Overview and Missions: There are many organizations within the Masonic family. The basic Masonic Lodges are known as the “Blue Lodges,” and are what you will most likely easily access in your community. They can put you in touch with other Masonic organizations that may be able to help you, as Blue Lodge membership or a family member is required for admission to the other groups.
In each case, the focus of these organizations is charity. The Shriners will help any child with congenital hearing loss due to bone conduction problems, and maybe other conditions, as well as children with orthopedic and spinal cord problem, burns and facial deformities. The Scottish Rite (Consistory) focuses on communication disorders. Blue Lodges have individual charity funds available to help members and community members and have a great deal of flexibility in how they award the money.
Contact Information: Look in the phone book under “Ancient Free and Accepted Masons” or “Free and Accepted Masons” in the business section, or in the Yellow Pages under “Fraternal Organizations,” “Charitable Organizations,” “Social Service Organizations” and any other heading you can think of where they might be. Even if you don’t find the Masons specifically, there is a great deal of dual membership between Masons and other charitable organizations, so someone might be able to give you a name and phone number.
There is NO consistency in how these groups are listed. You might find the “Masonic Temple” in the business pages. Sometimes they are listed as “AF&AM” or “F&AM” instead of spelling them out. You can also check with your local Chamber of Commerce for leads.
If you find a building with the Masonic emblem, there will be a phone number on a sign and you can call for assistance and information.
To ask for help: You must identify an advocate within the Lodge to submit your application for assistance. In some cases, it is required to identify a family member who is or was in a Masonic organization. If no names come to mind readily, ask your older relatives about your ancestors.
You need to have explored other financing options and been turned down more or less thorough no fault of your own. Requests to help children are more favorably received than requests for adults, and you need to be ready to give financial details demonstrating your need. However, adult requests are more favorably received if the assistance will enable the recipient to become or remain self-sufficient. Be reasonable, and consistent. If you can partly fund your own needs and need the balance it will be better received. If you are turned down, be gracious. They may want to help as an organization but not be able to. They may also individually be able to refer you to other possible sources of aid.
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (Consistory)
To locate a nearby organization, go to http://www.scottishrite.org/ Nationwide listing.
RiteCare Childhood Language Program
In the early 1950s in Colorado, the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States initiated a program to help children with speech and language disorders. The results obtained from this program led to the establishment of RiteCare clinics to provide diagnostic evaluation and treatment of speech and language disorders, as well as learning disabilities.
Today, there are 170 RiteCare® clinics, centers, and special programs operating or planned for children and therapists located throughout the United States. Each facility is staffed by speech-language pathologists or other trained personnel. Through the support of Scottish Rite members, these clinics, centers, and programs continue to increase. The value of this philanthropy has long been apparent. Tens of thousands of youngsters across the United States have been helped significantly. With the good work of dedicated clinicians and parents, the Scottish Rite has achieved successes that could only be imagined a few years back. Children who might have remained educationally handicapped for a lifetime can now talk, read, and lead useful lives.
Program Eligibility: As a rule, the RiteCare® Clinics accept preschool children who have difficulty speaking or understanding the spoken word or school-age children who have difficulty learning to read. Some centers also offer literacy training for adults.
Inquiries on age groups and program offerings in specific areas should be addressed to the director of the local Scottish Rite facility. Equally important, all services are available regardless of race, creed, or the family's inability to pay.
While all children in need are eligible for available RiteCare® Program treatment, please consult with your local facility for specific financial information.
Programs and contact information vary, but for an example of specific programs, these are the Colorado and San Diego services.
To locate a program, go to http://www.srmason-sj.org/what/phil/rc-directory.html
Boulder, Colorado: The University of Colorado’s Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences is now participating in the RiteCare Childhood Language Program. Consistory financial support helps eligible children through CU’s toddler and preschool programs. Eligible children requiring individual therapy, including developmentally delayed children in need of intervention with augmentative communication devices are covered, as is the speech-therapy treatment of eligible children identified with autism spectrum disorder.
Greeley, Colorado: The Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Clinic at the University of Northern Colorado is expanding their partnership to broaden the scope of the intervention services to preschool-age children. The Scottish Rite Foundation was awarded a grant from the Daniels Fund to support personnel costs for the new program. A grant from the Wells Fargo Bank will be used to purchase instructional materials, and a grant from the Scottish Rite Foundation will be used for remodeling of a adjoining rooms dedicated to this program. Talking and Listening for Preschoolers (TALP) is a two day per week intensive group experience for children with language problems and their typical (non-language impaired) peers. Professionals and graduate students will work in collaboration with parents to create individualized language-learning plans. The curriculum will employ evidence-based practices that focus on literacy and interaction. Speaking and Signing Stories (SASS) is a six week program for school-age children who are deaf/hearing impaired to facilitate language and literacy development. This research-based and multi-sensory approach uses narratives in oral and sign language. A family service model will used with younger children to facilitate language intervention in small groups and in the home. The UNC Audiology and Speech- Language Pathology Clinic is excited to launch these programs in May, 2007.
For more information on these programs, please contact:
The Children’s Hospital
Deborah Hayes, Ph.D.,
Voicemail: 303-861-6424; Fax: 303-764-8220; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
UNC Audiology and Speech Language Pathology Clinic
Kathleen Fahey, Ph.D.
Phone: 970-351-2734; Fax: 970-351-2974; E-mail: Kathy.Fahey@unco.edu