The Masonic Fraternity is one of the most benevolent organizations in the world. In the United States alone the Fraternity donates between $3-4 million dollars a day, which is in excess of $1billion dollars a year. Every penny of that benevolence originates solely from the generosity of our members, through both their direct contributions, as well as from the return on investments from their past contributions.
This benevolence is wide spread, and takes many forms. Masonic charity can be seen in local communities helping small organizations and private individuals, in addition to supporting larger endeavors, such as the Shriner’s Burns Hospitals or the Scottish Rite Learning Centers for Dyslexic Children. Despite the scope of their benevolent activities, Masons do not seek publicity for their charitable work. Masons do their work quietly; they do not expect a pat on the back for doing the right thing. But if someone is in need, and the Fraternity can help, they do.
The benevolent activities of The Harvard Lodge are carried out more on an individual basis than on a Lodge basis. For example one of the Past Masters of the Lodge, James Farr donated significant amounts of his resources around the Boston area. His benevolence can be seen at the Farr building at Beth Israel Hospital, in addition to the Farr Conference Center at the Museum of Our National Heritage in Lexington. In fact the James F. Farr Academy, a local Cambridge School, was named in his honor. Despite the individual nature of The Harvard Lodge’s benevolence, the Lodge recognizes its responsibility to the local community. As such, from time to time, the Lodge takes on a project or two. Currently the Harvard Lodge is participating in the Masonic Angel Fund. This program works with local Cambridge schools to provide immediate assistance to children in need. In addition the Lodge is currently working to support the cause of Multiple Sclerosis, by participating in the Boston MS Walk.
The Harvard Lodge has adopted a Masonic Angel Fund to help a number of Cambridge Schools. The purpose of the Fund is to provide modest assistance to children in need who do not fit the criteria for the usual social-service programs. Such assistance might be to provide a pair of glasses, a coat, shoes, field trip fees or minor health services. These benevolences can cover almost any need that will enhance a child’s learning experience – even providing scholarships for music and fine arts instruction.
For example, if the nurse discovers a child who needs a winter coat she simply makes a request to the Trustees of the Angel Fund who will issue a check to the principal or nurse in an appropriate amount.
In cases where professional services are required (i.e. medical, dental, optical…etc.) The Harvard Lodge works with the school to make available our numerous sources for services of this nature. Some of our Masonic Brothers are health care professionals, so there is an excellent chance we may be able to arrange the donation of products or services.