Back Home Up Next

Search this Site

For more information, see:

Up Caring Concern Saving History Helping Hands Charity Fraud Email scams

Related Topics:

Reality Check
Joining Freemasonry
Famous Freemasons
Masonry FAQ
Masonic Education

charities.gif (4396 bytes)

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. I do not agree with the big way of doing things."
Mother Teresa, Albanian-born Roman Catholic missionary





The Roots of Masonic Charity

Although Masonic ritual varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, a consistent message conveyed to every candidate is that charity is an essential part of Freemasonry. In some rituals, in fact, reference is made to the wide-breadth of the star-decked canopy of Heaven and that a Mason's charity should be equally extensive. This concept has remained throughout the centuries of Freemasonry's existence.

"To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent on all men, but particularly on Freemasons, who are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. To soothe the unhappy, to sympathize with their misfortunes, to compassionate their miseries, and to restore peace to their troubled minds, is the great aim we have in view. On this basis we form our friendships and establish our connections.

Illustrations of Masonry, p. 72 William Preston, 1772.

Note carefully that date! It is not an error of our typing. Written nearly 240 years ago, it addresses Masonic charity just as well today!

From this philosophy comes much of a 'Mason's work', given freely and willingly. Charity comes in many forms, both large and small. Whether it's something as simple (but appreciated) as a holiday basket delivered to a shut-in by local lodge officers, something much larger such as a donation of funds to support a community project or an on-going scholarship fund, or something as enormous as a chain of 22 hospitals which provide totally free care to burned and crippled children, Masons regularly engage in charitable work as part of their Masonic membership. (We'd add quickly, though, that this charity is NOT given by sending e-mail messages from Yahoo addresses to someone in another country! See the link above.)

No web site could fully and completely list all of the charitable work done by Freemasons. There are many which are local and private. In fact, much Masonic charity occurs in this quiet way. Other activities, however, are so broad that they cannot be hidden and we'll point you to some of them right here.

We've tried to broadly categorize the works Masons do as follows:


Caring Concern - Some of our programs to help those who are suffering medical problems are well known. Others are not. Take a look and you'll be surprised at what we do.


Saving History - It's natural that the oldest fraternity in the world would have an interest in preserving history. What's not as well known is how that interest is translated into helping everyone!


Helping Hands - Whether it's scholarships or food for the needy, Masons are often found helping out. Here are some of the many, many examples of that.

Masonic charity has often been 'quiet' as compared to civic charities whose presence is flouted in order to garner additional contributions. Thus a researcher can only capture the data from formally organized and public Masonic activities and even this doesn't tell the whole story.

For example, the Masonic Service Association quietly oversees a Hospital Visitation Program with a goal that every Veteran's Administration Hospital in the United States have a Masonic volunteer working with patients. How can a value be placed on the more than 500,000 hours a year spent on this work?  It simply can't be done!

In 1990 American Masonic Philanthropy was $525 million or $1.4 million per day. It has been estimated that for 1994 formal American Masonic Philanthropy was over $625 million. Neither of these figures include activities outside of the United States which could easily raise these numbers to well over $2 million dollars per day.

Are you looking for a program for your Lodge? Check out the Masonic Angel Fund - a program already created for your use - and it WORKS!

mp2.jpg (19503 bytes)Some anti-Masons have criticized Freemasonry, arguing that based on the number of Freemasons in the world divided by the reports of some Masonic charities means that Masons are not as charitable as they hold themselves out to be. In reality, this attack belies facts.

First, much of the charity work which the anti-Masons examine is limited to less than a dozen activities. Most Masonic charity, however, is far less publicly visible than things like the Shriners Hospitals - and if Masonry itself doesn't attempt to total its giving, we fail to see how anti-Masons can.

Dr. S. Brent Morris has written a book which has brought light to much of the Charity work Masons do. If you click on the picture, you'll be transported to a site where you can purchase this wonderful work.

Masonicinfo Note: We're embarrassed, honestly, that we've been unable to expend the time necessary to enhance this section as it should be. There are SO very many Masonic charities and we know we've only highlighted such a very few. Our site is about anti-Masonry and those who espouse it; this section was included as a counterpoint in order to show some of Freemasonry's good works. We know there are many, many, many, many more but we simply have not had the time to expand on this. We have had concerns also that those who came to our site convinced of the so-called 'evils' of Freemasonry might see the HUGE listing of Masonic charities as simply 'piling on'.

Masons can and should be rightly proud of the work they do and we're sorry that we have not listed them all here. While Dr. Morris has done an excellent job compiling such a list, more charitable causes spring up each day - because charity is what Masons do!

We apologize if your favorite Masonic Charity has been overlooked but if you'd care to drop us a note and tell us about it, we'll somehow find the time to add it in here! Thanks for your understanding.

smileyt.gif (284 bytes)


Prince, the Search DogJust click on "Prince, the Search Dog" to find things on our site. He's on every page and he'll take you directly to our search form where you can see if we've written about whatever it is you're interested in. Prince has a great memory; he always remembers where things are!

This site and its contents are (copyright) 1998-2014 by Edward L. King (Ed King). All rights reserved. All comments and opinions are mine personally.

Got some thoughts or reactions? We'd be interested in your comments - within reason of course.
If you want to contact us, see here to avoid spam filters!