Good evening Friends and Brothers!
I generally try to be light-hearted, and see the best in all things, but, in times like these, and after events like those that have happened here in the Texas Gulf Coast area over the past few days, it can become very hard to see the bright side of anything. It’s almost a guarantee that anyone in the local area knows at LEAST one person that has lost their home, and most of their belongings. Literally THOUSANDS of people have had to take refuge in local large buildings or schools that have graciously opened their doors and volunteer to be makeshift shelters. Maybe worst of all, the flooding is predicted to continue for quite a while even now that the rain has, for the most part, gone…
The one thing that I can say has been a bright light in the wake of all of the gloom and doom over the last week is the kindness, and togetherness of the people of this area… Strangers who we should all gladly call OUR people. I have always been proud to consider myself a Texan, and times like these remind me exactly why that is. We pull together as much as we can, and do as much as we can for as many people as we can REGARDLESS of how much we may or may not have to give. I’ve seen people in areas that were just recently declared safe, immediately gas up their trucks, hitch up their boats, and take off directly towards flooded areas without having any specific destination in mind at all, just an immense desire to help anyone and everyone they can. Strangers taking in other strangers without a second thought, and taking care of them like one of the family. In spite of all of the tension and strife across the country before Harvey, Southern hospitality has shown through in a BIG way here, and the charity that is shown is nothing short of amazing.
As Master of this lodge, I’ve been making an effort to keep everyone connected, and to keep track of any Brother with needs because of the storm. As such, I’ve been hearing about all of the local Brothers and their families who have been displaced by the storm, or had major financial damages and losses. I’ve also seen the amazing desire to help exhibited by the Brothers and our friends that WEREN’T impacted, and realized that there were probably a lot more people JUST LIKE them across the local, and more distant areas, who would like to help. In response, I’ve set up the Donation Button below for anyone who would like to make a donation to help with the local relief efforts. Because the vast majority of money that is donated to the LARGER relief efforts is generally earmarked for larger, more encompassing projects, I’ve decided that the money collected here will go directly towards aiding the local residents, and providing relief at the local level in any way we can. Essentially, while the large groups start from the top and work their way down, we’re hoping to do the opposite, and work our way from the bottom, up to meet them somewhere in the middle. For the record: The lodge will not be keeping a single cent of any amount that we raise. All of the money brought in will be redirected towards our efforts in and among the local area. Also, as we ARE considered a charitable fraternity by the IRS, all money donated to us for relief efforts IS tax deductible.
To all of the Brothers in the Texas Gulf Coast area who have been doing their best to serve everyone they can: Thank you! You make me proud to call myself a Mason, and it is a pleasure to be able to call you a Brother!
To ANYONE who chooses to donate to help us in our efforts: THANK YOU for supporting us in our efforts. We COULD NOT do all that we are able to do without the support of those of you behind the scenes.
Please share this link with anyone you can who you think would like to help out!