Practicing Relief For More Than 280 Years
Before knocking at the door of Freemasonry, the Junior Deacon asked if you were prompted to solicit the privileges of Masonry by “a sincere wish to be serviceable to your fellow creatures?”
During the Entered Apprentice degree we participated in the Rite of Destitution; we were taught “the greatest of these is Charity”; and we learned the principal tenet of Relief. Progressing through the Fellow Craft and Master Mason degrees we promised to help, aid, and assist all poor and distressed Brothers, their widows, and orphans.
Service, charity, and relief are explored throughout our degrees as essential ingredients of what it means to be a Mason.
Because of the generosity and planning by our Brothers and friends who came before us, for more than 280 years Massachusetts Freemasons have practiced these lessons in our Lodges, communities, and jurisdiction.
Massachusetts Freemasons, and our family and friends, have several paths to support our charitable and educational programs. There is an option to help almost every potential donor meet their charitable goals and objectives. These are a few of the simplest and most common methods.
The Grand Master’s Appeal is the foundation of our charitable and educational programs. Each year the Grand Master invites every Brother to consider a tax-deductible gift as part of their charitable giving; and each year our members demonstrate their generosity by making contributions of all sizes. Most donations are directed to our General Fund, which provides the Grand Master and the Board of Directors the flexibility to use the gift in the most needed manner. However, donors have the opportunity to direct their support towards one of the following, popular programs:
- The Brotherhood Fund – a dedicated resource to help a Brother and his family, should the need arise. It practices the vision so eloquently stated by the Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction: We will strive to be a fraternity that fulfills our Masonic obligation to care for our members.
- The Grand Lodge Scholarship Program – since 1997, more than $7 million in grants have been distributed to Massachusetts Freemasons, their children, and grandchildren enrolled in accredited colleges and universities.
- Samuel Crocker Lawrence Library – one of the world’s largest, and most important, collections related to Freemasonry. The Samuel Crocker Lawrence Library’s missions includes fulfilling the educational and research needs of Massachusetts Freemasons, as well as providing research services for scholars, historians, and writers.
A bequest in your will after you have taken care of your family is the easiest way to create a permanent legacy of your support and love for our fraternity. In general, providing your attorney with the following language is all that is required to establish a bequest: I give, devise, and bequest to the Masonic Education and Charity Trust, 186 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02111, [specific dollar amount, or percentage of estate, or description of property or securities] to be deposited into its permanent endowment.
Charitable Gift Annuity
A simple contract between you and the Masonic Education & Charity Trust. You transfer cash or securities to the ME&CT in exchange for a lifetime income for you and your spouse or beneficiary, as well as potential tax benefit.
Life Insurance Policy
You name the ME&CT as beneficiary, or transfer ownership of a permanent policy which the ME&CT has been designated as the beneficiary.
The Masonic Education & Charity Trust (ME&CT) is a recognized 501(c)3. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.