I was moved by an instance of masonic charity and wanted to share it

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posted on May, 22 2013 @ 07:10 PM
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So often on this board the posts on masonry are all negative, all the time. I've seen so many posts with people claiming that things like masonic charity are irrelevant because you don't need a mason engage in charity. That is certainly true, but I think this demonstrates that while you don't need to be a mason to do charity, in this case being a mason meant more good work was able to be done -

One of the members of my hometown lodge is a very blue collar worker. He works as a plant worker and lives very frugally. What most people don't know - and I would not have known had I not been involved in this story - is that he lives on about 20% of his money and gives the other 80% to charity. Anonymously where possible. When I asked him why, he said it was in the spirit of the first degree where he was found to have nothing and the lodge showed its charity to him.

We are all aware of the town(s) in state(s) that have been recently devastated by tornadoes. This mason wanted to help - but didn't have a car (that money went to charity) and due to weather delays wasn't able to get in the area quickly via plane. He asked that I drive him to the area to help with recovery efforts, without telling me what that meant. It seemed like a good idea to me. So I drove him to one of the tornado devastated areas myself (yay for no class during the summer). I did nothing of virtue here - just drove a brother where he needed to go. We met some lodge members from a nearby town who knew the area and could help us (as we didn't know the area) establish where help was urgently needed while FEMA and big charities like the Red Cross got into place.

Over the next 24 hours, we gave away $25,000 of his own cash to local shelters, putting people up in hotels, and ordering food from surrounding areas. The brother in question did not want to be identified even in handing over a check (from his money deposited in my account) or cash - he wanted ABSOLUTELY NO RECOGNITION - that is why I did it for him and told anyone who asked it was from an anonymous donor who wished them a speedy recovery from this disaster. He even requested I not wear my masonic ring so that no one would know a mason was doing it, so that no recognition would come even indirectly to the fraternity.

He could have done this himself and simply lied, but he felt like in doing so he was being dishonest. Maybe there was a better way to do this, but we were going by the seat of our pants so to speak. Maybe this man would have done it without being a mason, but it doesn't matter - the good was done. I was so humbled by this brother's generosity. And I don't expect every mason to do this - we all give in our own way, and we give what we can. But it was an life transforming experience and I wanted to share it. I know the brother would probably not even want me to post this, but my identity is anonymous here so it remains in the spirit of his intentions.

This was a mason who was shining the light of masonry in the darkest of hours for his fellow human beings. He gave all that he had in total humility and obedience to that virtue of masonic charity. Why masonic charity? This is why.
edit on 22-5-2013 by thelongjourney because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 22 2013 @ 07:32 PM
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Reminds me of this...



We make a living by what we get; We make a life by what we give. - author unknown


I too am moved by this fellow Brothers actions; Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit.
edit on 22-5-2013 by ParanoidAmerican because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 07:33 PM
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reply to post by thelongjourney
 


Nice story, but if he is a "very blue collar" worker and only keeps 20% of his income, where did he get the $25,000?
No other masons participated in this assistance from his lodge?
What town is his lodge located in?
What day did you arrive in town to help and what day did you leave?
Thanks in advance for answering my questions.
edit on 22-5-2013 by Afterthought because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 07:54 PM
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reply to post by Afterthought
 


Your questions sound more like an inquisition and do not deserve an answer. Let's keep to the high road on these pages.



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 07:55 PM
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Originally posted by Afterthought
reply to post by thelongjourney
 


Nice story, but if he is a "very blue collar" worker and only keeps 20% of his income, where did he get the $25,000?
No other masons participated in this assistance from his lodge?
What town is his lodge located in?
What day did you arrive in town to help and what day did you leave?
Thanks in advance for answering my questions.
edit on 22-5-2013 by Afterthought because: (no reason given)


If it was my money being given away I would tell you that, but it wasn't - and given that the brother in question went through pains to not be associated with the charitable work, I am not inclined to provide those sort of details.

And I am not sure how I would know his personal budgeting habits - he lives modestly. Shocking, I know, but you can live on only a fraction of your income. Its IS unusual I admit, but not unheard of now that I think about all the ways he is saving money (small apartment, no car, etc.)
edit on 22-5-2013 by thelongjourney because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 08:01 PM
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certainly every member of the masonic lodge system is not a complete a'hole
what degree was this guy? blue lodge? ..i think there's a reason people like this don't ascend the ladder
thanks for posting.



