Brethren and Friends all,
Spring has arrived in Ohio, and in typical Ohio fashion it is snowing in Springfield as I write this column in April. It’s a good time to check in on your friends and neighbors.
Living our tenets is a much-needed therapy for us all. With the greatest of these being Relief, it’s the perfect time of year to reflect on our Fraternal legacy as Masons responsible for assuring the future of our great fraternity, as well as providing relief to our Brethren, widows and orphans when those needs arise. The brotherhood we share, the philanthropies we create and support, the alliances we build in our communities – all depend on our vision, leadership, and financial support.
The Grand Lodge of Ohio Charitable Foundation was established to offer support to both members and non-members at their time of need. Our deepest gratitude goes to those having the vision to create such a tool for Ohio Freemasonry to proudly support. There are five separate funds for you to consider when designating your giving:
Relief - The Charitable Foundation Relief Fund was the initial vision our forefathers had when creating the fund to offer aid. Continue our tradition of providing relief to our Brethren, widows and orphans. It’s a great place to consider when making your charitable donations each year.
Scholarship - Thank you to our Masonic License Plate program supporters. Because of you, the Grand Lodge Charitable Foundation Scholarship Fund has received over $37,400.00 since Sep 2021. These funds are applied directly to the Scholarship Program for High School Scholarship recipients around the state.
Veterans and First Responders fund continues to grow since its’ inception thanks to your support. Initiatives are underway to provide aid where needed to thank your Veterans and First Responders for their dedication to serve and protect.
Museum and Library fund is used to maintain and preserve our history as well as provide resources to share with our membership and community alike.
Masonic Model Student Assistance Program fund is supporting programs around the state for both students and teachers. A recent MMSAP program in Columbus brought together Masonic Youth from around the state for a day of education and fellowship. For more information on any of these Charitable Foundation efforts, go to www.Freemason.com.
Many Lodges also support charities at their local level. Hospice, Local Community Kitchens, Habitat for Humanity, groups that provide beds or food for children, and Special Olympics Ohio. If your lodge needs assistance connecting with your County SOO group to volunteer or make donations, you can find their regional map with contacts for your county at www.sooh.org/regional-map.
It’s an honor to serve the Grand Lodge of Ohio. The office staff is committed to serve you, so please call on us if we can be of any assistance.
It’s a Great Day for Freemasonry!
Keith W. Newton, PGM, Grand Secretary