tremendous accomplishments in the history of this marvelous medical facility.
The Masonic Service Association of North America conducts an active Hospital Volunteer Program in more than 157 Veterans Administration Medical Centers, several state operated Veterans Homes, and in a number of Military Hospitals in the United States and other countries, using hundreds of volunteers who contribute more than one quarter million volunteer hours of service each year. This program is wholly financed by the voluntary contributions of Masons and Masonic Bodies. More than nine million dollars have been expended in the operation of this Program since 1946.
"Little things mean a lot": a friendly smile, a warm handclasp, an embrace and a kind word can do as much for those who are lonely and depressed in a hospital or a nursing home as all the medicine that the doctors can prescribe. Particularly for veterans who may be without families, these Hospital Visitors provide a link with the outside world which is critical. The friendships formed and the appreciation of those who are hospitalized, sometimes for life, are a wonderful 'paycheck' for the work done. The Hospital Visitation Program is a vital part of the Fraternity that deserves your attention and needs your immediate help.
HERE'S HOW TO GET INVOLVED!
If you have time and want to become involved in a program that will give you a feeling of self-satisfaction and pride, knowing you are helping those who cannot help themselves, write to us. This program will help to make your life more meaningful!
The Masonic Service Association
8120 Fenton Street
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910-4785
or contact them from their web site above. It's a wonderful program!
The Masonic Medical Research Laboratory is
dedicated to improving the health and quality of life for all humankind. The
Laboratory's primary mission is to conduct high quality basic biomedical
research aimed at generating knowledge and information necessary for development
of the medical cures and treatments of tomorrow. The Laboratory is also
committed to providing education and training to basic scientists and clinical
researchers who would perpetuate and extend the fight against disease.
For further information, please write
Masonic Medical Research
2150 Bleecker Street
Utica, New York 13501-1787
Tel: (315) 735-2217
Fax: (315) 735-5648
Masonic Medical Research Laboratory
Tax exempt under section 501 (c)(3) of the IRS Code
Incorporated in NY in October 1947, as Masonic Foundation
for Medical Research and Human welfare
Federal Tax ID Number: 13-564861 1
New York State Charities Registration Number: 037227