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 08:32 PM
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Originally posted by thelongjourney

Originally posted by Afterthought
reply to post by thelongjourney
 


Nice story, but if he is a "very blue collar" worker and only keeps 20% of his income, where did he get the $25,000?
No other masons participated in this assistance from his lodge?
What town is his lodge located in?
What day did you arrive in town to help and what day did you leave?
Thanks in advance for answering my questions.
edit on 22-5-2013 by Afterthought because: (no reason given)


If it was my money being given away I would tell you that, but it wasn't - and given that the brother in question went through pains to not be associated with the charitable work, I am not inclined to provide those sort of details.

And I am not sure how I would know his personal budgeting habits - he lives modestly. Shocking, I know, but you can live on only a fraction of your income. Its IS unusual I admit, but not unheard of now that I think about all the ways he is saving money (small apartment, no car, etc.)
edit on 22-5-2013 by thelongjourney because: (no reason given)


Maybe you should've stated in your Op that there wouldn't be a question and answer session afterwards. Here I thought that this being a debate forum and all that questions to verify your story would be welcome.
Knowing the day you arrived would help me verify your story.
Besides, seeing that he was alone and not going with his lodge members implies that this wasn't a masonic charitable event as you and he were working alone. The only thing you say the other masons did was show him around town because you didn't know your way. I find this strange, too, as I don't believe any street signs were left standing. Did these masons simply tell you to turn left when you got to a 100 year old downed oak?
By the way, did the tornado spare the Masonic Lodge in this town? How do we know that you and he didn't travel there to give $25,000 to different lodges that were damaged?



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 09:23 PM
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This is a great story of a man mason or not helping those in need. If this story didn't have masons attached to it in anyway no one would be attacking said person. I think its really sad that just because this man happened to be a mason that is takes something away from the good that was shown. I don't understand the hate on this board towards freemasonry. Even if you believe in the whole inner & outer circle and most Masons are in the dark about what the organizations real purpose. If you want to know what the everyday Masons secrets are google Duncan's Masonic ritual.



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 09:32 PM
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reply to post by jholt5638
 

Yes, and I find it sad that someone would use this tragedy to shine a light on masons.
As I understand it, masons don't ever want recognition for their charitable actions, so why suddenly now is it OK?
Also, why the focus on money? Handing out food and clearing road ways for emergency vehicles is just as important. Why didn't the Op focus on grunt work they did, if any? I would think that a "very blue collar" guy would be in good enough shape to help out with the physical labor needed to fix up the town.
I find this thread suspect and people who blindly accept it as truth should take their blinders off.

This thread should be written as just two friends handing out money to those in need. The masonic angle makes it seem like a Rhamanism. You know, "Never let a good crisis go to waste."



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 09:36 PM
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I love how some come in here to just degrade and not celebrate in charitable work to those who need it.
edit on 22-5-2013 by KSigMason because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 09:36 PM
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Originally posted by jholt5638
This is a great story of a man mason or not helping those in need. If this story didn't have masons attached to it in anyway no one would be attacking said person. I think its really sad that just because this man happened to be a mason that is takes something away from the good that was shown. I don't understand the hate on this board towards freemasonry. Even if you believe in the whole inner & outer circle and most Masons are in the dark about what the organizations real purpose. If you want to know what the everyday Masons secrets are google Duncan's Masonic ritual.


I agree - although I don't think the "everyday" secrets are secrets at all, but you are correct they are all in Duncans for everyones reading pleasure.

AfterThought: This is my last response to you as I can see any conversation would be a pointless endeavor. You are already trying to imply either that this didn't take place (because road signs were blown down? really? ever heard of reading MAPS or GPS?) or that somehow its not a good thing because it may not have been done in the way you deems most effective. As I said, this was done in the immediate aftermath of a disaster zone - we were just trying to do as much as possible in an anonymous manner.

