Who We Are
Washington Masonic Charities is the 501 c 3 public charitable arm of the Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of Washington. Charitable activity predates Statehood – Masons in Washington Territory and Washington state have been engaged in the community and giving back for more than 160 years. Today we have three areas of charitable focus – assisting children and youth, helping older adults age with meaning and dignity, and the preservation of Washington’s Masonic heritage.
Freemasonry, in its current form, is more than 300 years old. Charitable activity is one of the Masonic core values, and Masons in Washington are reminded at every Lodge meeting that “every human has a claim on our kind offices.” We do this, because Masons Care.
Needs We Address
- Education Success for Youth Experiencing Homelessness – More than 40,000 students in the public schools experience homelessness during the year. Approximately 13,000 of those kids are unaccompanied homeless minors – orphans. Small interventions can have big impacts on whether or not these kids succeed in school and graduate.
- Civility – Our world is becoming increasingly polarized. As the world becomes smaller because of improved communication and other technology, people from more diverse backgrounds are exposed to each other. A natural consequence of this is a clash of differing beliefs, values, and communication styles. At the same time there is a great need for people to be able to work together to solve important problems.
- Scholarships – The cost of education is skyrocketing, while family incomes have been not increasing at a rate high enough to make up for these increases in cost. More families and students are going into deeper debt to obtain what is rapidly becoming a necessity – a higher education.
- Independent, Meaningful, and Dignified Living for Older Adults – Medical advances and improvements in lifestyle mean that many older adults are living much longer than in the past. Unfortunately a majority of these older adults are counting on Social Security to cover 90% or more of their income in retirement. The cost of assisted living and long term care far out strip personal resources, meaning that more older adults are living in poverty and struggling. Assistance with aging in place can help reduce costs for these older adults and improve their quality of life.
- Masonic Heritage Preservation – The early years of Washington Territory and Washington state are replete with contributions of members of the Masonic Fraternity – more than a dozen Masons were territorial and state governors, as well as elected officials across the state. The precepts of Masonry informed their leadership skills and interaction in the community. The public is often unaware of these connections.
What We Do
Washington Masonic Charities addresses these issues in several ways.
- On the Level Student Success – Helping Youth Experiencing Homelessness. Our Children and Youth team manages a program called On The Level Student Success, which collaborates with local Masonic Lodges, community groups, and school districts to meet the specific needs of students experiencing homelessness.
- THINK Civility – is a series of workshops available to community groups, schools, youth groups, churches, Masonic Lodges and Masonic orders, and Masonic Youth to help develop skills in effective communication, understanding beliefs, and working in teams.
- Washington Masonic Charities Scholarships – These scholarships are available for deserving students in need – both public and children or grand children of Masons – to help them further their education, be it through college, university, or vocational-technical programs.
- Masons Care – Masonic Outreach Services – This set of programs and services provides workshops to help people plan more effectively for their future, information and referral assistance, and care coordination to help older adults and their families successfully age in place so they can live healthy, safe, and happy lives.
- Washington Masonic Library and Museum – Our Masonic Library and museum is a collection of more than 50,000 books, 6,000 objects, and more than a quarter million images related to the Masonic heritage of Washington. This library and museum are open to the public.
Why It Matters
Washington Masonic Charities’ mission is to create a culture of philanthropy to invest in youth and education, provide comfort and support for seniors and those in need, and to preserve and share the Masonic heritage of Washington.
Our vision is to build an environment where people live with meaning and dignity, and can learn, grow and be safe. Our Masonic heritage and values are the cornerstone to fulfill this vision.