“The Masonic Way is to give without remembering and to receive without forgetting.”
To relieve the distressed or help those in need should be a duty for all people, but for Masons, helping people in need is a core principle. Relief may mean financial help, but it could also involve listening to a friend and giving advice if asked. It may mean taking your neighbor to the store or picking up the kids after school so their parents don’t have to leave work early. Masonic relief means helping people across the whole spectrum of their lives.
We must not fall into the too common error that Charity is only that sentiment of commiseration that leads us to assist the poor with pecuniary donations. Its Masonic, as well as Christian application is more noble and more extensive. The word used by St. Paul, Agape, means “love.” A word donating that kindly state of mind which renders a person full of good will and affectionate regard toward others… Guided by this sentiment Masons will “suffer long and be kind.” He will be slow to anger and easy to forgive. He will stay his falling brother by gentle admonition and warn him with kindness of approaching danger. He will not open his ear to his slanders and will close his lips against all reproach. His faults and his follies will be locked in his breast, and the prayer for mercy will ascend to [the Great Architect] for his brother’s sins. Nor will these sentiments of benevolence be confined to those who are bound to him by ties of kindred or wordly friendships alone; but, extending them throughout the globe, he will love and cherish all who sit beneath the broad canopy of our universal Lodge. For it is the boast of our institution, that a Mason destitute or worthy, may find in every clime a brother, and in every land a home.”Encyclopedia of Freemasonry by Albert Mackey
A study of Masonic Charities is a study of the evolving needs of American society. When food and shelter were immediate and almost daily concerns, Masons responded with firewood and the fruits of their harvests. When care of the aged, widows, and orphans were worries, Masons erected retirement homes and orphanages. When education was needed, Masons built schools, and when these basic needs moved ever farther from common experience, Masons turned their philanthropy to crippled children, burn victims, the speech and language impaired, cancer patients, and others.
ln 1990, American Masonic philanthropy was over $360 million, or more than $986 thousand per day, of which over 70% went to the American public.SHORT TALK BULLETIN, Vol. LXIX No. 5 (May 1991) — AND THE GREATEST OF THESE IS CHARITY, by S. Brent Morris, P.M. http://skirret.com/archive/stb/stb1991-05.html
The great majority of us are living in towns and cities; many of us are subject to conditions that shuttle us about from place to place, and from situation to situation, so that life has lost its firmness and security. Our next-door neighbor is a stranger; we may live in an apartment house, where even with dwellers on the same floor we have no ties at all.SHORT TALK BULLETIN, Vol. III No. 2 (Febuary 1925) — CHARITY http://skirret.com/archive/stb/stb1925-02.html
In the midst of such conditions the individual is often thrown entirely upon his own resources. It is here that the lodge comes in, for the lodge, from this present point of view, is nothing other than a substitute for the old-fashioned small community life, wherein neighbor was so tied to neighbor that there was no need of charities, social centers or employment bureaus. In a lodge a man need no longer be a stranger; he finds there other men who, like himself, are eager to establish friendships, engage in social intercourse, and pool the resources of all in behalf of the needs of each.
From all this one can see at a glance what brotherly aid really is.
Robinson Locke Charitable Endeavors
- Veterans Matter
- Toledo Tent City – backpack and toiletry kits for homeless
- Clothing drive for homeless
Ohio Grand Lodge Charitable Foundation
The Grand Lodge of Ohio Charitable Foundation was formed by Grand Master Thomas D. Zahler in 1994 in order to support one of the most valued tenets of Freemasonry: Relief.
Over the years, the Charitable Foundation has evolved to include five areas of financial support for various Grand Lodge services and programs. These are:
- Charitable assistance or financial help as originally envisioned by MWB Zahler;
- Grand Lodge Scholarships – formerly a separate foundation;
- Financial support for the Masonic Model Student Assistance Program in Ohio;
- Ohio Special Olympics Sponsor and Athlete Program;
- Funding the Grand Lodge Museum and Library, now called the Masonic Heritage Museum; and,
- Other designated funds approved by the foundation trustees, including Grand Master’s annual charitable projects such as 2018’s veterans support.
“Let this ever have, my Brother, a lasting effect on your mind and conscience; and remember, should you ever see a friend, but more especially a Brother, in a like destitute condition, you will contribute as liberally to his support and relief as his necessities seem to demand and your ability will permit, without any material injury to yourself or family.”