I'm sorry AfterThought that things were conducted in a manner you do not approve of, but if your going to criticize at least make sense about it. You cant hand out food when there is none because the grocery store got bulldozed by a tornado and FEMA is still setting up, but you CAN give cash to a food bank (who ran out of food) to go buy food from the next town over and bring it in. And cleaning up when someone just lost their home and night is coming and they have no where to go won't do as much as paying for their hotel in the next town over. If the people involved in this wanted to get credit for it it would have been very easy to do by just writing a check to the red cross or doing a interview on TV about it. The man who did this did not ask me to post this, I am posting it because it had a big impact on me personally.
edit on 22-5-2013 by thelongjourney because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 09:48 PM
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reply to post by thelongjourney
 


I have a friend who is a mason and he is always doing charitable things through work.
He and I couldn't be more different when it comes to many things, including politics and religion, but he still wants to do good for people.
Our reasons for being involved with the community are completely 180 degrees from each other but the important thing is the work gets done.



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 09:51 PM
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Originally posted by smilesmcgee
reply to post by thelongjourney
 


I have a friend who is a mason and he is always doing charitable things through work.
He and I couldn't be more different when it comes to many things, including politics and religion, but he still wants to do good for people.
Our reasons for being involved with the community are completely 180 degrees from each other but the important thing is the work gets done.



I am so glad to hear that. In the end its all about doing good for the community...no matter why you do it. If someone is helped in the end, then its worth it!



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 11:04 PM
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Giving without thinking of one's self is the ultimate charity.
When you mentioned your friend gives specifically 80% of his income, I started thinking that there was more to this than meets the eye and this is what I've found:
www.forbes.com... ibutions-youre-making-a-mistake/

One item of note: the PEASE limitation is capped at 80% of itemized deductions. In rare cases, a high-income taxpayer with minimal itemized deductions may reach this cap, and at that point, they would no longer benefit from any additional itemized deductions.

For 2013, ALL charitable donations must be itemized.
I have to believe that your friend is more interested in donated because it benefits himself just as much.

To have a truly feel good story, I prefer the kind that has the person giving of themselves without getting anything in return. Since your friend is a "very blue collar" worker, I find it surprising that he couldn't have donated his skills, but then again, sweat and elbow grease aren't the kinds of charitable contributions that you can deduct on your taxes.

Simply handing out money to the needy is necessary, but it's also the laziest form of charity there is, but it's the best one to do if you want your back scratched in the process.

I'll let everyone get back to their tea party and stuffed animals now while I go off in search of stories where unassociated people are giving blood, handing out food, and helping to rebuild in OK. At least your friend took the time to tour the area and hand out money. I'm sure the masons enjoyed the publicity, too.


By the way, masons have commented on ATS in the past that if you like your freedoms, you should thank a mason. Can we also thank them now that our freedoms are all being slowly chipped away here in Amerika?
Just wondering.

Sorry to be such a wet blanket, but it's really starting to wear on me when we keep getting told that you can't question "this" and you're supposed to take "that" at face value. It's basicly a form of jounalism/blogging dictatorship that's going to cause a whole new level of brain dead among the masses when we actually do stop questioning things, even the reports that seem warm and happy.



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 11:40 PM
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Originally posted by Afterthought

I have to believe that your friend is more interested in donated because it benefits himself just as much.


Donating is the right thing to do. If you can, you should.

I think you might be "biting off more then you can chew", by stating that.


Carrie Roberts says that for poor people it isn't about tax deductions or tax shelters or trying to get something out of it. Roberts is the founder CEO of For the Charitable Community, Inc, which helps with networking, training and support for the non-profit sector. "They are giving because they want to give," she says. "They are not as organized, there are not strategies around it. People are more likely just to help each other out."


Studies try to find why poorer people are more charitable than the wealthy





Originally posted by Afterthought

Simply handing out money to the needy is necessary, but it's also the laziest form of charity there is, but it's the best one to do if you want your back scratched in the process.


Why does help, have to come with a price or bonus? Not everything is black and white.



I don't write off my donations.



Originally posted by Afterthought

Sorry to be such a wet blanket, but it's really starting to wear on me when we keep getting told that you can't question "this" and you're supposed to take "that" at face value. It's basicly a form of jounalism/blogging dictatorship that's going to cause a whole new level of brain dead among the masses when we actually do stop questioning things, even the reports that seem warm and happy.


You can question it. I don't see anyone saying you can't. Its just the negativity that you display is everything wrong with society today. Even a little compassion is met with disdain. For or Against. Maybe you should Donate. Its a great feeling knowing YOU are most likely making someones day, month, or Year .


