"So far as I am acquainted with the principles and doctrines of Freemasonry , I conceive it to be founded in benevolence and to be exercised for the good of mankind ."
George Washington, Freemason
I scream and lament about politics and injustices in the world but there are people and organizations that we should recognize for the good they do. There exists an organization of men who's mission it is to do good in the world. The often maligned and misunderstood, Freemasons, a not so secret secret, is an organization of men dedicated to doing good work. While it has been portrayed as an organization that controls the worlds finances and pulls the strings of government, nothing can be further from the truth. Freemasons and their appended bodies support a multitude of charities and medical research.
"The Masonic Medical Research Laboratory, Utica New York, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. For people who do not know what the research lab is all about, scientists provide hope to millions of people worldwide who are affected by heart disease." (WKTV News) Another outstanding Masonic charity, are Shriners Hospital. "For those living in Mexico, the US or Canadian, these hospitals are pretty well known. What is not always known is that all Shriners are Masons! There are 22 hospitals throughout the United States: three for treatment of burns and 19 which address crippled children's medical problems. The first Shriners Hospital opened in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1922 and the first Burns Institute opened in Galveston, Texas in 1966. To date, the Shriners have spent over $3 billion dollars on hospital operating costs and over $7 million on construction and renovation.
The number of children helped to date is nearing 550,000 and all care is free! The one department which is never found in a Shrine Hospital is a billing department. Funds for this come from gifts, bequests, income from the endowment fund, hospital fund-raising events, and the annual hospital assessment paid by every Shriner (of which there are approximately 600,000)."
The work of Masonry is vast and varied including, Dentistry for Children with Special Needs, The Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. is a partner with EyeCare America Seniors EyeCare Program to which KTEF gives financial support and enables them to help more people in need, Scottish Rite Masonic Children's Learning Centers, Scottish Rite Convalescent Hospital for Crippled Children and The Masonic Service Association of North America conducts an active Hospital Volunteer Program.
Masons show that we as people can make a difference in our community, our country and our world. The fact that Freemasons do what they do gives me hope for the future. The Masons motto is "we take good men and make them better". This is an organization that sees where there is a need and steps in and answers the call.If they are a secret clandestine organization as their critics would suggest they are doing a lousy job of hiding out but they are doing a great job of doing good.
Icarus (a small self-portrait)
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