What types of charity are Masons engaged in?


There is public and private Masonic charity. The most well known public Masonic charity is the Shriner’s Hospitals. They provide medical services, including surgery, to children - without charge. Much money is raised from the public to support the hospitals. The Internal Revenue Service audited the Shrine Hospitals. A series of investigative articles appeared in The Orlando Sentinel June 29-July 3, 1986. The series, entitled The Shriners: Where the money goes, stated IRS records indicate that less than a third of the millions of dollars raised for Shriner’s hospitals actually goes to the hospitals. IRS records were available for 76 of the Shrines 195 temples in 1984. Those 76 temples raised $10.4 million from circuses, football games and newspaper sales. Shrine hospitals received only $2.7 million of that money. The rest was kept for the use of the temples. $3.9 million went for entertainment, including picnics, dances, banquets, parties, seminars, open bars and hospitality suites at meetings and conventions.

An example of private Masonic charities are the Masonic homes. The Kentucky Monitor, thirteenth edition, speaks of help for widows and orphans on page 343:

There is no doubt that if a woman with a child or two is left in destitute condition, the most practical thing to do is to put the child (or children) in the Widows and Orphans Home. That will leave the mother free to make her own living. Great delicacy must be exercised in approaching this subject with the average mother, as she naturally does not want to part with her children, but it should be fully explained to her that the children will get a better raising in the Home than she can possibly give them under such circumstances; and in the future, if her condition should change and should she again be able to take care of her children, she can always get them back without formality.

This example of Masonic charity would separate children from their mother, rather than keep the family intact.

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