I applaud this mans actions.



posted on May, 23 2013 @ 07:35 AM
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reply to post by thelongjourney
 


A very moving story brother. I am glad you found a way to get involved.
Don't worry about the whiner. Some folks have such a pathetic life, they need to tear others down to their level to even comprehend things.



posted on May, 23 2013 @ 07:40 AM
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Originally posted by Afterthought
reply to post by thelongjourney
 

Nice story, but if he is a "very blue collar" worker and only keeps 20% of his income, where did he get the $25,000?


The median salary for an plant worker is $36,000. It's pretty easy to save $1,000 a month on that with an average lifestyle; a frugal one even more.


The only thing you say the other masons did was show him around town because you didn't know your way. I find this strange, too, as I don't believe any street signs were left standing.


You misunderstand how tornadoes work. Yes, everything in the path of an EF-5 tornado is gone, but the path of even an EF-5 is relatively small. Houses leveled to the foundation have neighbors across the street who are a day of yard work from back to normal.


As I understand it, masons don't ever want recognition for their charitable actions, so why suddenly now is it OK?


As you've pointed out, this is hardly "recognition". It's an anecdote which still results in no publicity.


Also, why the focus on money? Handing out food and clearing road ways for emergency vehicles is just as important. Why didn't the Op focus on grunt work they did, if any? I would think that a "very blue collar" guy would be in good enough shape to help out with the physical labor needed to fix up the town.


Most relief organizations discourage outside operational volunteers, as they're typically not trained enough to avoid getting in the way and can be a drain on resources.


For 2013, ALL charitable donations must be itemized.


That's completely false. No one is required to itemize any deductions. That's the point of the standard deduction.


To have a truly feel good story, I prefer the kind that has the person giving of themselves without getting anything in return.



At least your friend took the time to tour the area and hand out money. I'm sure the masons enjoyed the publicity, too.


Because anonymous stories about individual Masons on an Internet backwater generate so much publicity.


By the way, masons have commented on ATS in the past that if you like your freedoms, you should thank a mason. Can we also thank them now that our freedoms are all being slowly chipped away here in Amerika?


Depends. Are there documented instances of men proven to be Masons contributing to the latter as they did the former?


Sorry to be such a wet blanket, but it's really starting to wear on me when we keep getting told that you can't question "this" and you're supposed to take "that" at face value. It's basicly a form of jounalism/blogging dictatorship that's going to cause a whole new level of brain dead among the masses when we actually do stop questioning things, even the reports that seem warm and happy.


You have not said the same about such "just trust me" luminaries as Fritz Springmeier, who actually has published provable falsehoods.



posted on May, 23 2013 @ 08:24 AM
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reply to post by thelongjourney
 


i had a argument with a member who claimed to be a mason,,,

here, they are mostly egoistic, i am better than you---type of people,,,,
they also in many cases are a part of lions club,, and what not....

anyhow, he stated that lodges are kinda short in cash,,,,
then how can they donate it,,,,?

no good masonic lodges, cigar clubs,,, and all the rest of them can suck my lollipop,,,,,,
i quit eating sugar you see...

edit on 23-5-2013 by solve because: LOLLIPOP



posted on May, 23 2013 @ 08:53 AM
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reply to post by thelongjourney
 


Thanks for sharing this.

I used to be mean about freemasonry! These days I feel a bit like St. Paul did after persecuting Christians.

FREEDOM to practice! I am these days an appreciator of all the good social works that Freemasonry is involved in.

Respect!



posted on May, 23 2013 @ 08:53 AM
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reply to post by solve
 


The money donated/handed out was the mans' own money! Did you even read the OP?

When I started reading I wondered how long it would take the cynics to aim their bitter comments at this thread, I didn't have to wait long! That's one prediction one can make on ATS which will come true, Post something about the masons and within minutes the negative comments will start!

I say "Thank You" for the post and thanks to that man and all like minded people because without them this world would be a much sadder place!

My mother and I once received help from a local mason and I will be him ever grateful!

S&F
edit on 23/5/13 by wiser3 because: (no reason given)
edit on 23/5/13 by wiser3 because: Spelling - Twice (as always)





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