By Benjamin Okwumabua, PM
Are you aware of the many programs that our craft has to aid and assist one another? Reflecting upon this thought, we can ask ourselves whether we do enough with the allotted hours for a Brother or his family? Then a song fills my spirit by Bill Withers with these lyrics, “Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrow. But if we are wise, we know that there’s always tomorrow...” No matter how bleak the situation, we are Ohio Freemasonry strong.
One of our brethren, who was facing challenging times with extenuating health issues, was dismayed with hopelessness due to physical limitations that prevented him from leaving his home for treatment and the lifesaving care that he needed. He was not aware nor did he know how to access the resources and guidance that we as Freemasons are blessed to have. Through conversation with one another, we find opportunities to help each other. Again, the continued lyrics to Bill Wither’s song resonates: “Lean on me, when you’re not strong, and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on...” Through this fellowship, our Brother not only received assistance through the generous donation of a temporary ramp initiated by his home Lodge, Canal Winchester #670, enabling him to leave his home to receive medical care; he was also surprised with a visit to his home by the Grand Master of Ohio, Most Worshipful Brother Richard Dickerschied and the Grand Lodge officers.
Accessing programs of relief start at the member’s respective local Lodge level by which the Worshipful Master and membership can initiate aid from the Lodge to assist a distressed Brother. A number of supplemental assistance programs then open up, such as The Grand Lodge of Ohio Charitable Foundation, the Scottish Rite Grand Almoners Fund, and many other programs.
The Ohio Masonic Home Resource Center, 877-881-1632 can be contacted for multiple levels of support at any time. Each Lodge has a regional representative. Brother Dan Shirk who represents the Central Ohio region, immediately reached out to our distressed Brother and collaborated efforts with the Canal Winchester Lodge. As the stanza in Withers song reminds us: “You just call on me, Brother, when you need a hand. We all need somebody to lean on...”
We may not all be able to hold a melody, but what we can do is make one great band which so harmonizes the world through the notes of love to give relief. Share this story to impact and improve another man’s life, a Mason, a Brother.
Make your contribution to support your Brethren and enable great programs that we as Masons have. Live, listen, and leave love.