All DeMolay chapters observe an annual "Day of Comfort" between Thanksgiving and Christmas to emphasize the needs of others. Each chapter has its own program of service. Typical projects include volunteering at a nursing home, raising money for local and national charities, community clean-ups and renewal work parties. To raise funds for charity, members participate in various sales, fairs and community festivals. They conduct walk-a-thons, bike-a-thons, all-night dances, and other programs to encourage donors to pledge charitable gifts. Some chapters work at telethons; others ring bells for the Salvation Army. Many chapters participate in food banks and clothing drives, while others volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.
The amount of money contributed or the number of hours worked is of little consequence. What matters most is that DeMolay members learn to make the act of service and caring for others a part of their daily routines.
The Order of DeMolay is a charitable extension of Masonic concern for the community. Freemasonry serves future generations of leaders by providing a safe, wholesome, fun-filled, and educational environment in which young people can grow. Traditionally, Masons have provided the adult leaders who are needed to conduct a quality program, although DeMolay now welcomes all parents and other community leaders trained to work with youth. Masons still provide quality meeting facilities and financial support of DeMolay Chapters across the Commonwealth. Most importantly, Freemasonry provides the model of a successful fraternity from which DeMolays learn the values of brotherly love, relief and truth.
The basic Chapter program allows young men to select their own leaders, plan their own programs, and carry out their own activities. The members learn and grow by planning, budgeting, and administrating their own programs, while the advisors merely guide and suggest. Other programs are essential to the complete DeMolay chapter, and include visitation to nearby chapters, civic and Masonic service projects, and a full athletic program.
The success of DeMolay is demonstrated by its members, both young and old. The roster of Senior Members includes newscasters Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather, the late actor John Wayne, weatherman Willard Scott, athletes Bob Mathias and Fran Tarkenton, the late businessman Walt Disney, radio personality Paul Harvey, and former Senator William Bradley. Among the current Past Grand Masters of Masons in Pennsylvania, John L. McCain, Samuel C. Williamson, Edward H. Fowler, Jr., and George H. Hohenshildt were members of DeMolay.
A complete summary of the DeMolay program is available on the Internet at www.pademolay.org.