|Volume LV||November 2008||Number 4|
Ringing in the Season of Giving
Members of two Masonic lodges, Lodge No. 106, Williamsport, and Henry M. Phillips Lodge No. 337, Monongahela, have spent many cold hours standing in front of local retail stores to collect the change of passers-by to benefit the Salvation Army.
Donations provide dinners, clothing, toys, basic necessities and seasonal aid for families in need, shut-ins in hospitals and nursing homes and shelters. The lodges' participation exposes the local community to the good work of the Masons.
For the sixth year, members of Henry M. Phillips Lodge will ring the kettle bell. Despite the cold temperatures, the brethren enjoy greeting the passing neighbors and inviting the children to ring the bell. "Their warm smiles and grins make you forget the cold," Bro. Barry Wheeler, District Deputy Grand Master of District 31, who participated last year, said.
Standing beside a red kettle with a sign that reads "Volunteer Bell Ringers - Masons Care - Lodge 106," more than two dozen members of the lodge have worked a two-hour shift (or more) for the past 12 years. This year will mark their 13th, over which time the lodge has raised more than $30,000.
"The volunteers typically state that they enjoy ringing the bell - it feels good in a way that writing a contribution check can't touch," said Gary V. Hoover, P.M., Chairman of the Lodge 106 Charity Committee, which sets up shift schedules and recruits volunteers.
To encourage other lodges in their district, as well as Prince Hall lodges, to participate, they purchased a specially-inscribed Lodge 106 Charity Bell which is given to the lodge that raises the most money for the Salvation Army each year.
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