Masonic Support During COVID-19
On behalf of the employees and residents of our Masonic Villages, I write to thank you and your families and friends for the overwhelming support we have received from the Grand Lodge, Blue Lodges and Pennsylvania Masons. Let it be known that Pennsylvania Masons have stepped up in a big way to support our Masonic Villages during this unprecedented and uncertain period in our history.
In response to the Grand Master’s call to action for donations of masks and other personal protective equipment, we have received from Lodges and Pennsylvania Masons hundreds of hand-sewn masks that we have provided to residents and employees at all of our campuses. I learned that the mask given to me was hand made by Linda Jackson, the wife of R.W. Past Grand Secretary, Brother Tom Jackson. Past District Deputy Grand Master Tim Pletcher secured and delivered 40 N95 masks and sandwich trays to our Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill. Another Pennsylvania Mason, who wishes to remain anonymous, made a very generous donation of N95 masks and surgical masks. Other Pennsylvania Masons have donated long-sleeve shirts, choir gowns and raincoats that have been put to use as medical gowns. In addition, we have received tens of thousands of dollars (checks continue to arrive daily) for the purchase of PPE.
The Grand Lodge Officers led an effort of Pennsylvania Lodges to have flowers delivered to every accommodation across our system before the Easter and Passover holidays – more than 2,000 in total. This remarkable effort had an amazing impact on our residents and employees (who enjoyed delivering them to residents and seeing them smile). Our campus Executive Directors and I have received hundreds of phone calls and thank you notes. Many were brought to tears by the gesture, finding hope and comfort in the kindness of Pennsylvania Freemasons. Many other Pennsylvania Masons have made generous donations of coloring books, crossword puzzles and other items for our residents through our Sharing Smiles Program.
Our board, under the leadership of our Grand Master, has provided steady and unwavering support. They took quick action to secure the financial resources for us to provide bonuses and free or substantially discounted meals to our front line caregivers and on-site employees. They also approved and supported the many safety measures we have instituted across our campuses, which enable our staff to care for our residents with confidence. Words cannot express the gratitude of our employees.
Throughout this period, our Consolidated Fund Trustees have worked diligently and professionally to make prudent and thoughtful decisions for our investment program.
You should also know that neither our Masonic Youth Foundation or Masonic Library and Museum are idle during this time. Among other things, our Masonic youth are organizing and supporting meal preparation and delivery to those in our local communities who suffer from food insecurity, and our dedicated staff in Philadelphia must still care for our magnificent Masonic Temple even as it is closed for tours, Lodge meetings and events.
Brethren, rest assured that Freemasonry is alive and well at our Masonic Charities. I see it every day in the leadership of our Grand Lodge, Board and Trustees, in the support we receive from Pennsylvania Masons and their families, and in the hearts, souls and dedicated work ethic of our employees.
Sincerely and fraternally,
William L. Kingsbury
CEO, Masonic Charities of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania