Exciting, Matching Charity Grants Program Launched For Lodges to Help Their Communities
A new program of Masonic Matching Charity Grants designed to help lodges become more active in supporting causes in their local communities has been announced by R.W. Grand Master James L. Ernette. He presented the innovative action program to the brethren in his inaugural remarks after his installation as Grand Master at the Annual Communication. Earlier, he had outlined the program to District Deputy Grand Masters and to Senior Wardens of the lodges to facilitate planning for their prospective year as Worshipful Master.
The need for charity in our society has never been greater! With reductions of federal and state grants for the relief of those in need, there will be a greater reliance on the private sector of support of worthy charitable causes. Clearly, it is our Masonic duty to be charitable, and by reaching out into our local communities, we can make this vital aspect of Freemasonry a well-known and esteemed quality.
Working with the Masonic Matching Charity Grants Program, each lodge will have the opportunity to contribute up to $5,000 from the lodge to community charitable causes, which will be matched, up to a total of an additional $5,000 by Grand Lodge.
The matching fund process is designed to be simple and easy to implement. Here's how a lodge will put the Masonic Matching Charity Grants Program into action in its community:
Identify a community need.
Apply to Grand Lodge for approval to make the public contribution from its lodge funds.
Raise funds, or vote to allocate money to meet the need.
Apply to the Masonic Matching Charity Grant Committee of Grand Lodge for a grant.
Receive a check payable to the lodge from Grand Lodge for the Matching Charity Grant.
Write a single check from the local Lodge for the total combined amount of the charity gift and present it to the recipient.
Gain all of the credit for the local lodge (not Grand Lodge) for the contribution.
Begin the process again to identify another community need (if the initial project did not amount to $5,000). The Grand Lodge will match any number of projects, totalling up to $5,000 per lodge per year.
If a lodge does not have $5,000 to give to charitable causes, it is permitted to raise funds in an appropriate manner. The Masonic Matching Charity Grants Committee has been appointed to administer the program, and to assist the lodge in finding appropriate causes. A complete program kit has been prepared and distributed to each lodge explaining the program in detail.
Your lodge's participation in this program will net dramatic results. Your lodge will become more involved in local community projects. People with real needs can be helped by the Charity of Freemasonry. Your lodge can assume a prominent role in serving your community. Membership in the Fraternity will be more attractive to those who share your desire to serve others.
For information on the program, contact the Masonic Matching Charity Grants Committee, 1244 Bainbridge Rd., Elizabethtown, PA 17022. Phone toll-free: 1-800-266-8424.