Written by: Andrew Holland, Help Desk Engineer, New York
I am a member of the 7th District Association of Masonic Lodges in Manhattan and my involvement with this organization has been beneficial to my life in many ways. One example is that it provides avenues for me to give back to my community in a very significant way.
One of the ways we service the community is through our Operation Masonic Care Package Program. Four years ago we began this program during the holidays to support soldiers overseas who are from New York and who have little or no family. Since then, we have been able to collect and ship 413 packages to the men and women serving our great nation abroad. We have sent holiday care packages to the Para Troopers in Kuwait, MP Units in Afghanistan, and Ground Forces in Iraq.
This year, we were able to pack and ship 304 boxes thanks to a matching donation from Bain Capital and the assistance of Walmart. This is a great time for me and my brothers of the lodge as we bring our children and families with us and spend a day doing good work.
It brought me great joy to watch my children pack boxes bright and early in the morning all while telling me how much fun they were having. My children have discovered they love community service and they will be assisting me next year as well! This was a very fulfilling day and one of the reasons I love being a Freemason. The satisfaction you get from helping others is immeasurable and I am lucky that I am afforded the opportunity to not only participate, but pass this tradition of good works on to my children.